Why have sports injuries increased?


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Giancarlo Stanton is one of several athletes that has become victim of the increase of injuries in modern sports

By: Matthew Mendives, editor

Over the past 20 years, sports injuries are on the rise. Many people have started to question why they have increased.

In 1998, MLB players spent a little over 20,000 days on the DL combined. Just 17 years later in 2015, MLB players spent more than 30,000 days on the DL. That’s means there has been a 10,000 day increase in less than 20 years! Players getting hurt as a whole are up, but elbow problems are a notable one that has seen an increase. The amount of days spent on the DL for elbow injuries has nearly doubled from 5,263 in 1998 to 10,000 in 2015. This is a serious problem.

One reason sports injuries may have seen an increase is overworking from a young age. According to the St.Louis post, 3.5 million kids 14 and younger are treated for injuries every year! They also claim that half of them are preventable. Having serious injuries at that young of an age can create ongoing problems for the rest of your life. These injuries often happen because children aren’t given any time off, between travel teams, school teams rec teams and off season workouts . If children have just one season off, they could have time to rest up and that can help avoid these problems.

Another reason sports injuries may have increased is children becoming one sport athletes at a young age. Playing only one sport can lead to overuse injuries in muscles and tendons. Different sports require different parts of the body, and playing multiple sports allows for you to workout different parts of the body. Many parents make their kids single sports athletes so they have a higher chance of getting a scholarship. The numbers don’t back this up. According to USA today 71 percent of DI football athletes were multi-sports athletes. Out of all of Alabama’s recruits, 84 percent of them were multi-sport athletes, according to NFHS.com.

Giancarlo Stanton is a player who has dealt with constant injuries.In 2019 he played just 18 games and had to sit a win or go home game in the playoffs. According to MLB.com, Stanton played three sports as a kid, baseball, basketball and football. This means he was playing all year around without any breaks. Not having any breaks as a kid created problems he’s dealing with today. If he had only played two sports, like baseball and football, he likely would not be dealing with all these injuries.

Derrick Rose is another athlete who has had valuable years taken way from him due to injury. The most games he ever played in a game is 66 since tearing his ACL in 2012. Rose played basketball early and often to avoid trouble on the streets of Chicago. Of course, playing sports to avoid trouble is not a bad thing, but he only played basketball. Playing only one sports for such a long time lead to the injury problems we see today. Only playing basketball made it so he had too much pressure on the muscles needed for basketball by the time he came into the league, basically making him a ticking time bomb for injury.

ABC news did an interview with a medical director of the Institute for Sports Medicine at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. When asked about the increase in sports injuries, she responded, “Overuse injuries are increasing for a couple of reasons. Sports are much more competitive at an earlier age, and many children are playing one sport year-round now. They’re not getting enough time off for their bodies to recover. Or, they might be playing three sports at once, and what that amounts to is that they never get a day off.”