Overuse Injuries In Children

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 info@progressiverehab.com.au or click here to book an appointment.

Elin, is an alumni of St. Edward’s University and holder of a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, furthered her academic journey by attaining a Doctor of Physiotherapy from Macquarie University in 2022.

Her passion for sports, particularly football (soccer), is evident in both her academic pursuits and personal endeavors. Specialising in the comprehensive well-being of athletes, Elin focuses on restoring them to peak performance while actively preventing future injuries.

Elin’s professional expertise is centered on musculoskeletal rehabilitation, with a specific emphasis on addressing and preventing knee injuries. Her approach integrates expert treatment with a commitment to educating and empowering patients, fostering their active involvement in enhancing their health and overall quality of life.

As an active participant in NPL football with SD Raiders, Elin brings firsthand experience and a profound understanding of the sport’s demands. Beyond the field, she extends her influence by contributing sports coverage over the weekends.

Christopher (Chris) Han graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy, and then completed the Doctor of Physiotherapy program at Macquarie University in 2018. Chris is currently undertaking his PhD at the University of Sydney and Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in the field of low back pain and is due to complete this in early 2024. 

Chris is currently an assistant Physiotherapist for the NRL Referees. Chris has previous experience as the head Physiotherapist at Panthers Premier League Netball and a number of elite sporting athletes in the private setting.

Through Chris’ experiences, he has a particular interest in all areas of the body and musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports, vestibular rehabilitation, and Men’s Health (pre and post prostate surgery).

Suzanne graduated from Western Sydney University with a Bachelor of Health Science (Sports and Exercise Science) in 2015. She then went on to continue her studies at Macquarie University graduating from the Doctor of Physiotherapy post-graduate degree in June 2019.

Since graduating, Suzanne has worked in the local Penrith area in both private practice and Sports Physiotherapy. Suzanne has worked with sporting teams including Penrith District Netball Association, Mt Druitt Rangers (NPL), Penrith Valley Figure Skating Club, and local dance and cheer schools. 

Suzanne has a particular interest in working with artistic athletes including cheerleaders and dancers. She has a professional background in both cheer and dance and has previously worked as both a cheer coach and dance teacher. Suzanne’s previous experiences are an invaluable resource to her as a physiotherapist, as she has a thorough understanding of the level of physical fitness and skill acquisition that these athletes must have in order to be successful on stage and in competition.

Suzanne’s other areas of clinical interest reside in lower limb musculoskeletal injuries, spinal pathologies and women’s health.

Nathanial graduated as a physiotherapist in 2012 which saw him work in private practice and hospital settings gaining experience in all areas of physiotherapy including hand therapy, splinting/casting, pre/post-operative care, Men’s Health and general musculoskeletal, occupational and sports physiotherapy. Since then he has gone on to complete further studies in physiotherapy enabling him to be the only dual titled Musculoskeletal, Sports and Exercise Physiotherapist in Penrith.

Nathanial has a strong background in sports physiotherapy achieving accreditation with NSWIS as a service provider and working with many elite sports teams.

Nathanial has a particular interest in working with elite athletes, complex cases and in particular assessment and management of knee, hip and shoulder pain.

Andrea graduated from the Australian Catholic University completing her Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2018 and Master’s of Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2020. After graduating she attained accreditation with ESSA as an Exercise Physiologist.

During her studies she gained clinical experience in both hospital and private practice settings, in cardiac rehabilitation, neurological conditions, cancer and chronic musculoskeletal injuries.

Since working at Progressive, Andrea has a specialist interest in treating musculoskeletal injuries, helping people in the mid-late stage of rehab to get them to return to sport or work. As well as helping people manage chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis and diabetes.