As a parent or a grandparent, you always want what is best for your child or grandchild. You teach them important life skills and lessons and nurse them to good health when they are sick and/or injured. Your kids are the fruit of your loins, and our natural response is a deep care and concern to see them flourish along their journey to adulthood. That is why it is so hard to see them hurt, whether that is from a physical injury, emotional strain, or just growing pains.
Growing pains don’t often require medical advice from your doctor, but they can hurt. They generally occur during childhood around the ages of 3-5 and 8-12. By the time your child reaches their teens they usually won’t experience symptoms. Growing pains tend to hurt the muscles, not the bones and joints, and are typically experienced in the legs. A common cause of knee pain, specifically in growing adolescents, is Osgood-Schlatter’s.
Osgood-Schlatter’s is an inflammation of the area just below the knee where the tendon from the knee cap attaches to the shinbone. Osgood-Schlatter’s can be caused by growth spurts and is increasingly common with repetitive stress (think children in athletics such as running and jumping sports) against a weak growth plate. The growth plate is a special area where the bone is growing in children and adolescence. It is made of cartilage and when a child is fully grown this area hardens into solid bone. Some growth plates serve as attachment points for tendons (this is the structure that attaches muscle to bone), which is the case in Osgood-Schlatters. At the knee, the quadricep (muscle at the front of your thigh), attaches to a bumpy bone at the top of the shin bone (tibia) that covers the end of a growth plate.
Let’s look at how Osgood-Schlatter’s develops. When a child is active and uses their quadricep repeatedly, or grows very quickly causing an imbalance between the length of the bone and the muscles, the tensile force of the muscle causes irritation and inflammation at the tendinous attachment of the muscle on the growth plate (“bone”). This inflammation can lead to visible swelling and can be accompanied by pain.
Treatment for Osgood-Schlatter’s is relatively simple. The rehab protocol consists of rest, ice, sometimes NSAIDs (like ibuprofen or naproxen), and light stretching. A physiotherapist can easily help you in the diagnosis of Osgood-Schlatter’s and with a treatment plan for getting your child back to doing the things they love.
While we are on the topic of growing, Surge Physiotherapy is happy to introduce Aindrea (Andi) McHugh, our newest team member. Andi is a registered physiotherapist with three years of experience, a Registered Kinesiologist, and a Certified Exercise Physiologist. Andi has a passion for treating children, including toddlers and babies. Below, Andi will give us some insight into why physiotherapy for children is so valuable.
I am thrilled to be a team member at Surge Physiotherapy, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge on injury prevention and rehabilitation with you and your family! As mentioned, I do have a special interest in Physiotherapy for children. Physiotherapy can start as early as infancy, where we help babies learn things for the first time as we work towards achieving their motor milestones. Throughout development physiotherapy can help with treating injuries or conditions in childhood and adolescence. Physiotherapy for children is different than it is for adults, simply because children are not mini adults.
Children require regular physical activity for healthy development and growth. Too much activity and overtraining, however, can make children susceptible to injury. Physiotherapy can be extremely beneficial for children who are highly involved in sports and activities by identifying risk factors for conditions commonly observed in children, such as the aforementioned condition: Osgood-Schlatter’s.
A physiotherapy assessment can identify muscle imbalances, movement restrictions, and an appropriate exercise program can be prescribed to help prevent injury. The Physiotherapy goals will be individualized, and the exercises are based on the unique requirements and demands of the sport or activity. One of the things that I love about working with children is finding fun ways to keep them engaged so that they do their Physiotherapy homework!
Are your children less busy with not having organized sports and activities this fall? Why not invest in “prehab” for your child during this prolonged off season. I would be happy to work with you and your child or adolescent to develop solutions for staying active and preventing injury until we can all return to sport.
For more information or to book an appointment call 705-380-3312 or visit the website . Surge Physiotherapy is located at 33 King William Street, Suite 204, in Huntsville. Office hours are flexible with evening appointments available (3x/week). Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie is a bilingual, Registered Physiotherapist with the College of Physiotherapist of Ontario and the Canadian Physiotherapy Association who is committed to providing a hands on, personalized approach to physiotherapy.
Stephanie, a native to the Huntsville community, developed a passion for health and wellness during her youth while competing in cross-country running, nordic skiing, and track and field. Stephanie has always had a strong caring nature and fell in love with the physiotherapy profession while volunteering at a physiotherapy clinic during high school and university.
Stephanie continued to build on her passion for health care by attending McGill University and completing her
Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology. During her Masters in Health Science of Physiotherapy, completed at the University of Ottawa, she completed internships in orthopaedic clinics, hospitals, home care, and neurology centres.
Andi is passionate about helping you achieve your goals and get back to doing the things you love. Whether it is returning to running, lifting your grand kids, or recovering from surgery, Andi combines her multifaceted background in manual therapy, education kinesiology and exercise rehabilitation to provide individualized treatment. She believes that movement is medicine and enjoys sharing this philosophy with her clients.
Andi is a Muskoka native who completed her master of science in physical therapy at the University of Toronto in 2017. She received her bachelor of science in exercise science in 2010 and her master of education in 2012 from Auburn University Montgomery in Alabama where she was a member of the varsity soccer team.
When she is not working in the clinic, Andi enjoys giving back to her community through volunteering and also enjoys running, playing soccer, snowboarding, and baking.