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Sports Injuries

Accidents happen. After a minor sports injury, many young athletes recover with rest and time away from the sport. If an injury is more serious, further treatment may be necessary.

  • Types

    • Dislocated joints
    • Fractures
    • Growth plate injuries
    • Pulled, strained or swollen muscles
    • Repetitive motion injuries
    • Sprains
    • Strains
    • Tendon injuries
  • Symptoms

    Symptoms vary depending on the injury, but common symptoms include:

    • Being unable to place weight on the injured body part
    • Joint immobility or difficulty moving joints
    • Pain or tenderness in the injured area
    • Swelling of the injured area
    • Visibly dislocated joint or bone
  • Prevention

    • Schedule a physical before the child begins playing sports to ensure he or she is healthy enough to participate.
    • Make sure the child uses the right equipment, shoes and clothing for his or her sport.
    • Encourage the child to warm up before playing, as well as cool down and stretch afterward.
    • Tell the child to stop playing if he or she feels hurt.
    • See Thrower's Ten workout to help strengthen shoulder muscles.
  • Risk factors

    All sports carry some risk for injury, but some participants are at a higher risk due to:

    • Growth spurts or imbalance in children
    • Improper technique
    • Playing sports without warming up or stretching
  • Diagnosis

    • Medical history and symptom review. The healthcare provider will ask about sports participation, how the injury occurred, any previous injuries and current symptoms.
    • Physical examination. The doctor will examine the child’s injury to determine what treatment is necessary.
    • Imaging. Depending on the child’s injury, X-rays, MRIs or CT scans may be necessary.
  • Treatment

    • Conservative options include the RICE method (rest, ice, compression and elevation), over-the-counter pain medications and splinting.
    • Physical therapy may be recommended to help safely exercise the area, regain strength and range of motion or prevent additional damage.
    • Surgery is recommended for severe injuries that won’t respond to more conservative treatments.
  • Follow-up care

    • Children should limit activity while healing.
    • The injury should be completely healed before the child returns to the sport.