Sports care in young people.
When children play intense sports, they are somewhat more vulnerable to injury because the body is still growing. In general, it seems that boys are more susceptible to this because there is a sudden and substantial increase in strength compared to the still growing body. Injuries depend on the sport chosen. In sports with repetitive loads such as running, chopping and turning with jumping, we see more injuries to the knee or ankle. In overhead sports, shoulder and elbow injuries are more common. Starting at age 14, we see children develop injuries faster. Children also spend more time sitting down than a few years ago. As a result, the load capacity is lower and the quality of movement is less. The risk of a sports injury in children is therefore greater. There may also be performance pressure at a young age whether or not at a high level or recreationally. Children are reluctant to give up and often will do anything to win. It is also often difficult to understand that temporarily quitting the current sport is sometimes the best choice in order to be able to participate again at full strength later on. During rehabilitation, it is possible to watch what is happening and also often necessary to ensure good communication between physical therapist, player and parent. Agreements are often made during treatment about what can and cannot be done in the particular phase of the course.
Different types of sports injuries in adolescents
We distinguish here between the moment of origin of the injury. There are injuries that are the result of overuse or injuries that are the result of, for example, a fall or collision with or without an opponent. Muscles and tendons are particularly the source of complaints in overuse injuries. During intensive sports, muscles and tendons are put under considerable strain. The growing body has trouble keeping up with this. So irritation of the tissue occurs. This often results in pain and stiffness of the affected structure. Examples of injuries with an acting force are an ankle sprain, twisting of the knee or a bone fracture in the lower leg. Injuries without an acting force are mainly minor muscle tears from explosive sprinting away.
When is it necessary to make an appointment with the physical therapist
Tendon injuries usually go away with a few weeks of rest. There is often no need to treat it. Do try to spot injuries early. A consultation with a physical therapist is often sufficient. Together we look at whether the load is too much and where we can make adjustments. Previously, the advice was often absolute rest. Nowadays we look at where we can make adjustments to maintain strength and condition. You don't want to regress too far in load capacity. This would be a waste and the risk of re-injury would be high.
When the symptoms persist longer than 3 weeks, it is wise to make an appointment. We will then see if there is not something structural that needs to change in the sports load and current load capacity.
Strength training in children
Previously, we thought that strength training in young children carried risks. This turns out not to be the case. In fact, we ourselves are fans of getting children used to a greater load to improve athletic performance. When training is properly supervised, the risk of injury is very small. We are a bit more cautious in the group up to 12 years old. On the contrary, in the 12-18 age group, we see that strength training has tremendous benefits on preventing further injuries.
At Physio Fitaal, we use the following measures to keep strength training and rehabilitation safe within our practice:
1. We do a proper warm up in the proper movement pattern. Cycling has nothing to do with strength training so we do the warm up in the requested movement patterns of rehabilitation training.
2. Technique comes first during exercises.
3. We use safe equipment with children.
4. We talk at length beforehand about the possible risks in strength training.
5. We do not work with a competition element in training with any fellow rehabbers.
6. A physical therapist is always present during rehabilitation training with strength equipment.
Rehabilitation at Physio Fitaal
At Fysio Fitaal, we work with experts in the field of orthopedic sports rehabilitation. Our specialists will guide and motivate you in the best possible way. Through the combination of expertise, extensive facilities and passion for sports, you have come to the right place.