When Should Your Child See a Pediatric Sports Medicine or Physical Therapy Specialist?

For young athletes to get the full physical, social and emotional benefits of their sport, they need support – at minimum, from their coach, teammates and family.

But sometimes, kids could also benefit from a pediatric sports medicine expert, from doctors to physical therapists.

Nicholas Giampetruzzi, PT, MSPT, Connecticut Children’s lead sports physical therapist, explains some of the reasons to schedule an appointment or Video Visit today.

You want your athlete to build healthy habits.

The way that your child participates in their sport, from conditioning to competing to resting, can affect their long-term health. A pediatric sports expert, such as Connecticut Children’s sports physical therapists, can educate young athletes about topics that are important to them and their sport.

This includes:

  • Proper mechanics for motions, from daily activities to sport-specific movements
  • Strength and flexibility demands of sports
  • Injury reduction strategies

Many of these services are available by Video Visit.

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Your athlete wants to rehabilitate an injury or gain a competitive edge.

As athletes progress to higher levels of competition, unique demands are placed on their body. Programs at Connecticut Children’s can keep athletes on the field, reduce their likelihood for future injury, and help them gain a competitive edge.

This includes innovative therapies like dry needling and blood flow restriction (BFR) therapy – in fact, Connecticut Children’s was the first in the nation to start a clinical trial for BFR therapy in adolescents, looking for alternative ways to improve strength in athletes who have pain or are recovering from surgery.

We also offer individualized training through our transitional therapy program for athletes who want to improve their performance, reduce their risk of injury, or exercise with professional supervision.

> Related: Grow Committed: Zach’s Story

You think your child might have an overuse injury.

Teen bends to touch toes with the help of a physical therapist at Connecticut Children's

If your child has experienced any of the warning signs of an overuse injury – which can include pain, swelling or tenderness – the first step is to talk to their coach and primary care pediatrician, apply ice and modify their activity, and make sure they get the appropriate rest and home treatment.

But if pain continues to interfere with their daily activities or sports, you’ll want to check with a sports medicine specialist.

Connecticut Children’s can evaluate and diagnose whether your child has an overuse injury, identify the underlying factors that caused it in the first place, and design a personalized treatment plan to make sure they recover properly.

> Related: Return to Play Resources for Athletes

Your child has suffered a sports injury.

Sports injuries affect children’s bodies differently than adults’ bodies. So if your child has been injured, whether from wear-and-tear or an acute sports injury, they’ll need care from experts who specialize in pediatrics.

Connecticut Children’s orthopedic surgeons use techniques that avoid damage to growth plates, and our sports physical therapists have advanced training in pediatric-specific treatment plans. For example, our Interval Throwing Program is used to gradually rebuild ball players’ throwing ability after an overuse injury like Little League Shoulder or Little League Elbow.

We also understand the mental, social and emotional impact of a sports injury. Most of us are athletes ourselves. We understand how devastating a sports injury can be to a young athlete. We know how important it is to return kids to the top of their game – safely.

> Related: Connecticut Children’s provides all the services athletes need, from X-rays to physician visits to sports physical therapy

Find care near you!

Connecticut Children’s has four convenient locations specializing in and practicing sports medicine. Find one near you.

We now offer walk-in and same-day appointments in our Farmington, Glastonbury and Danbury Specialty Care Center Locations, Monday – Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm.

Related links

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