How Physical Therapy Can Help Your Child
It is strange to think about, but kids sometimes experience aches and pains in the absence of injury. When school is in session and kids are sitting in desks for longer periods of time, they might be dealing with some back pain. Additionally, when sports seasons are underway, so there’s a chance that their bodies aren’t recovering well enough from the increase in training volume, resulting in some overuse pains. On top of that, they’re going through growth spurts, and while their physical capabilities are increasing, your child’s coordination and control of their newly longer limbs is likely lagging a bit behind, which can put them at risk for injury.
Many parents wonder, “Could my kid benefit from physical therapy?” or “Will they just grow out of this pain?” “What can Physical Therapy do for my kid?” So below, we compiled a list of ways we can help your kid at Sports Performance Physical Therapy!
Your child’s coordination and control of their newly longer limbs is likely lagging a bit behind, which can put them at risk for injury.
Sometimes it’s difficult to know if kids are just going through normal “growing pains” that are self limiting and will resolve with time, or if they have pains that could benefit from a rehabilitation program. Generally if the pain is mild and resolves within a week, it’s a good sign that there was nothing serious going on. However, if that pain is sticking around and preventing your child from participating in her or his activities, a physical therapist can help determine a plan for going forward while keeping them as involved as possible in their activities.
If that pain is sticking around and preventing your child from participating in her or his activities, a physical therapist can help determine a plan for going forward while keeping them as involved as possible in their activities.
Adolescents and pre-adolescents very often have strength imbalances and issues with flexibility that can keep them from performing at their best. Worst case scenario is that your kid has been battling pain in one body part due to weakness or poor mobility at an entirely different body part. For example, weak shoulder blade muscles can sometimes result in overuse stress and pain at the elbow or wrist. Physical therapists can assess how your kid is moving and look at specific joint mobility and muscular strength to see if there are any deficits that can be improved.
Recovery sessions and TuneUps
Sports are hard on your kid’s bodies, especially when their practice schedule involves clubs AND school teams AND private coaches with no rest days. Physical therapists can help optimize recovery through soft tissue mobilization, education, joint mobilization, and through the use of recovery technology including NormaTec compression and Compex active recovery electrical stimulation. Lastly, here at SP, we can provide TuneUps, or targeted manual therapy/recovery sessions, to loosen up tight muscles and help your kid feeling competition ready.
Individualized strengthening and rehab programs for musculoskeletal issues
Last, but certainly not least, physical therapists are movement experts, and are able to treat injuries from chronic knee pain to tension headaches. If your kid has sustained an injury during a practice, game, or everyday life, physical therapy is the best way to help a kid return to their previous level of activity, and likely get stronger in the process. These programs are designed individually for your kid’s strengths, weaknesses, and goals.
Bottom Line: Kids sometimes have pain, and participating in sports or other activities is often tough on the body. Physical therapy can help kids relieve pain, optimize performance, and prevent injury!
As always, I hope this helps! If you have any questions or would like to read about certain topics, send us an email at TeamSP@SportsPerformancePT.com.
-Dr. Marissa Rescott, PT, DPT, CF-L1
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