As the year draws to a close and we begin to wrap-up our various social and community groups, it is a great time to take stock of our family’s physical inventory. We breathe a sigh of relief as school and club sport draws to an end. It’s now time to rest and recover from the long year of sport. As parents, we are hopeful that little niggles will naturally heal over the break, in time for the New Year.
Your ‘niggles’ may need manual techniques and strengthening to avoid physical limitations.
The Christmas break is a great opportunity to address niggles and seek a professional physio assessment, to eliminate any physical limitations that might cause injuries to recur.
With adolescents, a large number of injuries occur due to the combination of growth and ever increasing opportunities to play higher level and higher volume sport.
What do we mean by that?
In the teen years, as the body grows, the ability to control movement and stabilise joints safely during sport is challenged by the fact that muscles have to constantly learn strength at their new length. It only takes miniscule changes in size or length for the whole body to be wobbly. This is why children and adolescents can look a bit uncoordinated with their movement.
Nothing is wrong with that, it is a normal part of growth.
So where does the problem lie?
The problem is that coinciding with this physical stage, adolescents are often involved in multiple sports at school and at club level. The amount they are playing increases with their ability and enthusiasm. They get fitter and their performance increases. This encourages more participation and also the overall volume (amount of time doing sport) and intensity (quality and level of exertion). Some young bodies cope well with this, but for others it is an overload on their developing musculoskeletal system.
Poor core stability, periods of slight incoordination and high volume of sport equals high injury risk.
Injuries don’t have to present as a traumatic event. Some injuries begin with the teen just having a bit of a sore back occasionally. Or a little bit of knee pain sometimes. Or a shoulder that might not reach back as far as the other side.
If your teen continues to have problems with the same body part or has to miss parts of training due to pain, it may be time to seek a professional opinion from your Physiotherapist.
This time of year is the perfect time to address injuries.
This time of year gives you a chance to have the injury or movement problem assessed. We can identify weaknesses, restrictions of movement due to tight growing muscles, look at postural problems before any permanent problems arise all without regular sport to take away focus or time.
Summer is a great time to work on core stability exercises and stretch because teenagers have the time. Also without organised sport they have more than enough energy to focus on getting their body into the best shape for the sporting challenges of the coming year.
Come in to see us at Kooyong Physiotherapy Centre to take physical inventory and be in the best shape for 2018.