Sports Medicine
Whole Athlete Injuries

Athlete re-hydrates during a workout.

Conditions Treated: Whole Athlete

Asthma is the most common chronic medical problem in children. The most common symptoms are wheezing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, and chest pain.

Asthma symptoms can be triggered with allergies, exposure to cigarette smoke, with a cold or with exercise. A child that only has symptoms of asthma with exercise may have exercise-induced asthma (EIA).

For most children with EIA, proper diagnosis, treatment and prevention measures will allow your child to continue with exercise and remain active. Call your child’s doctor if your child is experiencing any signs or symptoms of exercise-induced asthma, shortness of breath or wheezing that is quickly getting worse, or if there is no improvement after using an inhaler your child has been prescribed. 

The female athlete triad is a combination of menstrual cycle changes, disordered eating, and decreased bone density. It is caused by an athlete’s energy output exceeding the calories that are being consumed by the athlete. It is more common in aesthetic sports like gymnastics and dance and sports that encourage being lean like track and swimming.

Your daughter may have female athlete triad if she experiences menstrual cycle changes, sudden weight loss, low energy, stress fractures or injuries that won’t heal, mood changes, difficulty focusing, cold intolerance, muscle cramps, or poor self-image. If you suspect that your daughter may have female athlete triad, it is important to see a doctor quickly.

Heat illness may occur when the body is unable to dissipate heat (cool off). The following factors contribute to heat illness:

  • history of exertional heat stroke
  • overweight or obese
  • inadequate hydration
  • intense or prolonged exercise with minimal breaks
  • high temperature, humidity or sun exposure along with exposure to similar conditions the previous day
  • clothing

If you suspect your child is suffering from heat illness, hydrate well with water or an electrolyte drink, remove all excess clothing, and help the cooling process with ice and fans. If your child doesn’t recover within one hour you should call the doctor.

Osteomyelitis is an infection in the bone usually caused by a bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus. Although osteomyelitis can occur at any age, it is more common in young children.

To prevent osteomyelitis, practice good hygiene and thoroughly clean all cuts and scrapes.

Call your child’s doctor if your child has sudden onset of fever, pain and swelling of a bone or joint, an injury becomes more painful, swollen, or is not healing as expected, or your child refuses to walk suddenly and without injury. 

An overuse injury happens to a bone, muscle, or tendon when the body cannot deal with the stress an area of the body is experiencing.

Overuse injuries result in pain but are not associated with a sudden injury, like a fall. They most commonly occur in areas that are used over and over, and the area may look swollen or feel warm.  The pain occurs when the motion causing the problem is performed.

The most important way to treat the injury is to rest the body part being hurt. If rest and ice doesn’t decrease the pain, or if the pain comes back after returning to activity, you need to call your child’s doctor.

A stress fracture is an injury to a bone caused by repeated stress to that bone.

It is believed that most stress fractures are caused by too much stress applied too quickly for the bone to fully heal. With continued stress, the weakened bone may break (fracture). It is important to allow the stress fracture to fully heal before returning to activity.

To protect the injured bone, your doctor may place your child on crutches or use other tools, such as a walking boot, to help the stress fracture heal. Physical Therapy is also important in treating stress fractures.

If you think your child has a stress fracture, you should call the doctor. 

Learn more about stress fractures.