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growing pains

Growing Pains in young footballers

Growing pains (Traction Apophysitis) can occur in children following a period of rapid growth and/ or increase in sporting activity. During periods of rapid skeletal growth (think teenagers suddenly almost growing overnight) the cartilage within long bones of the body is weaker and becomes more susceptible to injury.

Growing pains most commonly affect tendon attachments at these sites: the heel (Sever’s disease), below the knee cap (Osgood-Schlatter’s) and at the base of the knee cap (Sindig-Larsen-Johansson). Often these children participate in football as well as other running and jumping sports.

Onset is usually gradual with pain over the areas mentioned above. Unfortunately, often growing pains mean the child ends up resting from their sport. However, rest alone often does not solve the issue, with pain returning when the child attempts to return to activity.  Bone often grows quicker than the muscle has time to stretch and adapt causing increased tension at the tendon attachment which can cause pain to develop. We cannot control this!

However, we can have some control over other contributing factors such as;

  • Training load- how frequently/ intense training is, is it varied and balanced with good emphasis on technique and rest?
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Poor capacity of muscles to deal with rapid skeletal growth

Obtaining an early diagnosis and appropriate management plan should reduce the impact on a child’s participation in sport.  An individualised rehabilitation program should be devised with the help of your physiotherapist to address the factors outlined above. A physio will also advise on which activities to temporarily limit and which to continue with and future training strategies.

lisa

Lisa
x

Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
MSc MACP MHCPC MCSP 

Emma James Physio

Football injuries in kids

Playing football has many benefits, however, as with all sports there is some risk of injury. According to research (Faude et al, 2013) this risk tends to increase with age throughout the age groups.

Research suggests Between 60 and 90 % of all football injuries were traumatic and about 10-40 % were overuse injuries. Most injuries (60-90 %) were located in the lower extremities with the ankle, knee and thigh being most affected.

The most common injury types were strains, sprains, and contusions (bruises).

The injuries we see the most in clinic among young footballers include:

  • Ankle sprains
  • Hamstring strains
  • Groin strains
  • Knee injuries (from bruises to cartilage and ligament injuries)
  • Quadricep (thigh) bruises and strains
  • ‘Growing pains’

Research suggests about half of all football incurred injuries led to an absence from sport of less than 1 week, one third resulted in an absence between 1 and 4 weeks, and 10 to 15 % of all injuries were severe (including, at the extreme, an anterior cruciate ligament tear which can lead to over 9 months out of football).

football-injuriesIt is important to see an experienced and Chartered Sports Physio as soon as possible after an injury to ensure:

  1. Correct diagnosis, treatment and management
  2. That the injury correctly repairs and does not return when the child resumes playing football and/ or give long term issues

 

Treatment for most acute injuries sustained during playing football includes:

  • PRICE – protect, rest, ice, compression, elevation
  • Rehabilitation – range of movement exercises and strengthening
  • Advice on gradual return to play
  • Analysis of training amount and type, addition of regular strength training if needed, modifying training amount to ensure full recovery and limit risk of future issues.

The timing and exact nature of these interventions depends on the injury sustained and the individual player and, as such, we would recommend you always consult a Sports Physio.

Treatment of overuse injuries (often referred to as ‘growing pains’) is similar but may also include more analysis of the child’s biomechanics, strength and training routine to try to identify why the issue has occurred and what can be done to resolve things and get the child back to playing football.

More Information:

lisa

Lisa
x

Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
MSc MACP MHCPC MCSP 

Emma James Physio

Growing Pains

Growing pains (Traction Apophysitis) can occur in children following a period of rapid growth and/ or increase in sporting activity. During periods of rapid skeletal growth (think teenagers suddenly almost growing overnight) the cartilage within long bones of the body is weaker and becomes more susceptible to injury.

Growing pains most commonly affect tendon attachments at these sites: the heel (Sever’s disease), below the knee cap (Osgood-Schlatter’s) and at the base of the knee cap (Sindig-Larsen-Johansson). Often these children participate in running and jumping sports (but not always).

Onset is usually gradual with pain over the areas mentioned above. Unfortunately, often growing pains mean the child ends up resting from their sport. However, rest alone often does not solve the issue with pain returning when the child attempts to return to activity.

Bone often grows quicker than the muscle has time to stretch and adapt causing increased tension at the tendon attachment which can cause pain to develop. We cannot control this!

paediactricsHowever, we can have some control over other contributing factors such as;

  • Training load- how frequently/ intense training is, is it varied and balanced with good emphasis on technique and rest?
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Poor capacity of muscles to deal with rapid skeletal growth

Obtaining an early diagnosis and appropriate management plan should reduce the impact on a child’s participation in sport. An individualised rehabilitation program should be devised with the help of your physiotherapist to address the factors outlined above. A physio will also advice on which activities to temporarily limit and which to continue with and future training strategies.

More Information:

lisa

Lisa
x

Blog post by Lisa
Senior Physiotherapist
MSc MACP MHCPC MCSP 

Emma James Physio

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