Among teens, sport injuries are a serious problem. They can occur while playing team sports at a community center or while taking part in school activities. They can range from a simple bruise to a fractured limb to spinal cord injury and even fatal brain injury. Many sports-related personal injuries are quite preventable and are caused by factors such as improper training, lack of correct equipment, and rapid growth during the teen years (which can cause periodic awkwardness physically).
There are two types of sports injuries: acute traumatic injury and overuse injury. Overuse, or chronic injury, as it is sometimes known is caused by repetitive strain or training. Acute traumatic injuries are generally caused by a single blow from a force. Both types of injuries can lead to serious injury and ailments, but overuse injuries are the ones that tend to be misdiagnosed or under-treated the most, since athletes will often ignore minor, persistent pain.
Florida teens can prevent both types of sports injuries by:
1) Always wearing proper and correctly-fitted helmets for contact sports, biking, and in-line skating. Helmets are one of the best ways to prevent head injuries.
2) Men should wear athletic supporters, or a cup where appropriate, to protect the sex organs from injury. Women should wear supportive sports bras to help prevent injury to breast tissue.
3) Any swelling, numbness, pain, tenderness, stiffness, or loss of flexibility needs to be investigated by a good medical professional. Even if the symptom does not seem severe, the sooner it is diagnosed and treated, the easier treatment usually is. Any of these symptoms can suggest an overuse injury and simply ignoring the injury will not make it go away. Any unusual symptom or any accident or injury on the field should be reported to a doctor and to the coach – even if everything seems fine. Some ailments – including some forms of brain injury – may not manifest symptoms immediately, but can still prove dangerous.
4) Stop playing sports during an injury. Continuing to play while injured can complicate an injury and make it much worse. Seeing a doctor who specializes in sports medicine may be the best idea, as such a specialist can better estimate when it is appropriate to return to play. Returning to a sport too soon after an injury can lead to complications as well.
5) Know your limits. Play at the level of your experience and do not attempt to over-exert yourself. Always warm up adequately before practice and games. Never play beyond a pain limit. Once you start to feel pain, it is time to head to the bench or the locker room and maybe seek a physician’s opinion if the pain persists for a week. Overdoing it can cause serious injury to tissue, muscles, and ligaments.