During the past several decades athletic activity has become a more common cause of injury among children, teenagers, and adults. In fact, millions of sports and recreational-related injuries occur each year. More than half of them occur between the ages of 5 and 24 years-old and require treatment by a doctor. These statistics most likely underestimate the problem because many athletes avoid medical attention or the injuries go unreported. Athletes may not seek medical care until an injury causes significant pain or in some way limits their ability to play. Sports with high injury rates include football, wrestling, gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and track.
Sports injuries have increased due to the rise in the number of young athletes playing sports, the development of overaggressive training programs, year-round game schedules, and participation in multiple sports in one season. The cost of medical care for injured athletes has risen with the number of sports injuries. Billions of dollars are required to treat sports injuries each year. More importantly, an injury in a young athlete can potentially end an athletic career early and become a source of life-long disability.