PHYSIOTHERAPY FOR MUSCULOSKELETAL & SPORTS INJURIES
Conditions affecting bones, joints and the surrounding tissues are described as musculoskeletal or orthopaedic. Because there are many physiological and anatomical differences between children and adults, children require a specialised approach to their orthopaedic management. A specialised physiotherapist will always consider these differences when assessing and treating children.
Some of the more common musculoskeletal problems that affect children and teenagers include:
- Trauma injuries for example fractures, sprains or strains resulting from sports, falls, car accidents etc.
- Gait problems where sometimes as children grow, they develop an uneven walking pattern which can be improved with physiotherapy.
- Pes Planus or flat feet can contribute to other problems such as knee, hip pain and balance difficulties. Orthotics prescribed by a physiotherapist will help.
- Scoliosis is a name given to an abnormal curvature of the spine. This can be helped with a specific flexibility and strengthening exercise programme for the spine.
- Talipes or ‘club foot’. This can occur when the ligaments and tendons around the foot and ankle are tight when a baby is born making the foot stiff to move. Physiotherapy stretches can help to restore full range of movement of the foot and ankle.
- Erbs Palsy also known as brachial plexus paralysis. This is when the primary nerves which supply the movement and sensation to the arm are partially or completely paralysed causing weakness and limitation of movement. Physiotherapy helps to maximise the range of movement, strength and function of the affected arm.
- Torticollis or ‘Wry Neck’ describes a condition where tight neck muscles on one side of the neck limits a child’s neck movements. Positioning and specific stretches can help to restore full neck movements.
- Hypermobility describes when a child has an increased range of movements in joints.
- Juvenile Arthritis is a disease involving the immune system. It causes inflammation of joints, causing weakness and stiffness.
- Knee problems are common in adolescents. Osgood’s Schlatter disease is an inflammation of the bone, cartilage and or tendon at the top of the shin bone. Chondromalacia Patella is characterised by pain under and around the kneecaps.
- Growing pains are pains generally in children’s or adolescent’s legs often attributed to rapid growth.