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Faces of Physio (April): Olivia

Our April nominee for 'Faces of Physio' is Olivia. She's a proud resident of New Westminster and is thirteen years old. She loves to play all kinds of sports and has a very active lifestyle. Olivia has Osgood–Schlatter disease in both of her knees and sought out the help of Royal City Physio to keep her moving.

What sports do you play?

I play box lacrosse, field lacrosse, and basketball.

What were the first symptoms that you experienced? How did it limit you? What is your injury?

My first symptoms were sharp pains below my kneecap when I ran and an ache after exercise. This limited me because it prevented me from running which I do in all the sports I play. I have Osgood–Schlatter syndrome in both of my knees.

Here's some info about Osgood-Schlatter syndrome from physiotherapist, Karen Nichol:

Osgood Schlatter’s disease or syndrome is a common cause of knee pain in growing adolescents that are actively involved in sports that involve running, jumping and multidirectional movements. It is marked by inflammation and pain below the kneecap at the attachment of the patellar tendon into the tibia . It occurs most often during these growth spurts as the increase in femur length puts the quadriceps muscles and attaching tendons that run across this bone on ‘stretch’. Physical activity puts significant additional stress on these structures.

Physical therapy can often be extremely helpful in addressing this syndrome. Physiotherapists assess and educate these clients on proper stretching, specific exercises, activity modification & icing as a means of addressing their symptoms and helping these individuals return to pain free activity.

How did you end up at physio? Did a friend or doctor refer you?

I ended up at Royal City Physio because I went to the doctor and they told me I needed to go to physio. I found out about Royal City because a couple of girls on my team had been to physio for different reasons and highly recommended it.

What type of exercises did your physio give you?

When I’m at physio I start off with five minutes on the bike, then hip, glute and ab work and then mobility which with the ladder. At the end of my exercises, I ice. At home I do all the exercises that I have the equipment for, and before sports I foam roll and do mobility and when I get home, ice for fifteen minutes.

Were there any modifications that you had to make? Did you have to cease activity for a while?

I had to limit my running in the beginning so I could continue to play until the end of the season. After that, I stopped all activity completely and focused on getting better.

Give us a timeline of how it took to resolve your issue. (How long did it take? Do you keep up with your exercises and home program?)

I first felt pains in early December and finally went to physio January 21 and stopped all sports February 28, including gym at school. I have finally been able to start box lacrosse on a good note in late March, early April, with my knees at 95% but I will continue to come to physio once a week until I’m 100%. So I’ve been going to physio for approximately ten weeks. I try to keep up with my exercises when I have time but I make sure to ice after activity.

What activity are you excited to get back to?

I was most excited for Box Lacrosse because Davin and I planned it so I was in good enough shape to start the season and not be limited.

9. What have you learned from your time with Royal City Physio?

I have learned from my time at Royal City Physio that you only have one body and you need to take care of it to make sure you aren’t sitting on the sidelines while watching your team play. Also, I learned that the best thing for you, but hurts the most, is foam rolling.

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