How & Why Injury Rates in Youth Sports Are on the Rise

By: Dr. Punam Hills, PT, DPT, OCS


There has been a rising trend in the number of athletic adolescent injuries in recent years.  Since 2000, there has been a five to seven-fold increase in the number of injuries in youth sports.  A shift has occurred in youth sports, and specializing in only one sport is now often encouraged.

Children play the same sport all year round, which leads to overtraining and fatigue.  With overuse and repetitive micro-trauma to growing bodies, kids may not be able to remain in their sport for very long.   As parents & health care practitioners, we are concerned that these children could be causing potentially irreversible damage with this constant, repetitive activity in one sport.   In order to avoid injury, follow a few simple steps:


  1. Start training before the season starts. A general level of fitness should be maintained during the off season.


  1. If possible, try to stay involved in various sports at a younger age to encourage the development of all muscle groups.


  1. Learn proper techniques from a qualified professional to ensure you are using proper muscles.


  1. More is not always better! Avoid rapid acceleration of intensity, duration, or frequency of training.


  1. “No pain, no gain” is not true for youth sports. Pay attention to aches and pains and seek the advice of health care professionals when pain persists.


  1. Maintain a balance between work and rest to avoid overuse.


Early recognition of an overuse injury is key.  Make sure to consult your physical therapist for treatment or prevention of an overuse injury. You can expect your physical therapist to perform a thorough assessment of pain, movement, or mobility problems. You can also expect you and your child will be educated on proper form, his/her condition, and the custom treatment plan – as well as how to best avoid future injury.

If you’re concerned your young athlete may have an overuse (or other) injury or issue of the musculoskeletal system, the caring, expert Physical Therapists at Body One PT are only a call or a click away. We have three locations serving Central Indianapolis: North Indy/Carmel, Fishers, and Zionsville. We’re both locally owned and operated, and our providers see clients of all ages and activity levels. Don’t let your child sit out this season with an injury – call the experts at Body One PT today!