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Pediatric Overuse Injuries

7/23/2018 | J. Todd Davis, M.D.

Overuse injuries occur when there is an imbalance between the breakdown and healing of tissues put under stress. Overuse injuries in children usually are located at the growth plates of their bones.

Common childhood overuse injuries include:

  • Little league elbow and shoulder
  • Osgood-Schlatter’s (knee)
  • Sinding-Larsen-Johansson (knee)
  • Sever’s (heel) disease


  • Training errors are the most common cause of overuse injuries.
  • The most common training errors involve acceleration in intensity, frequency, or duration of activities.

Diagnosis and Treatment

More simply put: kids do too much, too fast, too soon. Diagnoses should be made by a sports medicine specialist. Treatment usually involves rest but may include physical therapy or evaluating other risk factors for injury. “No pain, no gain” does not apply in this situation.

If your child is hurting longer than a couple of days, they should be evaluated by one of our sports medicine physicians at COPC Sports, Spine & Joint. 

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