All young tennis players have aches and pains from time to time, but when can they be dismissed as growing pains and when do they need professional intervention?
Overuse injuries are common in the setting of organised sport due to repetitive increased loading on otherwise normal tissue. Overtraining and exposure to excessive levels of physical activity are the main culprits. Many talented children, who have commitments to clubs, county and national teams, are still expected to participate in school sport activities. Coaches, players and parents need to be alert to the risk of certain injuries and seek help if their symptoms don’t appear to be settling down.
Symptoms of injuries in youngsters may mimic the adult version but should not be managed automatically in the same way. Injuries in children can be unique to their age group and need a very different approach to ensure they recover fully and avoid further damage. The prevalent ligament and muscular injuries of adults can occur in children, however, they are more prone to traction injuries at the point where the muscles and tendons insert into the bone.
Another area of injury unique to children is at the growth plate within the bone, which can be subjected to shear forces during sport. Symptoms are generally self limiting and will settle down with the appropriate management. Although, if the pain is sever or not recovering within 10 days then it’s better to seek advice from a doctor or contact us at The Physiotherapy Clinic. Early identification of the problem and modifications to training is essential.