Children and sickle cell anemia, central sports therapy and rehabilitation

A child with sickle cell anemia “should have a full and complete life, beyond the disease and out of the hospital, as close as possible to that of other children: he should be able to go to school, play, play sports “. Thus, Paola Corti, pediatric haematologist, head of the Red Blood Clinic of the Monza i Brianza Foundation for children and their mothers at the Maria Letizia Verga Center of the San Gerardo de Monza Hospital, in ‘Aleati per la Salute’ (www alleatiperlasalute). .it), the portal dedicated to medical-scientific information created by Novartis.

Monza Hospital offers a rehabilitation service and a ‘sports therapy’ service and is a benchmark of excellence for patients with sickle cell anemia., a rare, chronic and complex disease. The cause is a genetic defect which causes the presence of abnormal hemoglobinhemoglobin S (sickle cell hemoglobin) which causes the red blood cells to take the shape of a sickle (sickle), which obstructs normal blood flow within the blood vessels and causes painful seizures (sickle attacks), inflammation, infection, thrombosis and multi-organ damage.

Thanks also to the sports therapy research project, “we prevent the damage that the disease can cause to the muscles and bones. Serious damage – Corti points out – that can hinder the normal psychomotor development and proper growth of these children. “Precision training, adapted to individual characteristics, is offered to all children and adolescents belonging to the center. The hematologist organizes the first meeting with the sports doctor and the motorcyclist, then a medical evaluation is performed. for planning a series of targeted exercises “focused on the prevention or treatment of pathological processes already underway such as osteonecrosis (death of bone tissue, due to lack or insufficiency of blood supply, ed.) that affects the limbs, “said the specialist.

Until a few years agoCorti recalls, we intervened only with motor rehabilitation“with physiotherapists and physiotherapists, after orthopedic interventions in osteonecrotic or osteomyeletic problems (bone infection, ed) related to the disease. Physiotherapy was performed in the hospital and then the real problem had to be faced, that is, how to re-enter the child in a longer period of time into the territory. ensuring adequate recovery, growth and harmonious development. “From 2017, however, with the research project in sports therapy ‘we intervene in the prevention of complications -reports the article- in the ability to carry the patient , when necessary, to surgery in better conditions., and then following him in the recovery of his ability to exercise and fully reintegrate into his sporting and social life: sport is by definition inclusive.

“Today, during bone marrow transplant weeksin his room, explains Corti the little patient (child or adolescent), compatible with the clinical situation, walks, do muscle strengthening exercises, play games, do sports like football or golf, dance. All with confidence and proven results through scientific publications and international conferences. ”

The aim of sports therapy is “to make children move in the face of complex clinical situations – adds Luca Pollastri, sports doctor – This means looking for strategies to carry out an activity compatible with the contingent situation, know the pathology, have the possibility of a specialized pediatric support and of sharing the knowledge with the motorist to look for the compatible way and the support for the patient ”.

The strength of the center is that of a team of specialists and experts able to intervene harmoniously according to the specific needs of each child.

“The relationship between a pediatric haematologist, a sports doctor and a motorcyclist is absolutely important, because collaboration, when it comes to identifying the exercises that children can do, is fundamental to putting into practice what is defined at the clinical level. Remarks Wiliam Zardo, the center’s chief scientist. For parents, “seeing that investments are also being made in sport in a growth phase – concludes Pollastri – gives important long-term hope. Global management is greatly appreciated.”

The full article is available at:

Leave a Comment