Addressing Common Musculoskeletal Issues in Young Athletes

Addressing Common Musculoskeletal Issues in Young Athletes

“Mom, My Knee Hurts.” If your son or daughter is involved in sports, you have undoubtedly heard these words at one time or another. But how do you know if your child’s complaint is serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor or a physical therapist? While many complaints may be transient such as soreness following a particularly intense practice if your child’s complaints are becoming more persistent or recurrent, it’s time to seek help. Often these recurrent pain complaints are the sign of an underlying musculoskeletal issue. Unless your child has suffered a sudden traumatic injury, most of these issues can be evaluated and addressed by a physical therapist. Physical therapists are uniquely qualified to diagnose and address musculoskeletal issues including muscular imbalances, weakness, tightness, and alignment issues both at the site of pain and in adjacent body areas. For example, that chronic recurrent knee pain may be the result of poor alignment at the foot and ankle. As your child lands on an unstable ankle this results in uneven forces acting on the knee. During the evaluation, your physical therapist will identify relevant musculoskeletal issues and then will initiate a custom training program to address them and to finally eliminate the pain once and for all.

Myofascial Decompression or “Cupping” Technique by Mike Manzo

As physical therapists continue to learn more about the human body and consider more deeply the functional anatomy, new techniques emerge.  A new technique, employed by the PTs at Atlantic Physical Therapy Center is called Myofascial Decompression (MFD).  This technique is the blending of the ancient technique of “cupping” with principles of tissue mobilization and myofascial release.
The cups impart a distracting and decompressing force through the skin which is attached to deeper layers of tissue (fascia).  Using this technique, we can mobilize tissue in a unique way and gain stretch that we cannot achieve with standard methods.  Watch the video below which demonstrates and explains this technique further.

Kids in Sports

We are witnessing an unprecedented rise in youth sport overuse injuries.  We are seeing 12 year olds with overuse injuries that used to be reserved only for very high level college-aged and professional athletes.  We as parents, coaches and medical professionals helping these athletes, must guard against the urge to PUSH-PUSH-PUSH all the time.  Scheduled rest days are imperative.  Participating in other activities and sports outside of the “primary” sport is healthy.  Finally, we need to observe the athlete and LISTEN to them.  Many times, the child is less interested in the sport than the parent because it has become a job.  We are linking a great article below about constant training and overuse injuries. This article is written by an associate of ours, Dr. Kim Davis, founder and CEO of RunLab in Austin, Texas.  Injuries are part of the game… but overuse and repetitive injury doesn’t necessarily have to be when training is appropriate.

Kids In Sports Blog