Children love to run, jump, tumble, climb, so it is expected that they will have a few or a lot of injuries depending on how daredevil they are!
We want to encourage our kids to be active due to so many benefits not only for the body, but also for their brains.
Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and helps to strengthen brain regions. There is also research to suggest that exercise helps to support the stage of development where the brain develops new insulated nerve fibres that enhance communication between regions.
So in this blog we will look at a few of the common injuries children experience and how you can help to reduce the risk, or get a speedy recovery and keep your kids healthy and active.
1. Stress fractures
A stress fracture is a tiny crack in a bone; they can occur in any bone, but usually occur in bones in the feet, legs, arms or spine.
Stress fractures are usually due to overuse, where the body has not had sufficient time to recover from exercise or activity. It can be when a child starts a new sport, so it is really important to gradually ease in and build up strength in the new muscles required to perform the sport.
A stress fracture can take up to 6-8 weeks to heal, so prevention is key.
Osteochondritis is inflammation of the cartilage and bone of a joint. Children can develop osteochondritis after a fall, for example a big impact on their knees, or they can develop it from overuse and taking part in high-impact sports like running and jumping.
Symptoms include pain and swelling of the affected joints, and it is worsened on physical activity or when going up and downstairs.
Treatment will involve rest and physical therapy to regain strength in the joint and prevent reinjury. In some cases surgery may be necessary.
3. Osgood- Schlatter’s Disease
Osgood-Schlatter disease is pain that occurs a few inches below the kneecap, or patella, on the front of the knee.
It is one of the most frequent causes of knee pain in children, usually between the ages of 9 and 16 years but it can occur in younger children. It usually occurs in active or sporty children and/or those going through a growth spurt. Both boys and girls are equally vulnerable.
It will be made worse or brought on by activity and the child will have swelling in the area, and tenderness to touch. Sports requiring lots of running, jumping, kneeling, and squatting are particularly associated.
Some of the first signs are children rubbing the top of their “shinbones” with their hands during exercise.
4. Elbow injuries
Elbow injuries are really common in children.
Lateral and medial epicondylitis (also known as tennis or golfer’s elbow) are common elbow injuries that occur from tendon strains as a result of overuse. This is often due to the lack of mobility and control of the shoulder and wrist. Doing specific exercises that focus on improving the shoulder and wrist mobility and flexibility will help ease the pain and prevent reoccurrence.
5. Poor Core stability
Core stability is an integral part of a number of issues mentioned above as well as for children with awkward running styles, postural issues, and children with learning difficulties. Even really active children can sometimes have a weak core.
Strong core strength is more about the ability to sit and stand still and straight, and perform refined tasks well, vs. just running and jumping. The deep core muscles are key, and for a number of children, they need to learn how to turn them on when needed.
If your child is in pain and you suspect that they may be suffering from any of the above conditions, we recommend booking in with a paediatric Osteopath or Physiotherapist for diagnosis and rehabilitation.
Early treatment and prevention is the key and will usually involve a combination of strength and mobility exercises to encourage your child’s joints to their full range of mobility and function, so that they can enjoy all their sports and activities to the full.
If you would you like more information or have any questions, please contact us https://bit.ly/3yeXaMm