Sports can be a crucial part of children’s mental and physical development. This is often the reason that parents encourage their kids to try as many sports as possible when they are young so they can eventually find their athletic calling. These days, parents are found more often picking one particular sport for their child to focus on at a very young age. Raising the question – can an athlete playing the same sport for life cause more injuries than those who tried everything as a kid?
Some sports – such as baseball and gymnastics – start training programs as early as 4-5. This means that by the time that the players are competing at a professional level they could have been training for 10-15 years in just ONE sport. Most of these sports are extremely stressful on the body, not to mention that practicing one certain type of action for 10 years would be hard on anybody’s body. Our chiropractors and physical therapists here in Kailua deal with sports injuries in all ages, including kids and adults from surfing, paddling, and softball.
Think about the shoulder injuries and stress that pitchers face on a day to day basis – now apply those to kids that are practicing for 10 years and dedicating every off season and weekend as well as their normal season? That’s a recipe for disaster for young athletes.
Here at Oahu Spine and Rehab we have tons of physical therapy patients that are athletes dealing with chronic pain. Pediatricians are dealing with increasing numbers of sports injuries in children compared to the past. Specializing in one sport is not always what is best for your child while they are young and still have developing bodies. Younger kids that start baseball in little league are more likely to end up with more serious injuries and possibly needing surgery at younger ages like 16-18.
Burning out your child on his or her favorite sport can lead to further problems as well. The list goes from physical injury and fatigue to chronic pain and depression. These numbers transfer to the collegiate level where over 20% of current Division 1 athletes are depressed.
Although some leagues have applied boundaries for their young athletes to prevent damage, there are many that have no plan to reduce injuries in their sports. Being in organized sports as a kid is a great foundation and learning opportunity for children, it creates an outlet for the child as well as teaches them discipline and teamwork. With that being said, it’s important for coaches and parents to know when enough is enough for their child’s health.
If you or your children are suffering from sports injuries or chronic pain, call OSR today 808-488-5555 to schedule your consultation!
Read the full article and study here: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/28/opinions/carter-teen-sports-injuries/index.html