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Study: Girls more prone to overuse injuries than boys

Girls are at a greater risk of overuse injuries in high school sports, according to a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Track and field and field hockey caused the most instances of overuse injuries for girls, according to a new study. | Photo: Mom2han8, Wikimedia Commons
Track and field and field hockey caused the most instances of overuse injuries for girls, according to a new study. | Photo: Mom2han8, Wikimedia Commons

The study examined 3,000 male and female injuries over a seven-year period across 20 interscholastic sports. Overuse injuries include stress fractures, joint pain and tendonitis – ailments that occur when an athlete repeats the same motion for long periods of time.

The highest rate of overuse injuries occurred in girls track followed by girls field hockey. Overuse injuries in boys were found most in swimming and diving. The lower leg was the most common area for injury to occur, followed by the knee and the shoulder, according to the study.

The study was led by Dr. Thomas Best at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

“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 Best.

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

Click here to read a feature previously published in Coach and Athletic Director about dealing with overuse injuries.


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