Spring showers bring May Flowers and for some young athletes, a return to the field could mean a trip to the training room.
Dr. Caitlyn Mooney, a University Health System primary care sports medicine physician, is urging players, parents, and coaches to take injuries seriously this year.
Mooney says that due to specialization, young athletes are at risk for injury due to overuse.
"If they are constantly jumping or running, they can cause irritation of the growth plate,” Dr. Mooney explained.
Female athletes are also facing risks when it comes to taking the field.
"They're much more at risk for ACL injuries because muscles react differently when landing from a jump,” Dr. Mooney noted.
One issue facing athletes is the pressure to play through an injury. Often, young people will hide a small injury until it becomes a big problem.
"Sometimes children feel very at risk for their position or their tryout for that time,” Dr. Mooney said. “They feel that if they have an injury, they'll be put on JV for the year.”
For pitchers on baseball teams, Dr. Mooney says that pitch counts need to be taken seriously and adhered too. Serious injuries can come from overuse and not resting an arm. If an issue does come up, the sooner it's checked out, the sooner a young athlete can get back to the field.
“Sometimes we can keep them doing the same activity but at a reduced level or doing more cross training,” Dr. Mooney said.