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When Kids Need Physio

November 11, 2019
PFJ Pain Treatment

Even kids need physio sometimes. Sure, they’re less prone to things like back pain, neck pain and injuries than the rest of us, but sometimes kids get pain or injuries and they need physio too!

This blog post will go through some of the common things that we see kids for.

Sever’s Disease or Osgood-Schlatter’s


These are the most common examples of growth-related condition called a “tractional apophysitis”. This is where pain is caused by excessive traction force on a growth plate below where a tendon attaches. The most common of these conditions occur at the heel (Sever’s Disease) or at the knee (Osgood-Schlatter’s), but they may also occur in other locations, such as the hip or shoulder.

Treatment for these may involve massage, taping, bracing, ultrasound etc. Some modification of activity may be required, but where possible we like to keep kids participating in the sports they enjoy. Pain associated with these conditions is due to irritation rather than tissue damage, and so pushing through a sensible degree of pain is usually possible without risk of making the injury worse.

Wry Neck

These can be scary when they happen. There’s a sudden onset of pain in the neck and moving the neck becomes painful and difficult. Often the child will hold their neck tilted down to one side and/or rotated.

These injuries, scary though they may appear, are quite common and generally caused by a fairly minor joint sprain in the neck and don’t reflect anything more insidious than this. Kids usually recover quite quickly, particularly with some hands-on treatment and range of movement exercises. They’re worth getting some physiotherapy treatment on, and when you do you’ll generally see significant improvement in a matter of days.

Back Pain

Yes, back pain isn’t just for older people. Usually, like with a wry neck, back pain in kids is due to an acute onset joint sprain and clears up quite quickly with some treatment.

Sometimes kids can get longer-term back pain though, and this needs to be treated like chronic back pain is in any other population. That is, by performing a thorough assessment to determine potential causes and contributors to the pain and addressing these. This often includes manual therapy, education and exercise.

manual therapy

There are many more conditions which physios can treat kids for. Many of these can be treated by our physiotherapist, while other issues may require a physiotherapist who specialises in developmental issues. If you’re not sure who the right health professional for your child to see is, give us a call to discuss and we’ll happily point you in the right direction.

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