So we’re back! The Sports Series makes its triumphant return, and I have no doubt you are all as over the moon as I am! I have putting in some long hours thinking about how we will get stuck back in to the Sports Series, and I had plans to do something boring like ACL injuries or ankle sprains (just kidding, those are not boring, and will be covered at some stage, never you mind!), but with sports going back for young and old, I have noticed a bit of a trend that I thought could use some attention.
I have had a handful of young sportspeople, between the ages of 10 and 16, come to see me about some new niggles developed over the first couple of weeks back at sport. Some have been soccer players, others have been enjoying being back dancing or playing basketball or footy. Some have had knee pain, some have had ankle or heel pain. But all of them have some things in common. They are of an age where their bodies are rapidly changing in regards to size, weight, strength, muscle control, flexibility and more. They have all also recently returned to sports after months of eating potato chips and drinking red wine. Wait, that’s me. They have recently returned to running and jumping sports after months of playing computer games and doing pretty much nothing for physical activity. I mean, that’s me too, but it’s also true about the kids.
These sorts of overuse issues do crop up from time to time, but having these cases come in all at once demonstrates the delicate balance of the maturing body and how things can go a little awry.
We’ll have a quick chat today about knee problems, but this could just as easily be about Achilles or heel pain also, as they are effectively the same issue, just affecting a different area. A term you may or may not have heard before is Osgood-Schlatter’s Syndrome, which is essentially where tight and imbalanced thigh muscles pull on growing shinbones, causing pain and eventually, the formation of a bony callus or lump, which can cause some permanent issues with kneeling, even after the initial pain is long gone.
It is usually fairly easily managed with some relative rest, hands-on techniques, exercise, and education about how to better manage young growing bodies. These issues can last for quite some time, even with proper management, and can definitely become frustrating for our aspiring sportspeople, so it is definitely worthwhile having a chat to your physio about how to best deal with the problem. If the injury is not managed properly, however, it can lead to some lengthy periods of pain, and permanent disfigurement of the shinbone.
If you came here about heel pain, just re-read the article, but replace the following words:
- “Osgood-Schlatter’s” with “Sever’s”
- “Knee” with “heel”
- “Thigh” with “calf”
- “Kneeling” with “shoe-fitting”
It’s not actually quite that simple, but you get the idea.
So don’t wait before coming in to see your physio about those growing niggles in growing bodies who have just returned to physical activity after quite the hiatus.
Call 8289 2800 to make a physiotherapy appointment at LifeForce health solutions at Golden Grove, to see what one of our experienced and friendly physiotherapists can do to help with your sport-related condition. You can also visit our website at www.lifeforcehealth.com.au to take advantage of our new online booking system!
de Lucena, G., dos Santos Gomes, C. and Guerra, R., 2010. Prevalence and Associated Factors of Osgood-Schlatter Syndrome in a Population-Based Sample of Brazilian Adolescents. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 39(2), pp.415-420.