How to look after your teenager’s physical health
Young adults are an interesting demographic; often, their minds are more advanced than their physical bodies. Did you know that the pelvis remains in 3 parts, not fully fusing until we are 15?
We need to remember that their physical body is a changing area. In this piece, I discuss the most common things I see in teenagers as an Osteopath.
An essential for teenagers. Sometimes Osgood-Schlatter’s can occur in sporty kids. This is felt as pain in the knee (one or both), usually after taking part in high-impact sports. Careful management by a professional must be in place, and Teenagers must warm up and cool down beforehand after the sport. Ice packs and specific stretches, plus rest, are the first step.
Whilst there is no evidence suggesting the weight of a bag is linked to spinal pain, often teenagers have bags on one shoulder or the straps low. You don’t need to be an Osteopath to see how those scenarios have the potential to irritate. Coupled with lunch bags, a PE kit, and perhaps a musical instrument, our kids often have a lot to lug, often carried outside the centre of gravity. This load on developing structures has the potential to irritate and inflame, especially if bags are on one shoulder. Rucksacks are a must, with the straps tight enough to ensure the bag is not halfway down their legs!
Phones and Tablets
Kids of all ages are digitally native, and they need to be for their future. Just watch they don’t have their necks in too much flexion (chin to chest) as this places a lot of strain on the neck which can lead to discomfort, tight muscles and headaches. Regular technology breaks are essential.
Being in a static position, looking down, for prolonged periods can strain the neck and shoulder muscles. This can cause tightness and pain, potentially leading to headaches. Regular breaks are critical, as well as using a table for study. A document holder can be brilliant for holding books and notes. Encourage your child to have at least an hour of physical activity daily and maintain their team sports and hobbies in exam season. A short walk will help!
If you are worried about your teenager’s physical or mental health, get help. There are professionals in every field of health who want to help. This article is available in full on my website.
For more information on how Osteopathy can help you, please visit www.kibworthosteopaths.co.uk or call me on 07761 664 325.
Emily Coombes (B’Ost)
Registered Osteopath (7416)