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Healthy Habits: Preventing summer sports injuries

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 8:09 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - With school out for the summer and COVID restrictions eased, more people are back to playing competitive sports. As young athletes take to the courts or fields, injuries are on the rise.

Dr. Bobby Palmer with Vidant Orthopedics appeared on WITN News at Sunrise Monday morning to talk about some of the most common sports injuries and how athletes can be proactive in preventing them.

Palmer says about 30 million children and teens participate in some type of sport and about 3.5 million of them are injured each year. He says some sports are more dangerous than others, but all have the potential for injury.

Some of the most common injuries for sports like baseball are wrist and clavicle injuries caused by throwing. In soccer and lacrosse, there is a tendency for knee and hip injuries.

Other athletes can deal with common acute injuries, like elbow fractures and shoulder displacement. Palmer says acute injuries often occur suddenly and are usually associated with severe pain, like a broken bone or muscle tear. Chronic injuries result from overusing one body area of a period of time, including stress fractures and heel inflammation.

To avoid injuries, Palmer says there are certain steps you should follow. For youth baseball players, follow the pitch count guidelines, which were established based on age to correlate with a child’s skeletal maturity and limits of their bones, ligaments and muscles.

Palmer says there are also some preventative measures, like eating a diet rich in vitamin C and D, exercising regularly and stretching.

For more information about preventing and treating injuries and to learn more about Vidant Orthopedics, click here.

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