Growing athletes' bones and muscles are still developing, so they need care from pediatric specialists.
What is sports physical therapy?
Children's sports physical therapists understand the athletic demands of kids and teens who play competitive sports. And since growing athletes are subject to overuse issues due to sport specialization and year-round, single-sport participation, our team is trained to identify how an injury could limit an athlete's ability to perform. We work to address these issues so kids and teens can return to sports as quickly and safely as possible after an injury. Our sports physical therapist also specialize in identifying the proper mechanics of sport-specific movements, helping growing athletes pinpoint and fix incorrect mechanics. In addition, we help athletes learn ways to prevent injuries to keep them in the game and prepare them for full return to their age-appropriate level of activity and sports participation.
What makes teen sports physical therapy different from adults?
Teen athletes are experiencing mental and emotional development, as well as have very different nutritional, sleep and rest needs compared to adults. Most adults do not participate in competitive sports at such high volumes of frequency and intensity, so they do not sustain the same types of injuries that teens are likely to sustain. In addition, injuries are unique to teens when they occur in the areas of the growth plates--the areas in the bone that allow for growth.
A physical therapist who works with teens must take everything into consideration in order to establish a positive therapist-patient relationship, which has been proven to influence the outcomes of physical therapy. Teens also need more variety and challenge because they can get bored doing the same thing over and over. Because of this, sports physical therapy must be age-appropriate, innovative and stimulating enough to keep them engaged throughout the plan of care.