Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Youth sports is a pain in the back

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And not just in parents who have to lug equipment or sit for long stretches on hard, backless bleachers.

The American Journal of Sports Medicine has published a study finding that teen athletes are at much greater risk for lower back pain than their more sedentary peers — especially if those teens have played sports since they were very young.

According to the study’s findings, 71.1% of the teenagers who were highly active in sports reported experiencing at least one bout of lower back pain in their lives compared to 61.8% of the moderately active students and 50% of the students who never played organized sports.

Nearly 15% of the highly competitive athletes noted back pain that was accompanied with pain and numbness in the legs compared to 8.5% of the moderately active athletes and 4% of the non-athletes.

Roughly 10% of the highly active students said that they missed a day of school because of their back pain in comparison to 5.7% of the moderately active students and 4.4% of the students who never played youth sports.

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The most common sport for lower back pain? Volleyball. Least common? Soccer.

The study’s authors strongly advised they were not implying that teenagers should quit sports. Instead, they recommended more research and awareness on postures and positions that would prevent back pain. However, with the risk of back pain, concussions, overuse injuries, and so many other aches and pains suffered by children in high-level youth sports, somewhere a kid playing video games is saying, “Feeling great here!”

Written by rkcookjr

February 1, 2010 at 10:57 pm