For younger athletes, injuries are on the rise. The growing body responds differently to training loads than an adult body. As sports involvement and expectations for children increase, there is also an increased opportunity to get injured.
So what causes this? At times of rapid growth, our skeletal muscles grow much faster than our bodies can keep up with. As the bones lengthen, the muscles don't change creating muscle tightness. Over time these tight muscles can pull on the bony insertions and cause swelling of the tendons of these muscles. This is most common at the knee and ankle and often associated with jumping sports.
How to cope with a growing body? 1. Stay flexible with regular stretching particularly of the thighs and calves. 2. Reduce the training load with mild pains. Dropping load by 20% may be enough to stop the tendon inflammation becoming chronic. It may be necessary to reduce substantially, if the inflammation worsens. 3. Seek a diagnosis and treatment plan if symptoms are worsening. 4. Understand that performance may drop at these times. 5. Focus on healthy nutrition
How much is too much? ACC guidelines suggest that a child should not be training more hours than their current age in years.
If you would like help to diagnose and treat your childs injury, please call Nina for an appointment on 021 372832