Earlier this week, we posted this article
from the New York Post on our Facebook page. The article focused on repetitive strain injuries in young athletes, that did not seem to exist years ago. I thought the article provided some insight into some of the issues that we see with many of the young athletes in our office, so we decided to share it. I had no idea how much of a nerve the article would strike! I had conversations about the article in the office, at the gym, in the grocery store, and while walking our dog (yes, Dr. Carol finally gave in and let us adopt a new dog!) around the neighborhood. Let's face it, we all want to do as much as we can to help our children to succeed. We sign them up for the sports that they love to play, we pay for specialized training for them to get better at said sport, we drive them (and their friends) to and from practices and games, we sacrifice countless hours of family time to travel to tournaments out of town... The list seems to be endless! I can't help but wonder, Are we really doing what is best for our children?
The article seems to focus on the fact that the injuries that this generation of kids is dealing with now are happening much earlier in life than they ever have in the past. I believe that the reason behind the increase in the injury frequency is that kids spend way too much time training for a sport, and not enough time recovering from the activity. Time spent in recovery mode is just as important as the time spent in training. One of my patients is a 15-year-old lacrosse player who plays lacrosse year-round and has been doing that for the past 6 years. He might take a week off from playing during the year! When his school season ends, he begins summer league play, then when summer league concludes he plays in a fall league, then plays box lacrosse in the winter, then the loop begins again... He never really has any time to recover from the season, or the wear and tear from training. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated example and has become more and more common. In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller - "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." Don't let your children Umiss it! No matter how much they love to play baseball in the winter!Are our children OVERTRAINED or UNDERRECOVERED?
Movement is my Medicine,