It must be growing pain

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It must be growing pain


To be able to exercise at a high level you must have a healthy body. Or at least a body that can handle the challenges your sport demands. This applies to athletes and para-athletes. There is no doubt that this comes with struggles, with daily mental and physical challenges and victories, as any (top) athlete can tell.

You are the biggest competition yourself; you will have to compete with yourself every day to get the best out of yourself. This process will be easier for one person than for the other.

Apart from the mental process, there is another aspect that many young top athletes can face.

How often do you get the comment from people: ‘It must be growing pains’? Followed by a story or explanation about how they once experienced those themselves. And it will make sense in one way, because there are similarities. But on the other hand, "growing pains" does not cover the load.

Sure, there can be a simple explanation for the (temporary) discomfort. Stress, an upcoming flu or simply the state of a teenager’s mind.

But have you ever thought about another possibility? Have you ever heard about ‘Osgood-Schlatter's disease' ?


Without wanting and being able to make a medical diagnosis, it comes down to the following: The disease occurs to adolescent children between 11 and 15 years (more among boys than among girls). And usually a combination is made between running (top) sport and the growth spurt.


Initially the symptoms are mild. There is some vague pain in the knees and the child is no longer being able to squat. Because of the pain in the knees, it is often young football players who suffer from this, for example when kicking a ball away. But a track and field athlete can also experience a lot of trouble when jumping or making squats.

The reason for the pains is that the growth discs of the skeleton grow faster than the muscles and tendons at some point, creating an extra tension on the muscles (muscle shortening) that causes pain. And enormous stiffness. Within the professional sports world it is not an unknown phenomenon, but as parents of a starting athlete you are faced with a mystery and it can raise many questions and concerns.

It can even cause so much misunderstanding between child and parents that it seems as if the adolescent simply does not want to get off the couch, does not want to make an effort to carry out the training properly and he gives the impression just making up that he is stiff or in pain. This can also lead to frustration of the trainer who does not want an unmotivated athlete in his team. It is therefore very important to inform the trainer, so that there is understanding and the training schedule can be adjusted.

Tags: Growing pain, young, athlete, teenager, Osgood-Schlatter's, disease

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