Just like adults, children and adolescents can also experience musculoskeletal imbalances, conditions and pain. So how do you tell what your child is going through and what health professional to take them to? If you child has had a fall or an accident in sport where there is a possibility of a broken bone it’s always worth taking them to a GP first and getting an assessment and/or x-ray to rule this out. Other pains and conditions a child or adolescent may encounter are growing pains, sprains or strains, muscle cramps, tight muscles from sport, scoliosis and other conditions such as Rickets disease which points to a vitamin D deficiency. So how can a Myotherapist help?
The first step is to talk to the child/adolescent and parent about what has been happening. We might ask questions such as how long as the complaint been occurring? How long does the pain typically last when it comes on? Have you had this in the past? What type of pain? When do you notice it the most? Is there anything that relieves the pain? Once we have an understanding of what has been going on, it gives us ideas of what things to check to either rule out something more serious or confirm something that we can treat on the day. The assessment might be getting them to do a specific movement, it might include testing joint, nerve or muscle or getting them to do an exercise to see if it helps.
If we find something we are unsure of we will write a referral letter to the appropriate health care professional such as a GP and in some circumstances we will call them and book your child straight in. If we find something we can help with we will move on to the treatment phase of the appointment.
Treatment will usually include either joint mobilisation, techniques to relax the muscle or to calm the affected nerve and get it moving freely through it’s passage again. Sometimes it will include a few different approaches and we won’t always be working where the site of pain is as some pain can be referred from other areas. We will always explain what we have found with our assessment, why we are treating what we are treating and we will always retest to make sure the pain is reducing and the range of movement is increasing.
Next we will talk about things that are going to be helpful at home. This may include applying heat or ice to an affected area. It may include and exercise to stretch or strengthen, mobilise or align. It may include self treatment with a spiky ball or foam roller, it may include a care plan where we check in on their condition to make sure we are getting long term results and staying ahead of the problem. We will also answer any questions you have and make sure we have set an achievable plan that will fit into their schedule and into your life as a parent too.
We are currently treating a lot of school aged children and teenagers whose pain or condition resulted from various activities including football, cricket, dancing, gymnastics, acrobatics, basketball, tennis, netball, rowing, video games, school homework, carrying school bags, growth spurts and some inherited conditions such as leg length difference, scoliosis and hyper flexibility to name a few. If you are interested in finding out more information please contact us or book an initial consult to see how we can help. We have specific appointment types for under 15s to make it more affordable because we believe keeping your children active and happy is important to their development!