Young Athletes: Bumps, Bruises, Twists & Muscle Strains

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends young athletes limit training in one sport to a maximum of five days a week, with at least one day off from organized physical activity.

While a day of rest, using the correct gear, staying hydrated and following coaches rules will go a long way in keeping your young athlete safe; bumps, bruises, twists and muscle strains  can affect all areas of the body.

Treatment for Bumps, Bruises, Twists & Muscle Strains

The recommended treatment response is the PRICE formula:

  • P rotect the area with a sling or crutches, if necessary.
  • Rest the injured area.
  • Ice the injury for 20 minutes at a time. Do not apply the ice directly to the skin.
  • Compress the injured area with a wrap. Do not pull tightly, as this can cut off circulation.
  • Elevate the injured area above the heart, if possible.

When to Go to the Doctor

Athletes should see a pediatrician or pediatric sports medicine physician if any of these symptoms are present:

  • Deformity
  • Limping lasting more than 48 hours
  • Soft tissue swelling that gets worse the next day despite ice and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin®
  • Effusion — Mobile soft tissue swelling on both sides of a joint, often easily seen at the knee or ankle
  • Pain that returns quickly with activity at the next session or is not gone after two weeks of forced rest

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