For years, injuries in kids and adolescents have often been belittled and down played.
However, with research suggesting that 40% of all childhood injuries are sport related, a serious approach to all injuries is a must. As female participation rates also begin to even out with that of males across Australia, these sporting injury figures in our kids will only continue to climb.
If a child’s injury is not attended to quickly enough or taken seriously, the following implications can occur:
– It can lead to a delay in the injury healing as well as a delay back to the sporting field
– It can turn a simple, easy to treat injury into something that may be harder to treat
– It can affect long-term musculoskeletal health as they continue to grow
These kinds of sporting injuries can fall under two different categories:
– Micro: as a result of repetitive use or trauma
– Macro: as a result of a single, traumatic event such as a fracture
Overuse injuries are very common in children, particularly those who have very busy schedules and who play multiple sports. Generally, children like this fall victim to constant overuse injuries as the body as little time to rest and repair.
Overuse injuries are also seen in young athletes who compete at elite levels. Usually, their natural gift at their chosen sport(s) will be encouraged by multiple organisations (local school, local club, representative club) and as a result the child will be overloaded with exercise.
As kids have years ahead of them to enjoy sport, here are some tips that can help to reduce overuse injuries in young, enthusiastic kids:
– Emphasise the importance of stretching and flexibility
– Check that all protective sporting equipment are still in working order (helmets, shin pads etc.)
– Encourage your child to gently exercise or practice about a month before their sporting season begins
– Allow your child to feel confident telling their coach or trainer when they need a rest
It’s best to get any pain or a suspected injury in a child checked out by your local physiotherapist. They will be able to determine exactly what may be going on just by listening to a child’s sporting history and an accurate description of the symptoms and circumstances of the injury.
If your child, or a child you know may be overloading with exercise, book in an initial assessment with the team at Progressive Sports & Spinal Physiotherapy in Penrith by calling (02) 4721 7798.