When Should My Young Athlete See a Physical Therapist?

Did you know that physical therapy can help with everyday aches and pains, as well as injuries that happen more suddenly? Physical therapy can help your young athlete with a wide range of aches and pains that are caused by muscles, ligaments, tendons, or illness. Exercise, hands-on techniques, and education led by a physical therapist can lead your child back to better function.

Child smiling at camera laying on ball during physical therapy session

What is a physical therapist?

Physical therapists are highly educated healthcare providers that work collaboratively with your physician to reduce pain and improve mobility which can reduce the need for medication, and sometimes surgery too. If an injury is the result of playing a sport, you should consider seeing a physical therapist who is board certified by the American Physical Therapy Association in orthopedic injuries and conditions or sports physical therapy. Another option is a physical therapist who is also a certified athletic trainer. These individuals work specifically with athletes and the active population.


When should my young athlete see a physical therapist?

Your young athlete should consider seeing a physical therapist if he/she is noticing pain, experienced an injury, underwent surgery, or has been referred to one by your physician for any other reason.  Pain, swelling, decreased movement, painful movement, and difficulty walking or running are all symptoms that can be addressed in physical therapy. Common conditions that we see include tendinitis, bursitis, sprains, strains, and post-operative care.


What to expect from physical therapy?

The first appointment is focused on evaluating your condition. This involves a discussion of the history of the condition, gaining objective measures such as range of motion and strength of the involved body part, and understanding your young athlete’s goals.

The first appointment will also educate you and your young athlete on the condition(s) you are facing and its progression. Your physical therapist will provide you with a treatment plan that includes activities that will be performed in physical therapy, frequency and lengths of visits, and any directions for care at home. In conjunction with your physician, your physical therapist can help determine when your young athlete can return to play.

Make an Appointment

If you feel like your child needs to be seen by a physical therapist, ask your physician for a prescription to attend physical therapy.  Once you have your prescription, make an appointment with UConn Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Rehabilitation at 860-679-3233.