My Physio News
Kids and Sport
It is imperative for children and adolescents to be active during their growing years, especially for muscle and bone strengthening that will provide life-long benefits. However active kids face physical risks in sport – and their risk profiles are different to that of adults. Active kids face the challenges of the adolescent growth spurt; immature and underdeveloped co-ordination, skills and perception; and varying physical maturity levels within the same age group, leading to unbalanced competition and increased risk. Gender also plays a role, with girls more susceptible to injury when compared to boys, especially in relation to knee injuries where ACL rupture rates can be 4 times higher.
But it’s not all bad news! It has been estimated that approximately 50% of child and youth sports injuries are preventable, and there has been an explosion in injury prevention research in the past decade that provides us with a clear direction to pursue to help achieve this. A 2015 Meta-analysis of research found that injury prevention programs focusing on lower limb strength, flexibility and balance can reduce the injury rates in adolescent team sports by an estimated 40%. Nordic hamstring exercises have been shown to reduce the incidence of hamstring strains by 70%, and in those who have a previous hamstring injury, re-injury rates have been reduced by as much as a whopping 85%!!
Strength training has previously thought to have been unsuitable for the growing athlete. Recent research now indicates that strength training under the guidance of expert and close supervision is safe and can have an injury preventing and performance enhancing effect. In fact adolescent injury rates during strength training (and by implication injury risks) are significantly lower than those recorded during other organised sports. The most important guidance in relation to adolescent strength training is that programs are progressed slowly, cautiously and only under expert and experienced supervision (ie. a qualified and accredited strength and conditioning coach or physiotherapist).
Children or adolescents who undergo a rapid increase in sporting demands (intensity and/or duration) may be susceptible to overload/overuse injuries. Prior injury is also highlighted as a general risk for active children and adolescents. Whn injuries do arise, it is important that a thorough and complete rehabilitation that extends beyond the initial return to sport is implemented.
Pre-season or Pre-participation Physiotherapy Screening is used to assess individual injury risk factors and physical vulnerabilities. Following a screening assessment a personalised injury reduction/performance enhancing exercise program is implemented.
We would be happy to discuss these, or any other issues of concern that you may have in relation to Kids and Sport, or to present this information at your local sporting club or school. Feel free to contact the My Physio team any time: on 9570 7181 Freecall 1800 My Physio (1800 697 497) or drop in to our My Physio reception at GESAC for a chat.
Monday to Friday 8am-7.30pm
Come visit us at:
200 East Boundary Road, Bentleigh East 3165 (Located inside the Glen Eira Sports & Aquatic Centre - GESAC)
Freecall: 1800 MY PHYSIO
Phone: (03) 9570 7181
Triage number: 1300 IM HURT
MYPHYSIO® was established in 2004. We have been based in Bentleigh East at GESAC (Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre) since 2012. MYPHYSIO® GESAC is a purpose-built, state of the art clinic located in a unique sporting hub, that boasts a highly experienced team of practitioners and a wide range of services. Helping our clients achieve their best is our highest priority!
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