Rehabilitation :: Frequently Asked Questions Orthopaedic and Sports-related Physical Therapy
The therapists at the Rehabilitation Services Department at CHOC Children’s work with patients of all ages with a variety of diagnoses. The questions below are some of the most frequently asked about physical therapy as it relates to orthopaedic conditions and sports-related injuries and diagnoses. The answers in this document should not replace the specific information provided by the patient’s therapists or doctor.
How can I prevent injury?
The best way to prevent an overuse injury is to not play year-round sports. Any joint or muscle can be overused if not allowed to rest between seasons. This rest can be active, meaning the child can play a new or different sport while resting from their favorite sport. Young athletes can also reduce the amount of injuries they experience by being flexible. The more flexible an athlete is, the less likely he or she is to be injured. For best results, the specialists at CHOC Children’s recommend stretching before and after practices or games. Coaches and/or a physical therapist can instruct the athlete and family in proper techniques for each of these stretching activities. Learn more about the stretches that can help prevent sports-related injuries.
How long will my child need to be in therapy?
The length and amount of therapy a child will need depends on the child’s diagnosis and the time the family devotes to performing the home exercise program. Some children will only require a few visits while others may require therapy for as long as six months if they have undergone a major reconstruction of the joint.
Will my child be able to return to sports?
We strive to help each child return to their desired sport, but if that sport is not appropriate we work with the family and the child to determine other activities that may be just as rewarding.
Please speak with the child’s therapists or physicians about any of your specific questions.
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