Schoolgirls suffer more overuse injuries: Study

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Washington, June 25 (IANS) When it comes to overuse injuries in high school sports, girls are at a much higher risk than boys, a new study says.

Overuse injuries include stress fractures, tendonitis and joint pain, and occur when athletes are required to perform the same motion repeatedly.

“These young people spend more time playing sports both in competition and in practice. So, there’s a correlation there between the amount of time that they’re playing and the increased incidence of injuries,” said Thomas Best, professor at department of family medicine, Ohio State University.

Best analysed 3,000 male and female injury cases over a seven year period across 20 high school sports such as soccer, volleyball and gymnastics. The highest rate of overuse injuries occurred in girls track (3.82), followed by girls field hockey (2.93). Overuse injuries in boys were most found in swimming and diving (1.3).

The participation and intensity of high school athletics has increased over the past decade. Some high school athletes spend more than 18 hours a week participating in athletics and many participate in multiple sports concurrently.

The lower leg is the most common site of overuse injuries, followed by the knee and then the shoulder.

“During this point of their lives, this is when girls are developing bones at the greatest rate. It’s incredibly important that they’re getting the proper amounts of calcium and vitamin D,” Best added.

The study was published in the Journal of Paediatrics.

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