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Post COVID-19 Return to Sport

06/07/2021 Posted in Sports

As the city opens, and youth sports and recreation resume, it is important for parents, coaches, and children alike to be aware of the hidden stresses a year with less organized activity can have on young bodies. As physiotherapists, through this pandemic, we have observed the benefits of unstructured play increasing creativity, social problem solving, teamwork, and often the fun of movement!

Now, with fewer COVID-related restrictions, many children are happily returning to organized sport with great enthusiasm, and this is wonderful! However, extended periods of relative inactivity in a sport can lead to a detraining effect that may not be easily recognized, and equally, the growing body is often unprepared for the demands of a sudden return to high-level training due to its changes in its length, weight and centre of gravity…. the combination of these factors, if unaddressed resulting in the perfect recipe for overuse injury.

With the arrival of summer and reduced pandemic restrictions, at Calgary Youth Physio we have seen a resurgence in overuse sport injuries due to sudden overuse and want to help kids by providing safe ways to prepare their bodies for getting back to the field of recreation and competition.

Some of the most common post-COVID injuries youth are experiencing include: 

  • Common stress injury #1- Tendonitis and growth centre pain/injury from excessive repetitive strain (too much, too soon)
  • Common stress injury #2- Muscle and ligament strain/sprain due to more rapid and higher force loads (body may not be adequately prepared for the technical, strength and coordination requirements of the skill)
  • Common coordination injury #3- Fractures and other acute injuries that occur when timing, coordination, and muscle balances have changed)

If your child is returning to high-intensity organized sport, they should be well screened to ensure they do so in a safe and healthy way. If they have already made the return and are experiencing pain, please reach out to a healthcare provider that specializes in children to assess their injury. 

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