Youth sport

It is not uncommon for young growing bodies to experience discomfort during or after exercise. Aside from acute injuries such as sprained ankles and pulled Hamstrings, some children experience pain and inflammation due to the effects of growing.

This usually presents as joint pains, and tight or frequently pulled muscles. Often, the speed of bone growth is faster than the muscles can stretch to catch up with. More common in very active children, the stress of these tight muscles on the active growth plates, near the joints can result in pain and inflammation. This can be managed well with stretches and rest. Sometimes it is useful to obtain advice on exercise frequency and duration.

Another common problem in youth sport is pain due to muscle imbalance. This is often seen in sports where one side of the body is dominant, such as racquet sports and cricket. It is important to identify these imbalances early to prevent more permanent changes to the skeleton. Where one side of the body is more developed, this can place particular stress on the spine. Any spinal stress cannot only result in back problems but also affect the function of individual limbs if not addressed. A simple programme of stretches and strengthening to address the individual imbalance can prevent any further problems.

This is provided as general information only and is not intended to be relied upon as medical advice.