January 12, 2024

Growth spurt increases the risk of sports injuries

Talented athletes are more likely to get injured during the growth spurt.

Talented athletes are more likely to get injured during the growth spurt. This is what movement scientist Alien van der Sluis concludes in her thesis, for which she studied both football players from FC Groningen's youth school and tennis players from the KNLTB talent program.

Overuse injuries in children who exercise

It appears that children have more acute injuries in the year of their growth spurt than a year earlier or later. As a result, they often miss more training courses in that year. Sometimes training continues with injuries, which can have long-term consequences. The conclusion is therefore that it can be useful to keep track of player growth and to take into account risky periods.

A physiotherapist can help with this by providing advice and exercises to prevent or remedy the overload injuries.

Monitoring skills

In addition, it appears that tennis players who take more risks have more frequent and more serious injuries. Children who are good at “monitoring skills” (good at assessing the severity of injuries) are less likely to have overuse injuries.

Van der Sluis's advice is therefore to help talented athletes develop these monitoring skills. Guidance from a physiotherapist can also come in handy in this area. This can help the sporting child (and his parents) develop these skills by providing advice, information and exercises.

USC Physical Therapy

At USC Physiotherapy, we specialize in the field of children exercising and overuse injuries. We have years of experience with talented youth football players and tennis players and know how best to treat or, better still, prevent injuries to young athletes.

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