Physiotherapy and ‘The Young Athlete’: Education, advocacy, and the upcoming ACPSEM biennial conference

Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Sports & Exercise Medicine blog series @PhysiosinSport

By Claire Treen @ClaireTreen

biennel conferenceIn recent months, politicians in the UK have – quite rightly – talked a lot about the NHS. However, perhaps because many teens don’t vote, we don’t hear as much about the challenges of bone growth, adolescent and young adult mental health, eating disorders and adapting to change in academic and social environments. My colleague Dr Dominique Thompson, University of Bristol Director of Student Health, recently highlighted this in a 3 minute BMJ podcast.

As Sport and Exercise Physiotherapists, youth and parents often confide in us. It is therefore especially important to both be informed about key youth health issues and advocate for their importance.

I’ve worked with many teens, particularly young runners and tennis players, in a university environment over the last 10 years. My colleagues and I have noted recurrent challenges around screening and safeguarding young athletes.

Questions we have raised in our continuing professional development  sessions include:

What do we understand about adolescent growth and its influence on musculo-skeletal development and injury?

How do we prevent today’s star first XV rugby player from being tomorrow’s persistent pain sufferer?

What are the implications of applying high load to areas such as the spine, hip and groin during adolescence?

We are constantly challenged in our work to support young people as they transition from developing or elite junior athletes into an elite senior environment. How can we best do this, and who should be involved?

How can the ACPSEM biennial conference strengthen our capabilities?

With a focus on ‘the young athlete,’ the upcoming ACPSEM biennial conference (this October in Brighton) aims to help answer some of these questions.

Conferences not only provide presentations on ‘hot-topics’ from leaders in the field, but also a chance to interact with others facing similar clinical scenarios, and discuss these – and more – multifaceted questions.

What are the benefits of being an ACPSEM member?

Being an ACPSEM member gives you a discount, and helps you become part of a group of skilled physio professionals. You can also access continuing professional development through journal subscriptions and an organised and well mentored pathway.

The early bird catches the worm…everyone who books before May 31st gets a discounted price and a free (unfilled) Vivomed kit bag and entry into raffle prizes.

Register today! Hope to see you there!


Claire Treen @ClaireTreen is a Physiotherapist at University of Bristol Sports Medicine Clinic, Coombe Dingle Sports Complex

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