Adults aren’t the only ones who can suffer from orthopedic problems. Adolescents who are active in sports also develop problems in their shoulders, elbows, knees and ankles, most often from overuse or tendinitis. Kids can also experience problems during growth spurts, when their skeletal system quickly outgrows their muscular system.
“Kids can outgrow these conditions, but rest, stretching and ice can help during periods of exacerbation,” said Michelle Duggan, PT, MSPT, senior physical therapist at Saint Joseph Jessamine – Outpatient Rehabilitation.
To prevent injuries, Duggan encourages parents to sign their kids up for different activities other than solely one sport all year. This allows them to strengthen different muscles as their bodies adapt to various activities. It’s also important to stay active year-round.
“During their off season, children should participate in a variety of other activities and maintain good flexibility, especially if they play one sport for the majority of the year,” Duggan said.
Stretching and building core strength are equally important.
“Flexibility activities like yoga for kids is a great idea any time of the year,” she said. “Pilates is a great way to develop good core strength and help prevent injuries in the future.”
Is your child experiencing muscle or joint pain? Find a provider at CHISaintJosephHealth.org/find-a-provider.