Sports and physical activity are wonderful for child and adolescent health, fitness and self-esteem. Active youth benefit in many ways, but injury from sports and exercise can happen. Because they are still growing, they are vulnerable to unique kinds of sport injuries, that can limit participation and affect long term development and musculoskeletal growth.
Growth related and overuse injuries are most often associated with young athletes and sports related activities. Because kids and teens are still growing, they are at greater risk for injury than adults, whose musculoskeletal system is matured. Growth and overuse injuries affect ligaments, tendons, bones and growth plates. Generally, they happen over time when an athletic activity is repeated so often that the body does not have time to recover. Consequently, such injuries can lead to long-term problems and impaired growth if left untreated.
Common growth and overuse related injuries include: Apophyseal pain, Osgood-Schlatter’s Disease, Sever’s Disease, Little Leaguer’s Elbow, Growth Plate injuries (Gymnast’s Wrist), Jumper’s Knee (patellar tendonitis), Achilles tendonitis, Plantar fasciitis, Patellar Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS).
When young athletes and active kids complain of pain take notice. Your child may be vulnerable to some of these unique injuries. Our physiotherapy team is well versed in youth growth and overuse injuries. We are trained in sports injuries and addressing factors to improve sporting performance, such as flexibility, strength and control. Our team can modify training schedules and prescribe appropriate levels of safe activity. Rest, icing, elevation, taping or wearing supports or splints may complete the treatment plan.
A concussion is the most common type of brain injury. It is a blow to the head and neck that can affect the way the brain works. Concussions can happen at any time (fall or motor vehicle accident) but children involved in high impact sports like hockey and football are at an increased risk. Though concussions are a mild brain injury, they should be taken seriously. Common symptoms include nausea, headache, confusion, dizziness or memory problems. If you suspect your child may have suffered a concussion and are exhibiting some common symptoms you should seek medical treatment as quickly as possible.
Our physiotherapist will assess the severity of the injury and the stage of the recovery that your child is at. We will then advise on the protocol for stages of return to sport, school, and work activities. An assessment of visual tracking and reflexes, balance and an orthopaedic assessment of the cervical spine (neck), will all help determine the treatment plan for these areas of deficit during the recovery phase. Personalized neck and core strengthening programs along with cognitive and physical rest are cornerstone to concussion recovery.
Most soft tissue injuries happen in muscles, ligaments and tendons. Injuries often occur during sports and exercise, but sometimes simple activities can cause injury. Sprains and strains arise from acute injury caused by sudden trauma such as a fall, twist or blow to the body. Sprains and strains vary in severity from stretching that damages the ligament, muscle and/or tendon to partial or complete tearing of the tissue. Pain, bruising, swelling and inflammation are common symptoms of sprains, while pain, muscle spasm, muscle weakness, swelling, inflammation or cramping are common signs of strains.
A sprain is a stretch or tear of a ligament. Ankles, knees, wrists are most vulnerable to sprains. Strains are an injury to a muscle and/or tendon. Feet, legs and backs are most susceptible to strains.
If you suspect your child or teen has suffered a sprain or strain, the combination of rest, ice, compression and elevation can be started immediately. If symptoms persist for two or three days our physiotherapists can help with treatment options. Manual therapy, stretching, therapeutic taping, bracing, needling may be used to relieve pain, optimize strength and improve flexibility to prevent recurrent injury. Our team can communicate with teachers and coaches to discuss the modification of training schedules and appropriate levels of safe activity.
Fractures/Dislocations- Salter/Harris type, avulsions, post dislocation, patellar/kneecap dislocation, post-surgery rehabilitation, motor vehicle accident.