Myotherapy is a form of manual therapy for any age group. Myotherapy uses a variety of gentle techniques that can help any age have ideal muscle function, just like adults, children and adolescents can also experience musculoskeletal imbalances, conditions and pain.
A range of problems may interfere with the normal development of a child from infancy all the way through to skeletal maturity as an adolescent.
Childhood accidents and falls, or simply the young body’s rapid growth can create or contribute to problems associated with bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves.
With an ever-increasing number of children specialising in one particular sport at increasingly younger ages, the onset of overuse injuries is more common. As children are also still growing they are more susceptible to injury than adults.
Some common conditions that Myotherapists treat in the children through to adolescent group include:
Postural problems (eg. from sitting at desks, using IPads)
Osgood Schlatter’s disease
Muscle and joint aches and pains
More common overuse injuries seen in children include foot, knee and hip problems.
Myotherapy can be applied for a variety of different conditions occurring in childhood and adolescence. Just as in adulthood, active children can experience soft tissue injuries as a result of a trauma or a fall, including sprains and muscular strains and overuse injuries can occur in children undertaking sports/ activities such as dancing, little athletics, football etc, especially through periods of growth and development.
Commonly seen in children during the ages of 8-12 years of age and tends to coincide with when a child hits a growth spurt. It is a very common cause of heel pain, which occurs at the growth plate in the heel bone (calcaneus). It is often triggered by an increase in weight bearing activities (running & jumping activities) and during a period of growth.
Osgood Schlatter’s disease:
Is a painful knee condition which develops just below the kneecap at the growth plate of the tibial bone (tibial tubercle). It typically occurs in adolescents during a growth spurt, and disappears once they stop growing (around 14 years for girls and 16 for boys). Repeated straightening and contraction of the quadriceps (thigh) muscle during activities including running, jumping and kicking causes pulling of the patella tendon on the tibial tubercle (shin bone), this can irritate and inflame the undeveloped growth plate underneath. Tendons can become tighter during growth spurts, increasing the risk of growth-related injuries. Active children are at a higher risk of developing Osgood Schlatter’s disease but it can also occur in children that are not so active.
Pain in one or both knees during growth phases
The repeated pulling on the bone can cause a lump to form on the tibial tubercle, just below the kneecap. When this lump is compressed it is very painful.
The condition is normally worse during activities including running, squatting, kicking, going up and down stairs.
Pain typically subsides during rest.
How Many Appointments Do Children Need?
Children and young adults respond very quickly to treatment, as their bodies are constantly changing and the tissues are being renewed so regularly, that they tend to take the effects of treatment in their stride.
They also don’t have a lifetime of postural dysfunction, stress and injury that adults have, so they don’t need as much treatment.
Some problems can resolve in 1-2 treatments, but others may require ongoing treatment eg every 4-8 weeks until symptoms stabilise. We often find that we can essentially resolve a problem quite quickly, but it may return or regress later on alongside other events such as illness, vaccinations, teething and developmental milestones being achieved.