Teenagers undergo numerous physical and emotional challenges as their bodies make the transition from child to adult, whilst also being subjected to peer pressure, examination rollercoasters, intense sporting regimes and relationship development.
Sporadic growth spurts can produce areas of mechanical imbalance/asymmetry or even highlight and exaggerate old injuries from childhood. It is common for one leg to be longer than the other, at this stage, which has to be accommodated by the spine and pelvis until the rest of the body catches up.
Posture is frequently poor during this phase of growth. The amount of time spent sitting or slouching, due to extensive electronic communications, homework and revision plus heavier school bags, markedly increases the stress and tension placed on the developing structure.
If such difficulties are left unchecked they may lead to pain and heighten mood issues, but by analysing, treating and managing their musculo-skeletal function Osteopaths, along with self-help methods such as practitioner prescribed stretching exercises, stress management techniques and dietary changes, can potentially make a major contribution to ensuring that this inevitable process is a healthier one.
It is important to note that because of the huge internal turmoil synonymous with being a teenager young adults are likely to be very reactive, both in life and on the treatment couch, and therefore it is crucial that Osteopathy is applied gently and sensitively.