Tuesday 10 July 2018

Growth Spurts and Injury

School is out for the summer! Kids are done classes as well as (most) sports. Time for them to relax before things start all over again in September! And if you're the parent of a child starting to hit adolescence, the fall will likely bring comments with how much they've shot up like a beanstalk. Great, they're taller than you now, aren't they?

As a thing to keep in mind, if your child is active or athletic, sometimes weird things with young people's physical ability can happen as they start to reach their growth spurts.

Imagine if your limbs were suddenly a foot longer than they were yesterday. It would certainly be weird. All that extra length on both your arms and legs and no idea how to handle it! It would probably be awkward, wouldn't it? Well, if you're finding yourself harping on your child's clumsiness, keep in mind that this is probably happening to them.

This. I think.

This being said, with drastic changes in body composition comes a challenge for a person's brain to maintain proper body awareness. While not being an area that is heavily studied, it is being found that adolescence is a time where proprioceptive ability and postural control fall behind in development due to the obvious reasons touched on above. And, as we know, with a lack of proprioception and inability to adjust joint control as needed, injury rates become much more common.

The risk here doesn't stop at the fact that your teenager has a tendency to trip (a lot!) or roll their ankles. Chronic back pain is even a rampant - and often under-reported - problem in young people!

And we haven't even touched on the high rate of tendon injuries that happen as a young person's muscles suddenly find themselves on new, permanent lengthening.

Let me be clear, however. This is not an attempt at fear-mongering to cause parents to either remove their children from sport or to feel like they now need weekly preventative trips to the therapist's office to stop injury from occurring! The majority of young people are going to grow up into healthy adults with minimal injury just fine!

The important thing, though, is to be mindful that there are these massive changes occurring with their bodies and that we should be attentive to any warning signs. Long-term aches and pains or even a new and noticeable struggle with coordination may warrant seeking help. Or, as an alternative, perhaps just look at diversifying that child's physical activity to allow them to get comfortable using their body in a variety of ways again. Also, appropriate rest.


Do you like the content that you're reading? Sign up to receive the weekly blog update from Cain Exercise Rehab directly to your email!

Click Here!

Book Now

In the Victoria area and interested in booking an appointment with Cain Exercise Rehab? Follow the link below to book online!

Click Here!

No comments:

Post a Comment