Saturday, 21 September 2013 16:45

Adolescents in sport

by Sam Ziman Senior Physiotherapist 

There is a unique subset of sporting injuries that affect younger athletes, these conditions are very common and relate to the growing bone and the affects of growth on the muscles and tendons

Firstly the main point about growth is that as the bone lengthens in size during a rapid growth spurt, the muscles and tendons are not lengthening at the same rate and therefore exposed to an increased level of stretch. This can lead to pain and is also a cause of many muscle and tendon injuries we see in the younger athlete.

While an adult may suffer from a muscle strain, the younger athlete is more likely to develop an apophysitis at the attachment of the muscle to the bone or an avulsion fracture.
An apophysitis is is a traction of the tendon on the bone usually from overuse such as an increase in running. The most common sites are around the pelvis and at the ischial tuberosity where the hamstrings insert. This can lead to an avulsion fracture where a small piece of the bone is pulled away.

What can be done?

Ice can be useful for pain relief, Strengthening exercises under the guidance of a physiotherapist are important and most importantly a reduction in activity is usually required. The young athlete does not always need to stop activity but needs to reduce the frequency and duration. An appropriate plan can be implemented under the guidance of a physiotherapist.

Usually the condition will settle with the above advice. Once the growth spurt stops, the muscles will catch up with the bones and the traction will reduce. It may recur with another growth spurt but this usually improves with the above measures.

Samantha Ziman

Sports physiotherapist

Over the next few weeks, I will aim to write about different conditions affecting the younger athlete and appropriate treatment.


Read 5111 times Last modified on Monday, 22 December 2014 18:59