Preventing injuries in young people

September 11th 2015 |

The problem

We are seeing more and more young people in the clinic who have adult type of injuries.

We think that part of this is because of not taking enough adequate rest through the year and also going from one sport to the next without taking
breaks.

The good news is that many of these injuries can be prevented. By achieving better muscle balance and movement, your child can also become a better athlete.

The American Academy of Paediatrics say there are four stages of overuse injuries:

  1. Pain in the affected area after physical activity
  2. Pain during physical activity, that doesn’t restrict play
  3. Pain during physical activity, that does restrict play
  4. Chronic, persistent pain even at rest.

The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent an injury in your child:

  1. Build adequate rest periods into the year
  2. Vary the training volume (how many session in the week) during the year
  3. Vary the training intensity throughout the week, month and year
  4. Stop if something is sore
  5. Make sure your child does some stretching every day.

Periodisation and rest

Some organisations recommend two to three months of rest time for young individuals every year. That might shock some of you. However, like all
professional sports people, children need rest to recover. Tight muscles and small niggles get a chance to recover and injuries are less likely to happen. It could also make them better at their sport.

Do not think of this guideline as a two to three month consecutive block. Aim for a week of relative rest every six weeks or so. Relative rest means
decreasing the training volume or not training at such a high intensity.

Consider substituting some sports in favour of low level play or rest time. It is important to prioritise sports rather than playing in everything.