Youth sporting and growth-related issues

For many kids, being active is an essential part of their lives. In fact, it is recommended that all children aged 5 to 17 years old get 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity daily. Active play and sport form the backbone of many kids’ social and personal identities, whether during recess at school, on weekends with friends, or participating in organised sport. It is why a sporting or growth related injury can be so debilitating when they suddenly cannot be as physically active as they want or used to be.

Children are not mini adults, and the treatment approaches that work with adults do not always work with kids. There are also many conditions that only occur in children. Have confidence that your allied health professional has specific knowledge and experience treating children. Often a few sessions teaching exercises or collaborating together a plan to manage sporting commitments can be enough to settle an issue down. However, some conditions can require long term treatment (6-12 months). Usually, the sooner treatment begins the quicker the recovery will be.

Common conditions in active children and teens include:

  • Traction Apophysitis – overuse injuries at growth sites in the knee, ankle, elbow, hip, and
    foot. (e.g. Osgood-Schlatter disease, Severs disease, Little League Elbow)
  • Patellar Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) – overuse injury resulting in general knee pain
  • Ankle sprains – commonly called a rolled ankle. Often recover well but do need checking for
    fractures at the growth plates.

A proper exercise program is usually required to limit risk of becoming a reoccurring injury. There are also several conditions that require immediate medical care that may look similar to more common injuries. Any pain in the hip or knee, especially if combined with a limp needs immediate assessment to rule out serious issues.

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Nathan Skewes

Patrick Keogh

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