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Adolescent Growth
& Sporting Injuries

“Adolescence is a specific and unique developmental phase that differs substantially to childhood or adulthood. It is defined by growth and development.” (Dr Loretta O’Sullivan-Pippia, Australian Sports Physiotherapist.)

Sporting injuries are the leading cause of injury to this 12-19 age group. Bone is highly sensitive to loading during this phase of growth and there are a range of conditions that are unique to adolescence. It is vitally important that these injuries are managed appropriately, so they do not carry on into adulthood.

Some injuries that peak during this adolescent period include:

  • Osgood-Schlatter Disease (OSD)

  • Sever’s Disease

  • Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome – maltracking patella

  • Stress Fractures – commonly L4 and L5

  • ACL Ruptures

  • OCD – Osteochondritis Dessicans of particularly, the knee

  • Scoliosis – often a very rapid development

Physiotherapy management of these injuries may include:

  • Assessment of the injury and identification of the altered biomechanics involved in the development of the injury

  • Taping, bracing or the use of temporary heel raises (in the case of Sever’s Disease)

  • Clinical exercise programs – usually involves advice to STOP stretching the affected area

  • Strengthening exercises – including eccentric exercises, with the affected area off-stretch

  • Load modification advice

  • Clinical Pilates exercises, if poor neuro-muscular control is identified as a causative factor in your injury

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