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 been complaining of severe pain following a fall or injury it may be worth a visit to the doctor to rule out a fracture. If you’re not sure, come to us first to avoid exposing your child unnecessarily to radiation associated with scans. We will be able to assess whether it’s something that needs further investigation.
Other pain in children or adolescent that may be encountered include; growing pains, sprains and strains, muscle cramps, tight muscles from sport, joint alignment issues, scoliosis and other conditions such as childhood forms of arthritis. Some of these conditions we will be able to treat and some we will need to refer to your doctor or a specialist.
So how exactly can a Myotherapist help?
Step 1. Assessment
The first step in treating pain in children is to talking to your child about their pain complaint. Sometimes they need a bit of help from you (parent or guardian) but we try to develop a good relationship with your child by encouraging good communication with us directly. We might ask questions about your child’s pain; 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 (or can you think of another time you have had this kind 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. This helps us rule out more serious conditions 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 refer you to the appropriate health care professional such as a GP. If we find something we can help with we will move on to the treatment phase of the consultation.
Step 2. Treatment
With pain in children and adolescents, it’s really important to try to empower them to learn about their bodies and treat themselves. That’s why we try to stay as hands-off as possible. Treatment will usually start with specialised movement therapy or instructing them where to place a spiky ball to help. Upon reassessment if progression is slow then we will become more hands on. This hands on treatment may include joint mobilisation (not cracking), dry needling (if when discussed child and parent is not apprehensive), trigger point therapy and massage/myofascial release techniques.
Sometimes treatment will include a few different approaches but rest assured we will always explain what we’ve found and discuss the treatment plan with you as we go. We then like to retest and make adjustments throughout the treatment to make sure the pain is reducing and the range of movement is increasing. Again always discussing with your child and yourself as we go.
Step 3. Management
Next we will talk about things that are going to be helpful at home for your child’s pain complaint, we like to call this a “Remedy Routine”. 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 musculoskeletal complaint more regularly (this is ideal for more persistent problems). 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/guardian too.
We have built great professional relationships with some local sporting clubs including a gymnastics and acro club, a cricket club and some dance studios.
The clubs find their members are away less from injury when working with us and the parents find they are more confident in the clubs because they know we can offer advice and help out where needed.
We have been treating pain in children and adolescents since starting the Mount Waverley clinic in 2012. Over the years we’ve found the most common issues are posture at school and when doing study at home; not understanding how to control their bodies properly for particular sports or activities; and overuse from having breaks over school holidays, for example, then amping up training regimes when returning from the break. If this sounds like your child then get in contact and find out more about how we can help 🙂
We believe keeping your children active and happy is important to their overall health & development.
Just remember, persistent pain in children is not normal and should always be checked out. Email [email protected] if you have a specific question or click here to make a face to face or virtual booking. Virtual consultations are great for kids because we get to see their environment where they study or play and give them exercises that they can comfortably do at home. Best of all you don’t have to drive them to another appointment!
Why is my ankle stability important? Whether you enjoy running, gymnastics, lifting weights or walking the dogs, ankle stability is important. Even moving from standing to sitting and vice versa requires some ankle mobility and stability. We want your ankles to be strong and flexible. Keep reading to learn how to test your ankles and […]
I’ve labelled this blog Myotherapy & Osteopathy because they work so well together. I personally get a Osteopath treatment every 1-3 months and I get a Myotherapy session every 2-6 weeks depending on how much training I’m doing and if I have any niggles from old injuries. Many of our current patients use both Myotherapy […]
Whether you enjoy running, gymnastics, lifting weights or walking the dogs, ankle stability is important. Even moving from standing to sitting and vice versa requires some ankle mobility and stability. We want your ankles to be strong and flexible. Keep reading to learn how to test your ankles and also watch the video to learn the first steps of getting for stability.
How do I test my ankle stability?
Stand close to a wall or something you can grab onto if you loose your balance. Stand on one leg for 30 seconds. Now try the other side. If that was easy now try with your eyes closed. Be mindful you may loose your balance so make sure you are in a safe environment or we can go through it with you in the clinic. Again aim for 30 seconds each side. If you found you were wobbly on either of these exercises then it’s time to focus on building some ankle stability for yourself. You wouldn’t build a house without a good foundation and we shouldn’t expect our bodies to perform well if we aren’t taking care of our standing foundation, our ankles and feet. Watch the video below to take the next step!
What if I have an injury?
If you are suffering with any sort of pain related to or that may be coming from your feet / ankles. I suggest making a session with us to fully assess how to best remedy your individual situation. We can offer consultations both in the clinic and online for your convenience. Look forward to helping you become pain free and thrive!
Do you ever experience groin or hip pain during or after running, deadlifts or squats? Do you feel like you never get a good hip flexor stretch even though to you they feel tight? It might be a hip alignment issue. A hip alignment issue can lead to Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI) which means an […]
Why is low ab strength important? Lower abdominal (low abs) strength is really important for activities of day to day living and even more important if you’re participating in sport or general exercise. Test if you have weak lower abdominals as it can reflect in poor posture, sore lower back and tight hip flexors, legs […]
Did you know this term I have been going to ballet classes?! I am not yet graceful, I do not look beautiful and elegant and there is no gliding across the dance floor to speak of. I am clumsy, I have 2 right feet (or is that left) and seem to keep adding moves where there shouldn’t be any! However, everyone else in class is going through the same thing so I am determined to continue and give it a real go! Luckily I treat ballet dancers a whole lot more confidently that I execute the moves.
