Coburg Osteopathy and Health Services Coburg

Coburg Osteopathy Blog

Why Do Teenagers Need To Train Strength, Stability and Mobility

June 16, 2021

Teenagers are growing very tall these days, as well as creeping into adult shoes and clothing, we need to acknowledge the consequences of all this growth on their body.  The increase in the use of phones, ipads and laptops has no doubt contributed to terrible posture and an increase and back pain and neck pain.

We have been involved in junior physical development across a variety of sports including; swimming, running, soccer, football, netball, basketball, taekwondo, golf, cricket, dancing and cycling.  We take into account the physical demands of their chosen activity and ensure they have the physical capacity to undertake that activity without causing stress to their body.

We work closely with coaches and parents to ensure the physical goals are being achieved in order to coincide with technical skills required by the activity.  This is how we reduce the frustration often felt by the teenager and their coach.

Whenever the body undergoes a growth spurt so many tissues in the body are  involved.  Awareness and centre of gravity is also constantly shifting due to the fact that the nerves, muscles, tendons, bones, ligaments and joints are all adapting to changes.  This is often the cause of why in a couple of weeks a teenager that would normally score consistently, suddenly is missing every shot they take. This is due to the fact that the brain is not keeping up with the growth spurt of the body.

Mobility and flexibility is often the first thing people notice that they lose as they reach puberty.  Touching your toes should not be a thing of the past when you are 13-14 years of age.  This can place excessive strain on the joints and soft tissues of the body and often one of the causes for muscle strains and tears.

We often get asked what age is appropriate to introduce strength training.  It is often assumed that strength training implies heavy weights in the gym which has been linked to stunting growth in teenagers.  It is crucial to know when your teenager’s growth has tapered off.  Strength training is often recommended and suitable, as long as the teenager has the correct foundation for adding load to.  This means being able to move their own body weight well in lots of different positions, efficiently and pain free.  If they cannot achieve this then they should not be lifting weights in the gym.

Stability is what our body needs to generate power, speed, strength and to hold yourself strong against opponents.  This often depends on the brain being able to fire certain patterns in your body so the message is clear of what you are asking the body to do.

All these components are important for normal, healthy, functioning,  growing bodies.  We at Coburg Osteopathy and Health Services offer treatment and strength and conditioning through exercise physiology to bring out the best in their body and to educate them so they have the tools to self manage niggles that may occur.

We are offering introductory teenage strength and conditioning classes for $15 over the school holidays on Wednesdays 4-5 pm.

These classes are developed by Osteopaths and Exercise Physiologists to target common problems we are seeing in teenagers daily.

Please call reception on (03) 9354 2242 or email if you are interested.


Running Goals

June 16, 2021

Do you enjoy running?  Why choose to see an Osteopath ?

I thought the best way to explain this is to present a recent case that presented to our clinic this week.  A healthy, fit 35 year old lady that normally completes 3-4 running training sessions per week presented with ankle pain that restricted her running, to the point of having to cease running training at approximately 200 metres. She was initially training to compete in a 42 km run in 2 weeks time.

She had been having ongoing treatment for 6 months with this injury.  Initially she attended 3 months of weekly physiotherapy sessions for an “unstable ankle”.  She underwent ankle taping, wobble board strengthening exercises, calf raises, orthotics to assist with foot mechanics, all with very minimal success.

She then tried Chiropractic for a restricted lumbar spine and received weekly manipulations to her neck and low back to help her overall alignment and gait mechanics because she had been limping to protect the ankle for 3 months.  The things that stood out in her history of this injury to me were that she had been told she had an unstable ankle and a restricted lumbar spine.

Upon my Osteopathic assessment, her right ankle was restricted (not unstable) with only 12 degrees of flexion available (normal being >35 degrees) and her left hip was limited in extension not from a mobility issue but from a weakness in motor control of her left hip.  She did not have the ability to fire the muscles that extended her hip.  This caused her to slap her right foot during the landing phase of her walking and running gait, and her right knee was overextending to compensate for the lack of mobility in her right ankle. There was additional compensation evident through her spine.

The Osteopathic treatment she received involved both her feet, ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, spine and diaphragm.  This included hands on treatment and active exercises.  I am hoping this highlights the fact that for any lower limb injury, there is always going to be compensation further up the body and this also needs to be addressed.  It is not enough to focus purely on the sight of the pain because we are complicated beings.

At Coburg Osteopathy and Health Services, we enjoy the challenge of getting you back to running better, further, faster, pain free and efficiently.  Feel free to share with your fellow running friends.

The team at Coburg Osteopathy and Health Services.


Preventing Injuries in Teenagers - By Neil Michael, Exercise Physiologist

June 16, 2021

As an Exercise Physiologist and Coach, I have had several conversations during pre-season amongst the coaches all expressing concerns regarding injuries for the teenage athletes that are in our care.

This class has been put together in response to feedback from injured teenage athletes, coaches and parents.  The goal is to address concerns early so that injuries do not get worse and to avoid the frustration for all involved if games are missed unnecessarily.

From my experience it is the missing ingredient in the training routines of younger athletes that will keep them healthy and performing consistently throughout the season.  With an emphasis on education and self management, it is good for teenage athletes to learn how to take responsibility for their health and be able to turn up to training sessions fit and prepared for the demands of their sport.

We are running Teenage Injury Prevention Classes being held at the Studio where I work in Coburg, numbers are restricted so please contact us on 9354 2242.

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