Children may have problems with or without pain. We treat children from the age of 3, through to the teenage years. Those without pain often present with a movement related problem such as in-toeing gait (pigeon toed), flat feet or “knock knees”. The biomechanics of their movement may be unusual for example tip toe walking or a “screw kick” in swimming. Where appropriate we will look at their walking (gait), as part of a biomechanics assessment to determine what the problem is. For children wearing orthotics, its a well known fact that strengthening and /or stretching of the muscles around the foot and ankle and particularly around the hips can prevent long term problems.
Children with pain may present with recurring pain. We treat and manage conditions specific to children such as osteochondritis, slipped epiphyseal plates, traction epophysitis, Severs disease (affecting the heel) and Osgood schlatters (affecting the knee). Paediatric/adolescent physiotherapy;
The term “growing pains” is a mis-conception, as it is not normal for children to have recurring pain or unusual movement patterns. These unusual movement patterns can indicate a weakness or asymmetry in muscle strength or muscle tension.
We advise on hypermobility of the joints when it affects the quality of movement, or susceptibility to injury, or affects the participation of children in sports or vigorous physical activity.
For children in contact sport (age 7 upward), where concussion is a risk, I advocate the use of pre-season testing which can be carried out in our clinic. This acts as a good baseline reference point for any head injury incidents which may occur during the season. Without this, the diagnosis, monitoring of concussion and determining the point when it is safe to return to sports can be difficult.