When I was going through university one of my house mates was studying ballet so right from the word go I have been interested in the musculoskeletal effects of dancing. Here are some of the common problems that ballet dancers face, if caught early they are all treatable and manageable.
Anterior hip pain and ‘snapping’ hip
This happens when the head of the femur (thigh bone) is sitting too far forward inside the acetabulum (hip bone). It can result in pain at the front of the hip, a snapping sound when lowering the leg or circling the leg and long term can place undue stress on the labrum (a ligament that helps to hold the head of the femur inside the acetabulum) leading to labral tearing. If you have any of these symptoms you should get assessed as soon as you can and start a program to help move the head of the femur back to its rightful resting place.
In Myotherapy we would first assess through movement and palpation that the femur is indeed moving in the wrong direction inside the hip joint. We would check that the acetabulum is not a possible cause at this point but if so refer you on for further investigation. We would then release and stretch any tight muscles found that relate to the problem and go through exercises to strengthen the long or weak muscles present as well as give motor learning type exercises to re educate the joint. We would also consider your full body posture and make sure that something else in the body was not contributing to the problem to prevent future occurrences.
This usually happens from all the kicks and leaps in ballet. Similar to in football the quads are dominant over the hamstrings in terms of strength and sometimes due to inadequate warm up, kicking or jumping beyond limitations, or dehydration the hamstrings can grab on when they should be letting go and bang…at worst a hamstring strain or tear that takes around 6 weeks to heal (sometimes longer) and at best some micro tearing that takes a few days to heal.
Myotherapy can help with both of these scenarios. Dry-needling and Electro-needling is particularly helpful but the best part, like with the hip pain, is the assessment. To discover why something might have happened in the first place is very valuable so that you can fix the problem and stop reoccurring episodes. Unfortunately once you have strained your hamstring once you are more likely to repeat it, treatment can help break this cycle.
This can occur for 2 main reasons and is often misdiagnosed. Firstly in ballet, particularly if tired (or lazy – yes this happens!), when practicing a skill or learning a new skill it is easy to use the wrong muscles. Especially when there are 20 people or so in a class, the teachers eyes can’t be everywhere at once. In ballet it is important to keep the hips facing forward and to keep them level for most of the moves but it’s common to see people letting one hip hike up instead of working the extra bit to keep them level especially during side kicks or prances and when bringing the foot back to its start position. Not holding the correct posture can cause overuse of the back muscles and the deep gluteal muscles. Either one on their own can cause back pain and sciatica symptoms, both together they can feel like you’ve compressed a nerve! It is very unpleasant! Having said that some of the forward bends if done incorrectly could cause a nerve compression. Furthermore the sciatic nerve also exits through the piriformis in some people which means if the muscle gets tight, the nerve gets compressed.
For the reasons mentioned above it is very important to get this properly assessed to find the true cause of your pain. Myotherapy can absolutely help you. Personally this is one of my favourite things to treat having suffered with it in the past myself. As a Myotherapist we will do some assessment to determine exactly where the problem lies, treat accordingly and give you exercises and advice to heal quickly and get you back to ballet ASAP!
Shoulder impingement syndrome
In ballet our arms are always rounded at the front of our bodies which over time can lead to rounded shoulders if not done correctly. Unfortunately most people at ballet I have seen are using the wrong muscles to make this happen. Similar to the hip problem mentioned above, this continued incorrect posture leads to certain muscles shortening and others lengthening which allows the head of the humerus (top of the arm bone) to sit incorrectly inside the glenoid fossa (shoulder socket). Another way the shoulder can become impinged is by the scapula (shoulder blade). If the scapular doesn’t move through it’s normal range then the shoulder socket won’t be pointing in the right direction for the arm to be able to lift properly. In both scenarios we usually end up with pain when trying to lift the arm to the front or to the side of the body. Sometimes this pain can also refer down the arm or into the neck and long term it can do damage to the rotator cuff tendons so get this one looked at as soon as possible.
Don’t panic! Myotherapy can absolutely help. This is another one of my favourite things to treat! Shoulders are so multifaceted that many practitioners shy away from them but I love the investigatory work that goes into ‘getting the bones back in the right place’. We would start by assessing the problem, diagnosing the first layer (there may be multiple layers), doing some treatment and reassessing. If there is still some limitation or pain we would then look for the second layer and so on until your range of movement is back to full and pain free. This sometimes happens in the span of one session but often happens over a few sessions. We would prescribe strength, stretching and motor learning exercises and educate you on how to engage the correct muscles.
Those are some pain conditions that you really want to get looked at, however Myotherapy is great for treating tight muscles from all types of exercise including from ballet and other forms of dance. So even if you are just feeling tighter in your muscles compared to usual it’s worth having a treatment, you will feel so much better for it! As always if you have any questions please feel free to comment or email us at [email protected]