I’ve decided to write a short blog on children injuries from ages 8-17.
I’m seeing a lot of children of these ages coming into my clinic with a number of hip, knee and back injuries from over-training
Now we all want our children to be happy and active, but when you child is involved with three or four different teams, we need to keep in mind that those coaches are designing their training plan as if their team is the only team that your child is playing for. They are not taking into account the other 3 or 4 teams they train and play with.
What does this mean?
This means children are being over trained and over worked. Their bodies are not able to contend with the intensity of training and playing for multiple teams. More importantly they are NOT RECOVERING properly.
What can you do?
Recovery comes in many forms, and here is a list of scientifically proven ways to keep your child’s body functioning
- Get more sleep: get to bed early as our bodies recover better with deep sleep
- Protein: Ensure your child gets enough protein in the morning as well as before and after training. This preps the body for training and also helps it recover better as it need vital amino acids to repair and build muscles after training. Food high in protein include turkey chicken and fish such as tuna and salmon.
- Drink more water: aim for 1.5-3 litres per day, but vary it, 3 litre’s on training days and 1.5 on non-training days
- Stretch: before and after training. 20 seconds on each stretch. Mix it up dynamic and static stretching
- Myofascial release: use a foam roller or a massage ball to loosen out tight muscles (this is more aimed at teenagers than under 12’s). This will help muscles relax. There are 1000’s of video of you tube to use as a guide but areas to focus on are the Glutes Quads Hamstrings and Calves.
- Take a cold bath after training, Fill a bath, just enough to cover your child’s legs and drop in a bag of ice or two. Rest in it for 10 minutes. This helps the body recover by reducing down inflammation.
Signs your child may not be recovering properly
-They can’t bend forward and touch their toes, when they could before.
-They can’t squat down onto their hunkers (Keeping heels in contact with the floor)
These are good tests of flexibility. If your child is not warming down properly and stretching after training then they are going to be tighter going into the next training session and will not have recovered properly. Thus a cycle continues where they are losing flexibility and mobility due to over training and poor recovery.
If your child is having pain that is not resolving after 2 weeks, bring them to see a physiotherapist who can look at their training plan and give advice on how best to resolve their issues.
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