The Most Common Sports Injuries in High School Athletes

High School Female Track Hurdlers

And How to Find Athletic Training Near You from an Experienced Athletic Trainer in Wichita

High school athletics teach teens about competition, the value of fair play, teamwork, and strategy. There’s nothing quite like taking the field knowing that you and your teammates are all on the same page with the same goal. High school athletics also can serve as an avenue to bigger and better things, such as college athletics and scholarship opportunities.

However, with high school athletics, comes certain risks. One of the most serious risks is incurring an acute or chronic injury as a result of taking a hit, landing incorrectly after a jump, or enduring other sports-related injuries. Unfortunately, these injuries can happen in any athletic competition, even sports that appear relatively safe and low-impact at first glance, like tennis or swimming.

When an injury happens to a high school athlete, parents need to consider enlisting the help of an athletic trainer or someone who specializes in advanced orthopedics. They may even consider getting them professional physical therapy, especially if a surgery or long-term recovery are needed. Whatever the case may be, a high school athletic injury is not to be taken lightly; it can affect the rest of your student’s life.

For those enrolling their child in high school athletics, be aware of the most common sports injuries that young athletes encounter.

#1 – Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are by far and away the most common sports injury that a high school athlete can incur. That’s because the majority of high school sports involve running, planting hard on a foot, jumping, landing, and pivoting. These actions put a large amount of pressure on the ankles and knees.

Fortunately, most sprains and strains can be resolved by resting the affected area and at-home recovery methods, such as ice and heat therapy.

#2 – Overuse Injuries

Many sports involve making a particular motion the same way over and over. For instance, a pitcher may throw 50 or more pitches in a single game, and that’s not even accounting for their warm-up and practice pitches. Repetitive motion can add up to what’s called an overuse injury, which happens when muscles, ligaments, and tendons are adversely affected by the act of making a repeated motion.

Overuse injuries can either occur from making the same motion too many times, or making a motion using improper technique. In most cases, overuse injuries can be resolved after an extended period of rest and at-home treatment methods. Whatever you do, do NOT try to push through an overuse injury. That will make the injury worse and can lead to more permanent damage.

#3 – Stress Fractures

Stress fractures occur when the muscles surrounding a bone can no longer take the impact of exercise, and transition the overflow of the impact to the bones. This translates to tiny breaks or stress fractures.

One of the most common types of stress fractures occurs in the foot, especially in student athletes who run during the majority of their competition and practice.

#4 – Head and Neck Injuries

Sports like football and hockey require their players to wear the most protective equipment because there’s so much physical contact and hitting involved. Nearly play in football involves either taking a hit or delivering a hit. Even with revised rules making helmet-to-helmet contact hits illegal, they still happen and are one of the most dangerous types of hits that can be delivered.

In some cases, hard hits in contact sports can lead to head and neck injuries, which immediately sideline a player and put them out of the game for the foreseeable future. The best way to prevent a head or neck injury is to make sure your student athlete is always wearing the proper protective equipment and using proper technique when delivering a hit.

#5 – Growth Plate Injuries

What we often forget when it comes to high school athletics is that children are still in the midst of development, particularly in their bones. This makes them susceptible to something called growth plate injuries.

A growth plate is the area of developing cartilage tissue near the end of a long bone. For a child that is still growing, that area of the bone has not fully hardened yet, which makes it more likely to break. A growth plate injury typically happens in a high contact sport such as basketball, football, or gymnastics.

Finding an Athletic Trainer Near You in Wichita

If you have a child who is playing competitive sports and has been injured, the good news is that help is available at Mid-America Orthopedics Wichita. Our athletic training staff has extensive experience working with student athletes who are overcoming injuries incurred during competition. In fact, our athletic trainers travel to more than 10 schools in the Wichita and Derby areas. If you’ve been looking for athletic training near you, then look no further than Mid-America Orthopedics.

If your student athlete’s injury requires additional treatment, we can provide professional physical therapy, pain management techniques, advanced orthopedics, and more. The best way to get your child on the path to recovery is by calling us at (316) 630-9300. You can also email us directly using the contact form on our website.