Importance of Treating and Preventing Kids Sports Injuries
Kids sports injuries are distressing but preventable. Graceville Physio sports physiotherapists not only treat children’s sporting injuries with care and ease, but provide personalised treatment plans to avoid new or recurring injuries.
Others simply misjudge their abilities and make mistakes. Our kids will account for many of those hospitalisations – either during youth games, school lessons or training to improve their skills. There are also many more that deal with unseen injuries and sprains that could benefit from sports physiotherapy.
It is said that as many as 36,000 Australians will end up in the hospital with some form of sporting injury. Competitive games and fierce rivalries can lead to some battered and broken bodies.
So what sort of kids sports injuries should parents be aware of and what can be done to treat or prevent them
What are the common injuries in children in Australia? If we let our children play the same sports as adults, with the same level of intensity, we should expect them to suffer from some of the same injuries. Children who play contact sports such as football or rugby will have a higher risk of major breaks or concussions. All children that play contact sport, should complete an assessment with a sports physiotherapist, to ensure that their growing bodies are supported correctly through exercise and treatments.
Still, sprains, fractures and tendon issues are common in growing kids that push a little too hard. There are macro injuries that are one-off breaks and traumas. Then there are micro injuries from repetitive strain and overuse. Kids that engage in football, rugby, netball, hockey, cricket and field sports are at risk without the right care and prevention.
Here are the top 5 kids injuries in Australia right now
- Other fractures 10% 10%
- Hamstring injuries 15% 15%
- Knee injuries 20% 20%
- Foot conditions 20% 20%
- Ankle injuries and sprains 35% 35%
1) Ankle injuries and sprains.
This isn’t a surprise with so many kids playing energetic, field-based sports. It is easy to twist an ankle, damage an Achilles tendon or even fracture a bone.
2) Foot conditions.
Any sports player can develop issues with the tissue and tendons in the foot. If left untreated, these strains can lead to permanent damage. No child needs to start their teenage years with Plantar Fasciitis or fallen arches.
3) Knee injuries.
There is a major ligament in the knee called the ACL. This is prone to tearing if children take a blow to the knee, overextend it or land awkwardly. Some may also snap the ligament off the bone.
4) Hamstring injuries.
Children that don’t warm up properly may overextend their legs, or make a sudden movement, and hear a pop. Once torn, the hamstring is prone to repeated injury.
5) Other fractures.
We also can’t rule out the risk of fractures to arms, elbows, wrists and hands in competitive sport.
Don’t avoid treating an injury as can affect the child’s current and future health.
Many of the injuries and physiological problems seen by therapists are the “overuse” of injuries. This means that kids develop stress fractures and tendon issues from repeated use. The problem is more common with kids and teens seen as “gifted” athletes. Coaches and parents may increase a training schedule beyond the physical capabilities of the child. Overuse and repeated strain then take their toll on the body.
The best thing to do in these situations is to acknowledge the injury and strain and give it time to heal. Rest and reduced activity levels lessen the risk of further damage and complication in later life. No matter if the type of injury, it is wise to start some sports physiotherapy to correct the issue, to ensure the likelihood of future or permanent damage is reduced in a child’s growing body
Who should you turn to for help with sports physiotherapy?
Kids dealing with repetitive macro & micro injuries can often benefit from sports physiotherapy. Our professional sports physiotherapist, Christina and Nareen can help to diagnose the condition more accurately for a better outcome.
This means clinical assessments based on the current level of pain, the location of the injury and the patient’s previous history of sports injuries. From there, they will work with the child, and their parents, to create a therapy plan that is individually tailored to the child. This professional approach improves the chance of the injury healing correctly in a shorter time frame. Graceville Physio offers this to all child patients, as well as a convenient mobile physio solution.
How to avoid children’s sports injuries in the future.
Where possible, parents, coaches and teachers need to understand how to prevent kids sports injuries from occurring and protect their health and development.
Good fitness levels, a healthy weight and strong cardio are all essential fundamentals. Kids should also warm up correctly, with stretches and gentle exercises, before working at the right intensity level for them. Push them too far and they risk those strains and injuries.
Schools and professional teams should also ensure that children have access to the best protective equipment and playing surfaces.
When prevention and rest fail to work, and accidents and injuries inevitably happen, it is important to turn to the best sports physiotherapists for treatment. Don’t ignore injuries in children and ensure treatment of strains and ongoing problems are addressed, before they get worse.