Sport and physical activity is the foundation for growing a happy, healthy human. It is fundamental for social development, building self-esteem and testing their resilience, not to mention the endorphins rush!
It is not uncommon however, for kids that are exercising, training and playing sport often to incur some minor injuries and aches and pains.
What is an overuse injury?
An overuse injury is a form of “micro-trauma”, where the body has been used repeatedly but hasn’t been given the opportunity to heal and recover properly. In short, overuse injuries are a result of movement “over and over again”, for example an overarm throw for a pitcher in baseball or stopping, starting and jumping abruptly in netball. These movements are often a big part of the exercise or activity and can wear out or cause deterioration to the joints, bones, muscles and ligaments associated with the movement. Overuse injuries in children usually occur as a result of growth spurts and physical activity.
What is the difference between overuse and a normal injury?
A normal injury, or acute injury, is the result of a “one-off” action that went too far. For example, a torn muscle or completely broken bone.
The most common overuse injuries in children include:
Severs’ Disease: stems from the heel, where the Achilles tendon is pulling on the “active” growth section (cartilage is changing to bone)
Osgood – Schlatters: commonly associated with the knee, during growth spurts and physical activity the tendons tighten, causing inflammation and mini fractures to the top of the bone
Stress Fracture: a small crack in the bone, caused by tight muscles, gain in body weight or excessive movement
Jumper’s Knee: inflamed patella tendon (can be felt below knee-cap) from jumping, landing, changing direction and stopping abruptly
Each of these overuse injuries can cause the child a great deal of pain and may even cause them to become disinterested in their chosen activities if not dealt with appropriately. The first step is always to seek professional advice from your physiotherapist if your child is experiencing ongoing pain. Usually, the treatment for these injuries is simply to rest and strengthen the body while it changes.
The team at Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy are experienced in a range of areas including injury rehabilitation and management. Contact the practice today on (02) 4721 7798, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to book an appointment.