At Girl Fit Physical Therapy, our highly skilled physical therapists understand the unique physical needs presented by young female athletes. During the peak growth spurt, which usually occurs between ages 11 and 13 for girls, their bodies are undergoing rapid changes. The increase in height comes from the lengthening of the long bones in the body, especially in the femur and tibia which make up the leg. Muscles attach to the ends of these long bones via tendons. When the bones lengthen, there is an enormous amount of stress placed on the muscles, tendons, and the attachment sites on the bones. Each of these areas can be prone to injury because of this increase in stress, especially when the athlete is also increasing her activities levels or competitiveness in sport which often coincides with this time frame of peak growth. If you have heard of Osgood Schlatter or Sever’s Disease, these are common examples of knee pain and heel pain respectively that occur as a result of overuse, especially during peak growth spurt, and cause irritation of the growth plate underneath where the tendon attaches to the bone. Treatment for these types of injuries includes activity modification, strengthening, stretching, foam rolling, and correcting movements patterns. At Girl Fit Physical Therapy, we prioritize educating our clients about the importance of performing a good dynamic warm up and cool down for sporting activities, being consistent with a solid strengthening routine, and listening to their bodies. We strive to empower our clients to understand the WHY behind the exercise and promote lifelong healthy habits and decrease the risk of future injuries.
Though this may not seem intuitive, scheduling a visit at Girl Fit Physical Therapy before suffering an injury is an excellent idea! While girls are growing at such a fast rate, oftentimes their brains have a hard time keeping up with the changes. There may be a temporary, but noticeable, loss of coordination, speed, flexibility, and skill acquisition. This is another reason why strengthening and stretching during the time of a growth spurt is so important!! Our physical therapists are passionate about injury prevention and offer a type of evaluation called a Wellness Visit which covers whole body strength and flexibility testing in order to catch and correct imbalances before they cause pain and limit activity. After a thorough evaluation, our physical therapists will be able to provide an individualized plan to address each client’s specific needs whether it is geared towards rehabilitation from injury, sports performance, or injury prevention.
If your daughter is currently sidelined due to an injury, set up a physical therapy evaluation and let us help her get back in the game! If your daughter is not currently injured but you know she has had a recent growth spurt, set up a Wellness Visit and we can help her stay strong and healthy as she grows. We can be reached at 617-618-9290 to set up either type of appointment, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christina Verhorevoort, PT, DPT
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist