Most Common Youth Sports Injuries

Terms you should know 

Bursitis: Swelling of a fluid-filled cushion-like structure in the elbow
Excessive curving backward of body
Stress fracture: 
Fracture due to sudden and severe impact on a bone.

Sports Injuries

Most sports injuries are similar to other injuries and have already been discussed in earlier chapters. These are preventable if correct technique, equipment, and training methods are used. Proper warming up and cooling down are also extremely important. Wearing a wrist, elbow, knee, ankle and other protective bands may help to prevent injuries. Remember not to overdo any sporting activity. In an otherwise fit person, a sudden awkward movement or overstretching of tired muscles can result in injuries, however, these can be rectified fast. A golden rule that must never be forgotten is that injuries should be attended to immediately otherwise they will become chronic.
In certain sports, vulnerability to injuries is more and therefore special precautions may need to be taken to avoid these.


The most common injury in tennis is ‘tennis elbow’. It is due to ‘bursitis’ at the elbow under the olecranon or ‘funny bone’ and is due to overuse of the elbow joint. The most susceptible to this condition are the people whose occupation requires frequent rotatory motion at the elbow like pipe fitters, carpenters, tennis players, etc., and hence its name. Tennis players are affected if they take to the game much later in life, or adopt an improper technique – they toss the ball too far back and have to strain at the elbow to hit it. It can be managed with elbow band or splint, rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, and if required, steroid injections inside the joint. Short-wave diathermy or microwave diathermy also can help. Surgery is rarely required.

How to avoid tennis elbow?

  • Lower the tension in the strings
  • Increase the size of racquet head
  • Increase the weight of handle with taping
  • Grip the handle higher.

Tennis players can also get shoulder problems and that of the ankles.


Cyclists are prone to injuries of spine and knees. This is due to incorrect handlebar and seat height. The height should be adjusted to avoid the back from being bent.
The cycle should also be friction free, to avoid straining the knees.


Wicketkeepers and batsmen are vulnerable to back problems besides other injuries.
Bowlers can develop stress fractures of their ankles due to the wrong side on action, or shoulder injuries.


The commonest problem associated with the sport is again stressing ankle fractures due to excessive hyperextension while landing instead of landing straight.


Shoulder injuries are common. Shorter strokes should be used to prevent this.

5 Of The Most Common Youth Sports Injuries


Sprains are defined as stretching of or tear in ligaments (structures that join one bone to the other). Pain and swelling are the presenting features. Strains are managed in the same manner as all other acute musculoskeletal problems. In severe cases, surgical repair of the torn ligament may have to be carried out.

Shoulder dislocation and sprains:

This can occur in tennis players, basketball players, baseball and cricket players. Such condition can also be seen in the shot put and javelin throwers.

Back problems

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Knee problem:

These include injuries to ligaments, cartilage, meniscus, bursa, patellar crack ( crack in the kneecap) can all be seen in sportspersons. The condition is managed in the same manner as in other injuries in an acute stage.

Ankle problem:

These can be seen among joggers, athletes, fast bowlers etc., Ankle guards and proper shoes that can bear high impact can prevent ankle injuries.

Plantar fasciitis:

This is an inflammatory swelling of the tissues of the sole of the foot. It can be seen in joggers and athletes especially those who do not wear proper shoes. The condition is managed by testing the feet, acute pain management techniques, and by ensuring that proper shoes are worn to avoid the recurrence of the problem.