We always have the best intentions for our children when it comes to sport, and we never want to see them sidelined because of an injury.
This blog will highlight the 3 most common sporting injuries that physiotherapists see in children. For each injury, we will discuss what could be the cause of and how to limit the risk in your child. We have also included some handy links to extra information, videos and special classes we run for teens.
1.Bone Growth Plate Pain (Apophysitis / Epiphysitis)
You may have heard this more commonly referred to as Osgood-Schlatter’s, Sinding-Larsen-Johansson or Severe’s Disease. Both conditions are a form of bone growth plate pain, with the different terms; apophysitis and epiphysitis. The difference between the two is referring to the method by which the irritation is occurring, either from traction or compression. Children who have recently gone through a growth spurt are more at risk of experiencing this pain, because muscles do not grow / stretch as quick as we grow. Therefore as your children are highly active in sport, these muscles are excessively pulling or compressing the growth plate causing pain. David, has spoken about management and triggers with this type of injury before (http://myphysiosa.com.au/physiotherapist-growing-pains/) If you are concerned about your child’s pain and think could be because of a recent growth spurt, please don’t hesitate to bring them into one of our physiotherapists so we can help you and help them keep playing.
2. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Knee Injuries
ACL injuries are commonly linked to an older age group, however there is an increasing amount of presentations in 12-15 year olds with ACL injuries. This increase could be due to many children in this age bracket playing most nights of the week, for an array of teams over different skill levels. This increase of demand of the body requires more stability and control focused training, see (http://myphysiosa.com.au/common-afl-football-injuries-can-prevent-physio-sa-adelaide-sports-physiotherapist/ ) for more info on football specific injuries and preventing them. Many athletes, not just children have poor hip and knee control, a significant and changeable risk factor associated with ACL injuries.
Also known as a rolled ankle is the most common injury we see as a result of sport. For many ankle injuries, it has occurred as a result of an external factor – i.e. stepping on another player’s foot, landing from a jump or running on an uneven surface. See (http://myphysiosa.com.au/ankle-pain-common-causes-physio-adelaide/) for more in depth look at ankle injuries . Recovery time for an ankle injury is mostly dependent on severity and type of injury, however once that ankle is injured, reoccurrence of re-injuring the ankle is increased, if not properly rehabilitated.
Using a a wobble board or also known as a balance disc can help reduce the likelihood of reoccurance and aid in strengthening the weakened areas, see for some suggested exercises (http://myphysiosa.com.au/how-to-use-a-balance-disc-foam-roller-an-adelaide-sports-trainers-workshop-by-my-physio-sa/). A wobble board is effective at improving proprioception, a feature of the body which when trained decreases the risk of ankle injury.
The risk of ankle injury is dependent on the type of sport and the level of competition – however ankle strapping (either brace or tape), is the go to method. Strapping an ankle for prevention prior and especially after injury occurrence so return to sport can be excelled.
Please refer to the below videos for info on bracing and taping.
The risk of any of the above injuries can be decreased when your teenager is stronger, more flexible and has good control of their growing body.
Targeted strength and conditioning exercises with agility exercises is a great option for teens.
Classes such as our after school Teens Strength and Conditioning classes run by our Exercise Physiologist are extremely relevant and suitable to address these possible control issues.
Please follow the following link to find out more http://myphysiosa.com.au/teens-strength-conditioning-classes-mount-barker/ or call 1300 189 289 to book.
David Wilson, myPhysioSA Physiotherapist