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Lack of Rest Causes Spike in Athlete Injuries

In 2013 The New York Daily News reported that many orthopedic surgeons have noticed a disturbing trend—a serious spike in debilitating knee injuries among teenaged athletes. Dr. Frank Cordasco calls it "an epidemic." Cordasco said that he and his team are operating on 200 to 300 kids a year, unheard of even a decade ago. Since the year 2000, there has also been a fivefold increase in the number of serious shoulder and elbow injuries among youth baseball and softball players.

What's causing this epidemic of reconstructive joint surgeries? The article put the blame on one factor: the lack of rest. In other words, "The current emphasis on playing one sport all year long leaves no time for muscles and joints to recover from the microtrauma that occurs during practice and play."

But this "epidemic" isn't unique to younger athletes. In 2013, 19 Major League Baseball pitchers had Tommy John surgery—or the reconstruction of the ligament in the elbow. In the first six weeks of the 2014 season, 18 more pro pitchers have been slated for the same surgery. Again, doctors are pointing to the "overuse and no time off in the formative teen years" as the main reason for the spike in Tommy John surgeries.

Possible Preaching Angles: Sabbath; Rest; Busyness—Our bodies and our souls were not designed for overuse. All week long our bodies and souls need to recover from the "microtraumas" of life. God's gift of the Sabbath is designed to help us take the time we need to recover.

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