What we’ll cover
  1. Lateral Ankle Sprain
  2. Anterior Cruciate Ligament
  3. Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome
  4. Osgood Schlatters
  5. Severs
  6. What to do if your child is experiencing pain?

Common adolescent sporting injuries

Any sport, whether it be individual or team-based, carries with it the risk of injury. Often sport-related injuries are thought to be a part of the game and unavoidable, however, for most cases this is untrue.

Injuries can be classified into acute or overuse in nature. With a number of social sporting associations looking to return, our physiotherapist Laura Scott goes through some of the most common sport-related injuries seen in adolescents.

Lateral Ankle Sprain

A rolled ankle or lateral ankle sprain is one of the most common acute injuries seen in children’s sport. Whilst often thought to be an injury that would heal with time, one study showed that within 6 months of the initial injury, 65% of participants still reported moments of instability, and a further 24% reported subsequent sprains.

Strength, proprioception and agility are all key elements to your child’s rehabilitation following injury to help ensure the integrity of the ankle joint and prevent future injury.

Whilst these above elements are great for rehabilitation following an ankle sprain, they can be just as useful to implement as a preventative measure. Having adequate strength and proprioception around the ankle joint will help to lower the risk of injury and more importantly time spent not playing sport. Specific ankle exercises are the only way to improve stability around the ankle.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Injury to your child’s ACL can occur in both contact and non-contact sports. Unfortunately female adolescent athletes have the highest risk for an ACL injury, with the incidence of injury 4-6x higher than males. Females aged between 15-19 years of age report the greatest number of ACL injuries

The ACL itself is one of four ligaments that help to support and stabilise the knee. Specifically the ACL prevents both the forward translation of the shin bone (tibia) and protects the meniscus of the knee.

In around 80% of instances, an ACL rupture occurs without any contact from another player. More often, it occurs when the athlete is landing, changing speed or changing direction.

Neuromuscular training programs are rolled out across numerous sporting codes to work on prevention of ACL injuries. Programs such as the KNEE Program and Fifa 11+. Components of such programs incorporate progressive strengthening of both core and lower limbs, plyometric work including running, jumping and change of direction, and lastly proprioception. Principles from such programs underpin the structure of recently launched Family Fit here at Malvern East Physiotherapy.

Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome

Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) is an overuse/overload injury most commonly attributed to poor biomechanics (e.g. foot posture) as well as reduced proximal stability around the pelvic/hip region. Altered biomechanics lead to imbalance of load and maltracking of the knee cap itself with activity.

PFPS is most commonly seen in children who participate in sports involving a high demand for running and jumping which increase load on the knee joint itself.

PFPS results in irritation of the patello-femoral joint and thus early on it’s sometimes necessary for patients to take a small break from sport in order to reduce inflammation, settle your childs pain and address muscular imbalances.

Osgood Schlatters

Osgood-Schlatters is a common cause of pain experienced at the front of the knee. It is caused by excessive and repetitive strain from the quadriceps muscle during sporting activities.

This injury is most commonly seen in children and young adolescents, and is more commonly experienced in boys aged 10-14. During this age, children/adolescents often experience periods of rapid growth however bones and cartilage grow at a much faster rate than muscles and tendons. This leads to an increase pull of the quadriceps muscle causing both irritation and inflammation on its bony attachment.

With more and more activity, the flexibility of the quadriceps muscle is further reduced leading to ongoing and persistent pain.


Similar to Osgood Schlatters, Severs Disease is another growth related injury. Often felt as pain localised to the heel, it is seen in young and physically active children. Severs disease is often seen in those aged 8-12 as the heel bone (calcaneus) under goes growth.

Your child may often experience pain during physical activity, specifically sports involving large amounts of running and jumping. Furthermore pain is often still prevalent even once activity ceases potentially causing your child to tiptoe and avoid placing pressure on the heel itself.

What to do if your child is experiencing pain?

If your child is experiencing any pain with activity it’s recommended that you seek professional advice in order to allow for a thorough assessment and diagnosis to take place. Physiotherapists can accurately diagnose your child’s injury by performing a thorough assessment which includes listening to your child’s injury history and a clinical examination.

Our team at Malvern East Physiotherapy work closely with a number of junior sporting associations and teams. If your child is experiencing musculoskeletal injuries or pain call us or book online today. When assessed and treated early, it results in decreased recovery time and minimal (if any) time spent away from sport.

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Back to school 🔙📚

Last week we were fortunate enough to head back to uni and refresh our anatomy knowledge at @latrobeuni in the anatomy labs. 

Thank you to the Latrobe School of Physiotherapy for inviting us! Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

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