It's not Just Growing Pains: A Guide to Childhood Muscle, Bone, and Joint Pain, Rheumatic Diseases, and the Latest Treatments

By Thomas J. A. Lehman | Go to book overview

5
Sports Injuries

THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Sports injuries are the most common causes of muscle, bone, and joint pains in childhood. Most are minor injuries related to trauma, easily recognized because the pain started right after falling, running into another child on the field, twisting an ankle, and so on. Often these are minor muscle and tendon injuries (bangs, scrapes, and sprains) that resolve over a few hours or days at most. Pain that is severe or persists requires medical attention.

Any child who needs to be carried off the field or brought home because of an injury should have a prompt and thorough medical evaluation. Acute sports injuries are not the focus of this book. However, the child who is repeatedly injured or in pain every time he or she participates needs to be carefully evaluated to find out why.

Children with chronic or recurrent “sports injuries” are often ignored because they seem to get better with rest. This is a mistake. Children with chronic and recurrent injuries may be suffering from overuse syndromes, unrecognized arthritis, or a variety of other medical conditions. Many of the children with spondyloarthropathies have been misdiagnosed as having chronic sports injuries by physicians who are unfamiliar with childhood arthritis (see Chapter 9).

The common athletic statement, “No pain, no gain,” is incorrect. While it is true that muscle pain with activity may be associated with building stronger muscles, bone and joint pain is never associated with gain. Continued activity on bones or joints that hurt is causing injury and may be causing permanent damage.

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