Treating Injuries in Young Athletes

Have Active Kids? Don't Miss This!

By Dr. Alicia Lazeski May 1, 2017

As part of a healthy lifestyle, adults and adolescents are encouraged to participate in physical fitness at least 150 minutes per week per the US Guidelines. Frequently, this recommendation is met by participating in organized sports, particularly in the adolescent population where close to 30 million kids aged 6-18 participate in team sports. Although organized sports provide innumerable benefits to the adolescent athlete such as fostering team work, developing a strong work ethic, and teaching the athlete to set goals, there are some disadvantages including injuries. Fortunately, most injuries can be prevented and/or treated quickly.


The majority of athletes that I treat are suffering from back pain, however my colleagues at OrthoCarolina also treat other sports-related injuries such as fractures, overuse injuries and muscular strains. The first step is to fully examine the athlete; this may include testing the athlete’s mobility, strength, sensation and reflexes. X-rays of the affected body part may be obtained. Once a diagnosis is reached, most injuries will initially be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, ice and relative rest. Once the athlete is pain-free at rest, physical therapy will be introduced to help strengthen supportive musculature and establish proper movement patterns that are essential to preventing further injury. Finally, the physicians at OrthoCarolina will help the athlete gradually return to sport-specific training and competition.


Injury prevention is also important in the adolescent athlete. The most important aspect of injury prevention is allowing adequate rest from training. Not only should an athlete allow a rest period each week, but if possible take time off from their sport for a few weeks to months each year (off-season). Additionally, delaying sports specialization can help prevent the onset of over-use injuries. Finally, it is important for the athlete to participate with proper warm-up/cool-down regimens and gradual progressions for sport-specific activities.

For more information on treating youths  and the other services that OrthoCarolina offers visit: To make an appointment with Dr. Lazeski call 704-323-2225

About Dr. Lazeski

Dr. Lazeski is a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, providing comprehensive non-operative care for neck pain, back pain and musculoskeletal injuries. She attended the Florida Institute of Technology earning two bachelor's degrees in chemistry and biochemistry followed by SUNY Upstate Medical University, earning her medical degree. She went on to complete a one-year preliminary medicine internship at UHS Wilson Memorial in Binghamton NY and a three year residency specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Carolinas Rehabilitation - Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte NC. Her clinical interests include myofascial pain, electrodiagnosis, MSK ultrasound, and utilizing a multidisciplinary team to treat non-operative diagnoses.