When managing and preventing injuries in children, a completely different physiotherapy approach is required. Children’s bones are still growing, therefore the presence of growth plates creates a group of conditions unique to children. Here are a few of the common conditions we see in children:
The most common cause of heel pain found in children is Severs Disease. This is caused by traction of the Achilles tendon in the growth plate around the heel, and usually occurs around the age of 10 in children competing in a lot of running sports (e.g. footy, basketball, athletics). Boys are also slightly more prone to developing Sever’s disease than girls. Symptoms include pain around the heel especially during exercise, limping and swelling around the heel.
PHYSIOTHERAPY management can include:
- education on managing symptoms
- advice on managing sport or if a period of rest is required
- soft tissue release
- swelling management.
Osgood-Schlatter’s Syndrome is the most common cause of knee pain found in children around the age of 12-15. The patella tendon which attaches the knee cap to the shinbone becomes thickened and inflamed, leading to pain, and usually occurs during a “growth spurt”. This is a period of fast growth in the child when bones, tendons and muscles are all changing rapidly. Symptoms include pain and swelling around knee, tenderness to touch, and a history of physical activity and fast growth.
PHYSIOTHERAPY can include:
- education on management of symptoms
- advice on pain and swelling relief
- stretching/strengthening exercises to minimise time away from sport
Ankle sprains are a really prevalent injury in children playing impact sport. The most common sprain is an inversion sprain, when the foot and ankle turn inwards, causing a tear in the ligaments on the outside of the foot. Symptoms can include pain, swelling and tenderness to touch.
PHYSIOTHERAPY can include
- RICE (rest ice elevation compression)
- ultrasound to reduce swelling
- ankle strengthening
- balance and return to sport exercises
Physiotherapy can also assist in the management of various other childhood injuries/conditions, including fractures, postural issues, tendon and ligament sprains and general muscular aches and pains. If you have any concerns with your children, contact us today and book in with one of our physio’s. We would be happy to assess their needs and help them back to their normal life! In more complex cases, we refer on to our network of specialised Paediatric physiotherapists.