Growth Related Issues Treatment

Regular training of children and adolescents is becoming more common in sport and they participate in competetive sport at ever decreasing ages with ever increasing intensity.

In principle, sport for adolescents and children should be fun and should not mean painfully hard training. The principles according to which adults train cannot be directly applied to youngsters but must be adapted to their development. Ignoring this can cause adverse effects on the development of the musculoskeletal system and injuries due to overuse.

Effects on the musculoskeletal system can include asymmetry through over development of one side of the body, for example in racquet sports or hypermobility in the case of gymnastics/dance. There are certain injuries which are common to adolescents and children and which are caused (or exagerrated) by over use, particularly during growth spurts.

During growth spurts youngsters have relatively long immature bones and relatively tight/strong muscles. 'Osgood-Schlatters' syndrome is a common example of this is and occurs where the patella tendon attaches to the tibia. It is exacerbated by ballistic exercise such as running and jumping but also by kicking.

Youngsters are also more commonly affected by avulsion fractures (this is where a tendon or ligament pulls its boney attachment away from the rest of the bone). This is again due to having relatively immature bone but can also occur at the site of a growth plate (epiphysis). When a child suffers what might be suspected to be a boney injury, it is of particular importance that any damage to growth plates is excluded.