A study performed by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center suggests that female high school athletes may have a higher risk of developing overuse injuries than male high school athletes.
In the study, published in the April issue of Journal of Pediatrics, Thomas Best, MD, PhD, and his team of researchers looked at 3,000 cases of male and female overuse injuries during a 7-year period across 20 high school sports such as soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and lacrosse, according to a release from the university.
They found that the highest rate of overuse injuries occurred in girls track (3.82), followed by girls field hockey (2.93) and girls lacrosse (2.73). Overuse injuries in boys were mostly found in swimming and diving (1.3).
These injuries included stress fractures, tendonitis, and joint pain. The release explains that they account for half of all athletic injuries and twice as many visits to sports medicine physicians than acute trauma. These injuries are also known to be more prevalent among children ages 13 to 17.
“These young people spend more time playing sports both in competition and in practice. So, there’s a correlation there between the amount of time that they’re playing and the increased incidence of injuries,” says Best, who is also a professor and Pomerene chair in Ohio State’s department of family medicine, in the release.
Best notes in the release that some high school athletes may spend more than 18 hours per week participating in athletics, and suggests that many may participate in multiple sports concurrently.
Best found from his study that the lower leg is the most common site of overuse injuries, followed by the knee and then the shoulder, he states in the release.
He recommends that teen athletes vary their movement and play more than one sport, and that they make rest and nutrition a priority.
“During this point of their lives, this is when girls are developing bones at the greatest rate,” Best shares in the release.
“It’s incredibly important that they’re getting the proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D,” he says.
[Source(s): The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Science Daily]