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Overuse Injuries in Nation’s Youth on the Rise

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Overuse Injuries in Nation’s Youth on the Rise

Head Off Future Orthopedic Problems through Prevention & Care

Childhood overuse injuries can result in serious problems later in life. Dr. Vishal M. Mehta – an orthopedic sports medicine surgeon specializing in ACL tears, shoulder replacement, and cartilage restoration at Fox Valley Orthopedics – believes the key to keeping kids in the game for life is through injury prevention. He also stresses the need to take care of overuse injuries when they occur.

“Many children put on a brave face when injured, and try to keep playing,” says Dr. Mehta. “Overuse injuries can be subtle, but – if left untreated – the havoc they gradually wreak isn’t. Encourage your kids to tell you about any problems they’re experiencing. And, if injured, seek the advice of a sports medicine specialist first.”

Overuse injuries are preventable. Play safe and stay strong with Dr. Mehta’s tips:

  • Play more than one sport when under 14 years of age.
  • Avoid playing multiple seasons in a row; spend time between seasons rebooting.
  • Choose moderation in training rather than an overly rigorous regimen.
  • Mix it up a bit when it comes to sport-specific training regimens in order to give various body parts time to rest and recuperate.
  • Perform exercises that foster muscle strength and balance.
  • Always implement proper injury prevention such as practicing proper technique, wearing well-fitting protective equipment, and performing gentle warm-ups and whole-body stretches before and after workouts.
  • Know the symptoms of repetitive-use injuries such as dull aches or pains after activity.
  • See a sports medicine specialist when pain lingers more than three or four days.
  • Ensure an injury has completely healed before returning to play.

With football season around the corner, many players, parents and coaches are getting in the know on concussion prevention. Remember, not everyone who suffers a concussion will lose consciousness. Symptoms can include blurry vision, confusion, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, forgetfulness, loss of balance, nausea, numbness/tingling, personality changes, sensitivity to light, and/or sluggishness. For a downloadable concussion PDF, go to

Because football players are so susceptible to concussions, parents, coaches, and athletes are encouraged to sign up for the Healthy-TXT football tips campaign. Dr. Mehta created the Chicago area concussion awareness campaign in collaboration with the STOP Sports Injuries campaign to help keep young athletes healthy.

Subscribers sign up by texting the phrase “footballtips” to 41411, or going to to register for the email program. Educational concussion messages – along with football injury prevention, performance tips, and motivational messages from leading sports medicine physicians, trainers, and professional athletes – will be delivered once or twice a week.

For more on youth sports safety, visit and If you’re interested in having Dr. Mehta, or another of FVO’s sports medicine physicians speak at your school, team, or organization, call Brittany Moran (630) 524-0169.