Traditionally, young athletes have been treated by qualified physiotherapists working within practices that mainly treat adults. Research also suggests that in General Practice and the NHS, children’s and young people’s sporting injuries are a very low treatment priority and specialist knowledge is rare. However, research is increasingly supporting the fact that children require different specific care pathways for unique conditions seen only in the growing skeleton. These pathways are still under negotiation and are not taught as part of current physiotherapy undergraduate degree courses. As such, there is a huge shortage in professionally qualified paediatric sporting injury Physiotherapists.
With this growing need to educate and manage Child sporting injuries correctly, the first MSc in Musculoskeletal sporting injuries in children and adolescents was launched this year by University College London. While this a significant step forward, it has also highlighted the worrying shortage of suitably qualified personnel in this area, a fact noticed by paediatric specialists and medical insurance companies.
Against this backdrop, the establishment of the TYAC is very timely as it is well placed to provide the unique levels of support required by children with sports injuries.