Youth sports provide a unique opportunity for kids to develop and grow in a fun and competitive environment. Recent literature indicates that youth athletics are correlated with increased physical activity, improved school outcomes and decreased usage of drugs and alcohol. With an estimated 30 million American youths participating in organized sports, it is important to consider the consequent increased risk for injuries in this population. A recent study in the Annals of Joint dove into the topic of sports related risk factors for injury. The article classified the three major categories of youth injury as traumatic, overuse and head injuries. Identifying the major types of injuries and their etiologies may lead to better prevention, recognition and improved care. Concussions are a subcategory of head injuries which have been in the spotlight in recent years. Sports associated with the highest risk of concussion include football, hockey, rugby, soccer, cheer-leading and girl’s basketball. Traumatic injuries most commonly occur due to falling, inter-participant collision, or by being struck by or against an object. These types of injuries are most prevalent in team sports, particularly football, wrestling, girl’s basketball and soccer. Overuse injuries occur due to the chronic application of unnatural or excessive stress placed on the bones, muscles, tendons, cartilage and/or ligaments. Common injury sites for overuse injuries include elbows, shoulders, knees, back and heels. These types of injuries are most prevalent in young athletes who choose to specialize in one sport due to repetitive loading of a sport-specific motor pattern. In addition, young athletes with poor technique, muscle imbalances or muscle weakness may be at an increased risk due to abnormal stresses as a result of non-uniform tissue loading. At Catalyst Wellness, we pride ourselves in our ability to identify, correct and ingrain proper technique and motor patterns in our athletes of all ages. In the words of our Functional Movement Trainer, Matt Florentine; “ We build injury prevention into the strength and conditioning programming. This helps our athletes to increase performance while minimizing the risk of injury due to overuse or over-training an unstable joint.”

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