Sports Injuries in Children
Just like us, children who are active and involved in sport are likely to get an injury at some point.
Running, jumping, climbing, hopping and skipping are all activities that place loads on the musculoskeletal system and from time-to-time injuries will happen. However, unlike adults, children recover quickly and in most cases after a short break will be back winning the field!
Injuries unique to children
One particular injury that is unique to children is a growth plate injury, where the soft growing cartilage on the ends of the bones get over strained, causing pain and discomfort in that area during activity. Common sites for this type of injury are the knee, where it is called Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, and at the back of the heel, where it is called Calcaneal Apophysitis or Severs disease.
These injuries sound quite serious, and use of the somewhat catastrophic term ‘disease’ doesn’t help, but in fact a relative period of rest from activities which are causing pain usually settles things down and the condition is self-limiting as the growth plates harden with the onset of puberty. Of course persuading a child to do less sport and running around can be a challenge but if you explain that even elite sports players have to take time off due to injury that often strikes a chord!
Keeping your kid active
It is obviously important to keep youngsters as active as possible and fortunately it is usually possible to do other exercise activities such as cycling and swimming which do not put as high loads on the injured area during recovery.
Wearing supportive footwear and fitting orthotic insoles can all help to offload the injured area, relieve pain and promote healing so that the young athlete can return to sport more quickly.
How I can help
It is important to be aware of other causes of foot and leg pain in active children and to get your child fully checked out if they have an injury. As a Podiatrist working with young athletes I am trained to recognise the difference between the various different causes of foot and leg pain in children in order to advise concerned parents and the child on the best course of treatment. Working with you the parent and the child I can get quickly to the cause of the injury, setting up a treatment plan to get your young superstar quickly back on the winner’s podium!
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