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Growing Pains

Two of the most common problems that physiotherapists see in young patients (children and adolescents) are Severs and Osgood-Schlatters.

Both of these are inflammatory conditions of the growth plates with Severs being at the back of the heel and Osgood-Schlatters at the front of the knee.

With both conditions management of physical load is very important. Reducing high impact activities (running, jumping and hopping) and replacing them with low impact activities (cycling, walking, water exercise) can reduce symptoms. The use of ice or heat (whichever gives relief) on the area can be helpful.

Your physiotherapist can also recommend stretches, strengthening exercises, correction of biomechanics and taping.

With periods of growth in teenagers some of these problems become evident. It’s important to maintain muscle flexibility and correct posture when stationary and moving.

Your physiotherapist can advise this but it is a good idea to reinforce it at home by reminding your teenager to change position regularly, get up and move and to sit/stand straighter.

This is especially important at a time when looking down at screens seems to occupy 90% of our older childrens' waking moments.

And while we’re on the subjects of electronics, there is such a thing as “texter’s thumb” (a.k.a. De Quervains Tenosynovitis): an inflammatory condition of the tendon sheath in the thumb.

If your teenager is a sufferer, the first and probably most difficult step would be to take their smartphone away or make them use their index finder to type, just like Granpa does!

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