Youth sport

Young, growing bodies may experience discomfort during or after exercise. Aside from acute injuries such as sprained and strains, some children experience pain and inflammation associated with growing.

This usually presents as joint pains, and tight or frequently pulled muscles. When the speed of bone growth is faster than muscle, tight muscles may put tension on the active growth plates, resulting in pain and inflammation. This is typical in more active children. This can be managed well with modified rest and exercises. Advice around returning to sport or activity is important.

A common problem in youth sport is pain from muscle imbalance, particularly in sports where one side of the body is dominant, eg racquet sports, cricket. Early identification of these imbalances prevent reduces more lasting changes to the skeleton. With one side of the body more developed, there can be particular stress on the spine. This may result in back problems, and affect the function of individual limbs if not addressed. A simple programme of stretches and strengthening to address the individual imbalances can reduce further problems.

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