Injury Prevention in Youth Athletes

Injury Prevention in Youth Athletes

More than 50% of all high school students play a sport. Knee injuries are the most common injuries reported among young athletes, particularly ACL injuries, which account for more than 50% of high school athletic surgeries. Given the prevalence of knee injuries in youth sports, it is likely that you or someone you know has sustained a serious knee injury before graduating high school. Of those individuals that have had an ACL repair, it is likely that 20% will re-injure within 2 years. Many of these injuries result from non-contact incidents, such as stopping and cutting for a ball or a route. Young athletes are particularly at risk for injury as they grow, and bones, tendons, and ligaments are lengthening. While growing, their strength to height ratios are constantly changing. In the age of early sports specialization, it is not uncommon that adolescent athletes are playing a single sport year round with no other cross-training. It is imperative that as young athletes narrow their athletic focus that we give them the tools to prevent injury.

Seattle Pediatric Sports Medicine Group has developed an evidence-based functional warm-up program that can be done before practices or games to prepare all areas of the body for athletic participation and help prevent injury, particularly ACL injury during sports. This was designed by sports medicine physicians and physical therapists as a dynamic warm-up program for performance enhancement and prevention of injuries especially in soccer, but really for any sport that includes running, jumping, and pivoting.

This program includes the following 19 exercises that can be broken down into these four categories: dynamic mobility, strength, motor control, and agility. The dynamic warm-up can be completed in 15-20 minutes.
1. Open/Close Gait
2. Side Lunge
3. Cradle Walk
4. Quadriceps Stretch with Reach
5. Butt Kickers
6. Lunge with Rotation
7. Inch Worm
8. Rotating Side to Prone Plank
9. T’s
10. Double Leg Squat
11. Single Leg Kickstand Squat
12. Double Leg Squat Jump
13. Single Leg Anterior Deceleration
14. L Hops
15. Diagonal Hops
16. Partner Jump Bump
17. Diagonal Backward Shuffle
18. Cone Weave
19. Bounding

On the Seattle Pediatric Sports Medicine site, you may access handouts and videos of all 19 exercises. If you would like help implementing this in your routine, or your young athlete’s routine, schedule with one of our physical therapists today.



1. A Multisport Epidemiologic Comparison of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries in High School Athletics. Joseph A., Collins C., Henke N., Yard E., Fields S., and Comstock R. (2013). J Athl Train. Nov-Dec; 48(6): 810-817.

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Covid-19 Notice

3/27/2020 Covid-19 Notice:

On March 19th, we made the difficult, yet important decision to close both clinics, in order to do our part to flatten the curve. We will reopen the clinics part time on Monday, April 6th, with an emphasis on telemedicine. This will allow us to comply as much as possible with the governor's Stay Home Stay Healthy order if it is extended, while also meeting our obligation as essential infrastructure workers. According to Dr. Matos, an expert in biological surety and the management of select agent programs at federal facilities: "Physical therapists are essential in flattening the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic. They play a key role in keeping people they can help out of doctors' offices and ER's. This will not only free up the medical teams to treat those impacted by Covid-19, but also limit the exposure of those seeking the care of the physical therapist." To that end, we will focus on telemedicine, but also allow for select, necessary in-office treatments for low risk, healthy individuals. This will be a joint determination between you and your PT. Many, if not all of our patients, have come to appreciate the effectiveness and efficiency of the hands-on manual therapy techniques our physical therapists use to help relieve pain and improve function. So, we recognize that a telemedicine visit may not seem as appealing. At this time, telemedicine is the appropriate and safe way to continue your care without further interruption and your physical therapists are prepared to alter their approach in order to still provide effective care.

During our temporary closure, your physical therapists have been on unemployment and not able to contribute to our communities financially as they normally would like to. Getting back to work, providing your care will allow us to resume caring for you and our community. For every telemedicine visit we provide in April, the clinic will donate $5 to the following organizations:

Kelsea Cannon, PT- Westside Baby
Lauren Esmailka, PT- Treehouse
Elizabeth Rogers, PT- Rainier Valley Food Bank

We remain passionate about helping you improve and maintain the function of your movement system so that you can do the activities you love. I remain available for urgent (i.e. post-op care, acute injury, treatment needed to decrease/avoid use of NSAIDs and Opiods) in-clinic treatment and telemedicine treatment from now until April 6th. We invite you to follow/Like our  Facebook page, where I am offering complimentary weekly Pilates mat class on Wednesdays at 7am and foam roller class on Fridays at 7am. All are welcome to participate in these classes or view them anytime on our Facebook page.

Please contact me directly with any questions or concerns. If you are a current patient, you should have received an email from me with scheduling/rescheduling info. Be in touch with your PT to schedule your telemedicine visit. I am available via clinic phone (206-535-7356) and email ( We will update you here and our Facebook page as things change.

We are counting the days until we get to resume our work together both virtually and in the clinic! Thank you for your support of this small, locally-owned physical therapy private practice!

Elizabeth Rogers, PT

Owner, Elizabeth Rogers Pilates & Physical Therapy, PLLC

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