Common youth sports injuries

Among the most common injuries treated by our Sports Medicine team include:

  • Sprains – injury to a ligament, one of the bands of tough, fibrous tissue that connects two or more bones at a joint and prevents excessive movement of the joint. An ankle sprain is the most common athletic injury.
  • Strains – injury to either a muscle or a tendon. A muscle is a tissue composed of bundles of specialized cells that, when stimulated by nerve messages, contract and produce movement. A tendon is a tough, fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscle to bone. Muscles in any part of the body can be injured.
  • Growth Plate Injuries – the area of developing tissues at the end of the long bones in growing children and adolescents. When growth is complete, sometime during adolescence, the growth plate is replaced by solid bone.
  • Repetitive Motion Injuries – stress fractures (a hairline fracture of the bone that has been subjected to repeated stress) and tendinitis (inflammation of a tendon) can occur from overuse of muscles and tendons.
  • Concussion – a type of traumatic brain injury. While the brain is cushioned by spinal fluid inside the skull, when jarred and the brain hits the skull, blood vessels can tear and the nerves inside the brain can be injured

Keeping student athletes safe

In addition to treating young athletes, our Sports Medicine specialists work with local coaches and high school athletic departments to prevent injuries.

  • Concussion screening and ImPACT ® (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), an advanced, scientifically validated computerized concussion management system.
  • Safe School Certification — policies and procedures to keep athletes safe. Mora , Hinckley-Finlayson, Ogilvie and Pine City schools schools  are both Safe School Certified.
  • The Minnesota State High School League provides all its member schools and their students with a free Concussion Insurance Program. Click here for all of the information.
  • Support for area high schools at sporting events to assess, diagnose, treat, and manage athlete injuries
  • Mora and Hinckley-Finlayson high school have been named Safe Sports Schools (SSS) by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) for the high quality of injury prevention offered through Welia Health and its Sports Medicine team. Welia athletic trainers also work alongside Mora, Hinckley, Pine City, Ogilvie, East Central, and Rush City high school sports teams.

Sport-specific safety information

Recommendations to help prevent injury.

Basketball

  • Common injuries and locations: Sprains, strains, bruises, fractures, scrapes, dislocations, cuts, injuries to teeth, ankles, and knees. (Injury rates are higher in girls, especially for the anterior cruciate ligament or ACL, the wide ligament that limits rotation and forward movement of the shin bone.)
  • Safest playing with: Eye protection, elbow and knee pads, mouth guard, athletic supporters for males, proper shoes, water. If playing outdoors, wear sunscreen and, when possible, a hat.
  • Injury prevention: Strength training (particularly knees and shoulders), aerobics (exercises that develop the strength and endurance of heart and lungs), warm-up exercises, proper coaching, use of safety equipment

Football

  • Common injuries and locations: Bruises, sprains, strains, pulled muscles, tears to soft tissues such as ligaments, broken bones, internal injuries (bruised or damaged organs), concussions, back injuries, sunburn. Knees and ankles are the most common injury sites.
  • Safest playing with: Helmet, mouth guard, shoulder pads, athletic supporters for males, chest/rib pads, forearm, elbow, and thigh pads, shin guards, proper shoes, sunscreen, water.
  • Injury prevention: Proper use of safety equipment, warm-up exercises, proper coaching techniques and conditioning.

Baseball and softball

  • Common injuries: Soft tissue strains, impact injuries that include fractures caused by sliding and being hit by a ball, sunburn.
  • Safest playing with: Batting helmet; shin guards; elbow guards; athletic supporters for males; mouth guard; sunscreen; cleats; hat; detachable, “breakaway bases” rather than traditional, stationary ones.
  • Injury prevention: Proper conditioning and warm-ups.

Soccer

  • Common injuries: Bruises, cuts and scrapes, headaches, sunburn.
  • Safest playing with: Shin guards, athletic supporters for males, cleats, sunscreen, water.
  • Injury prevention: Aerobic conditioning and warm-ups, and – when age appropriate – proper training in “heading” (that is, using the head to strike or make a play with the ball).

Gymnastics

  • Common injuries: Sprains and strains of soft tissues.
  • Safest playing with: Athletic supporters for males, safety harness, joint supports (such as neoprene wraps), water.
  • Injury prevention: Proper conditioning and warm-ups.

Source: NIH: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases