If you are the parent of a teen who loves and participates in sports, loves to play video games, or plays a musical instrument, chances are you have dealt with some type of Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI) – an injury that occurs when too much stress is placed on a part of the body. The repetitive stress results in pain, swelling, inflammation and possible tissue damage. As its name implies, the stress occurs from repeated movements. RSIs include more than 100 different kinds of injuries resulting from repetitive wear and tear on the body.

In teens, overuse injuries most often occur at growth plates, the areas at the ends of bones where bone cells multiply rapidly, making the bones longer. Areas most affected by RSIs are the elbows, shoulders, knees, and heels.

Most RSI conditions found in teens are linked to the stress of repetitive motions at the computer or in sports. When stress occurs repeatedly over time, the body’s joints don’t have a chance to recover, and the joints and surrounding tendons and muscles become irritated and inflamed. Any repetitive movement can cause an injury – even (or especially) texting.

Teens may be especially susceptible to RSIs because of their rapid growth spurts during puberty. Nutritional factors may also play a role. Proper nutrition is essential for developing and maintaining strong muscles and bones and to keep up the energy levels growing teens need.

Symptoms of RSIs include:

  • tingling, numbness, or pain
  • clicking or popping
  • stiffness or soreness in the neck or back
  • feelings of fatigue or weakness in the arms or hands

If you notice any of these warning signs of RSIs in your teen, call to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors, today. Even if the symptoms seem to come and go, don’t ignore them as they may become more severe, lead to more serious conditions, and prevent your teen from doing the activities they love.