How Do I Assist My Growing Teenager With Their Growing Pains? Dr. Jennifer Stevens

teen pains
It’s really common for teenagers to have growing pains or pain associated with sports and you want to help them but at the same time, you don’t wanna be causing any further problems. It’s important to talk to particularly your health professionals such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapists and talk through the sorts of activities that will be helpful for your teenager’s through this period.

So for teenagers, it’s really common to have growing pains or pain associated with sport and you want to help them but at the same time, you don’t wanna be causing any further problems. 

So after you’ve ensured that there’s no major problems going on by going and seeing your GP, you might wanna put in place some strategies to just help them stay mobile. So for example, if they’ve got problems with their knee or their ankle after sport, you might wanna get them into some activities that are more upper limb rather than lower limb. Rowing might be a good thing if you’ve got ankle problems, for example. So you want to find some other ways that they can still keep engaged with their friends, engaged with physical activity but just not exacerbate the problem that they have. 

It’s also really important to concentrate on only giving simple analgesia. So by that I mean Panadol, anti inflammatories. It’s important not to commence morphine-type drugs in teenagers unless it’s absolutely necessary. We know that sometimes that that can have longer-term consequences. So getting some help to explain to your teenager that sometimes this can be normal, it can be part of growing up, that you can find ways around it but it’s not gonna be there forever and that they’ll be able to reengage with the sport that they love but they might have to do other things in the meantime. 

So it’s important to talk to particularly your allied health professionals, so physiotherapist, occupational therapists. They can talk you through the sorts of activities that will the helpful or unhelpful while you’re teenager’s getting through this period.

Dr Jennifer Stevens is a Pain Specialist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney and Pain Australia

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