The effect of an impact sport and a repetitive action sport on the skeletal system

Impact sport and repetitive action sport can be extremely beneficial to the skeletal system of a young performer however they also have their pitfalls. A high impact sport is like gymnastics or basketball, these sports can cause extra stress on the joints of the legs and the spine, where as a low impact sport is any sport which has less strain on the weight bearing joints, examples of a low impact sport are swimming or jogging.

A repetitive sport is when a specific joint or joints perform a movement repeatedly in any activity like in golf or tennis. The main beneficial effect of an impact sport and repetitive action sport is the increase in bone density, because when a person regularly exercises more calcium phosphate and calcium carbonate is deposited making the bone stronger. By participating in a high impact sport this causes microscopic fibers in the bone to shatter and grow back stronger.

This is beneficial because it makes the person less prone to injury and protects the growth plate from getting damaged. As a person gets older the bone contains less collagen and becomes less dense, causing easily damaged brittle bones; however if a person has maintained strong bones throughout their life through exercise the stronger they will remain. Joints become increasingly stable and healthy because the tendons and muscles around the joints strengthen, this is positive as it prevents injury especially dislocations.

The muscles strengthening also benefits posture and balance, especially strength in the core muscles in the abdominals benefits this, this I crucial in a young performer because it prevents lower back pain and pressure on the back in later life. Impact sport and a repetitive action sport help maintain weight in a young performer which puts less stress on skeletal system and prevents sedentary lifestyle in young people that can lead to health problems like osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is caused by low bone density and a deterioration of bone tissue, making the bone prone to fractures as it weakens the bone.

A young person participating in sport is reducing the risk of osteoporosis by reducing weight gain and maintaining bone density through exercise and not having a sedentary lifestyle. Another illness sport can help prevent is osteoarthritis, because when someone regularly participates in exercise their articular cartilage thickens and osteoarthritis loss of articular cartilage at one or more joints. It is most common in weight bearing joints so regular exercise to keep excessive weight off these joints is an effective way of preventing it. There is also increased risk by a young performer participating in high impact or repetitive sports.

Although osteoarthritis can be reduced through weight loss by these activities the risk could also be increased through these activities, wear and tear of articular cartilage can occur especially when the person has an injury or poor technique, it can speed up the wearing out of the cartilage. It is shown that more people who play high impact and repetitive sports are at more risk of getting osteoarthritis than those individuals who play low impact sport. Children and young adults have a region between the diaphysis and each epiphysis called the growth plate, which is responsible for promoting longitudinal bone growth.

There is an increased risk of growth plate damage in high impact sport, it is very delicate and a major impact can cause growth plate fractures, which would stunt the growth of the young performer. Major injuries are more likely to happen to a young performer in an impact sport than a young person living a sedentary lifestyle, and big injuries when young can lead to arthritis later on in life. Another disadvantage to getting an injury early on in life is it could lead to a sedentary lifestyle because they are unable to participate in the sport any more; leading a sedentary lifestyle can then lead to osteoporosis.

Repetitive sports often overuse particular joints that can lead to chronic injuries like, tennis elbow, which is the inflammation where the tendon attaches to the humerus. In conclusion there are more beneficial effects to a young performer’s skeletal system when participating in high impact and repetitive sports, as it improves muscle and bone strength as well as reducing risk of osteoporosis by reducing weight gain. There are risks for the young performer but they are not usually serious and if the exercise is carried out properly and safely, it should minimise the risk of injury.

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