Participation in sports is more and more popular with children taking part in a variety of sports all year round. It is not uncommon for young children to train or participate in games up to 20 hours a week. Engaging in sporting activities at a young age has numerous health benefits, but they’re also at increased risks of sports injury if they do too much activity, particularly if they are going through a growth spurt at the time. Following is a list of five, sporting injuries that can affect children who participate in a lot of sport.
- Shoulder impingement.
Shoulder impingement happens in children who do a lot of racket sports or throwing activities such as cricket or track and field throwing events. It happens because a tendon in the shoulder gets squashed between the arm bone and the shoulder blade. It hurts lifting your arm up the to side, putting on clothes and sleeping on that shoulder. Physiotherapy can help to correct this problem such as using ultrasound to reduce the pain and swelling in the shoulder as well as exercises to strengthen the shoulder.
- Low back pain
Low back pain is common in children who do a lot of activity on hard ground. It tends to be more common in the summer when pictures are hard or when playing sports on concrete. It is most often not a serious problem and is just some pain in the muscles of the back. Physiotherapy can help with soft tissue massage and stretching exercises to alleviate the pain,
- Knee pain
Knee pain in children s to affect the front of the name where the quad muscle inserts into the shin bone. It tends to occur in slightly older boys around 14-16 years old as they go through a growth spurt. As the bone grows the muscles can’t keep up and get stretched and end up putting more tension into the tendon where it attaches to the bone. You end up with a painful swollen bump at the top of the shin bone. This is called Osgood shlatters disease. Once you have this problem you need to reduce your activity levels especially on hard ground for a couple of weeks whilst Icing the front of the knee. Stretches for the quad muscles should also be done to help them lengthen. Typically this knee problem will go away once the child stops growing.
- Heel pain
Heel pain in children is known as sever’s disease. Much like in knee pain, the bones grow quicker than the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon thus more tension is placed through the tendon into the heel bone causing pain and swelling. It tends to happen in slightly younger children around 11-12 years old as they are going through a growth spurt.Once you have this problem you need to reduce your activity levels especially on activity hard ground for a couple of weeks whilst Icing the heel bone. Stretches for the calf muscles should also be done to help them lengthen. The physio can also do soft tissue release to the calf and ultrasound to the heel bone. Typically this heel pain will go away once the child stops growing.
- Hip and groin pain
Hip pain in children is much less common however children who do a lot of sports can complain of groin pain. This groin pain in sporting children is called osteitis pubis. It can often be quite a complex and lengthy problem for a physio to sort out. Warning signs are prolonged and recurring tightness in the groin, before, during and after exercise combined and a sudden increase in activity levels. If you have noticed groin stiffness along with an increase in the amount of sport your are doing (particularly in pre-season training or after a Christmas break) do not ignore it, see a physio who can help you get it sorted out.