Many overuse injuries are preventable. Janet Kowalchick explains how CrossFit Kids can help keep young athletes healthy and on the field.
If you were to take a straight pin and poke the pad of your finger lightly one or two times, it would have almost no effect. If you were to poke your finger lightly 10,000 times at a high frequency, the dermis would begin to break down, nerve endings would then be affected, and pain and bleeding would ensue. The tissue is overloaded, and there is insufficient time for recovery between bouts of loading to the same area.
This is one way to depict an overuse injury. Overuse injuries are preventable but are on the rise in young athletes.
Overuse injury is defined as repetitive microtrauma to tissues—i.e., muscle, bone, ligaments, tendons—and can go unrecognized for an extended period of time. Just like the pad of the finger in the example above, the athlete is unaware the damage is occurring until tissue failure finally occurs.
In today’s highly competitive society there is a trend to specialize youth in sport early, play year round and try to reach collegiate-scholarship potential as soon as possible instead of taking a methodical, progressive approach to training that matches the young athlete’s physical and mental maturity. There are an estimated 3 million youth-sport injuries that occur each year in middle-school and high-school athletes. It is estimated that 50 percent of overuse injuries are preventable.
And CrossFit Kids can help.