What Are Growing Pains?
Growing pains are usually associated with periods of rapid growth (growth spurts).
In theory, muscles grow slower than bones and it is during times of growth spurts that the delay of muscle growth can cause deep muscle stretching, otherwise known as growing pains.
What Are The Symptoms?
If your child is experiencing growing pains they may complain of:
- Muscular aches and pains felt in both legs.
- Pains may occur more regularly with increased activity levels.
- The pain may come and go intermittently.
- Moving the legs does not make the pain better or worse (note: this confirms the joints are not affected).
- The pain doesn’t cause a limp or make it hard to run and play normally.
- The pain may be severe enough to wake the child from sleep.
Location Of Pain
- Pain is often difficult to pinpoint specifically
- It most often occurs in the region behind the calf muscle and ankles, behind the knees and in the front of the thigh.
- Occasionally, the muscles of the arms may be affected as well.
- The child may also complain of intermittent headaches.
Onset & Duration Of Pain
- It may occur only occasionally, a few times a week or even every night of the week.
- The onset of pain is often around the late afternoon or evening (This usually indicates it is associated with increased activity).
- The pain can become worse during the night, particularly when the child is supposed to be going to sleep.
- The pain is usually gone by the morning.
Side Effects of Growing Pains
Common side effects of growing pains include:
- Muscular tiredness – more physical activity than usual on certain days may be linked to more aching muscles.
- Poor posture and biomechanics – flat feet (or rolling in) will overload the muscles and lead to increased levels of pain at the days end.
Bone growth – bone grows quicker than muscles, therefore when the bone grows, this causes the muscle to tighten leading to stiffness and pain until the muscles grow.
Treatment Of Growing Pains
Once a diagnosis of growing pains has been confirmed, successful treatment usually involves one or more of the following
- Therapeutic massage of the affected area/s by parent or guardian.
- Relative rest-reducing activity levels to a more sustainable level when pains begin to develop.
- A child-specific stretching program as prescribed by your podiatrist at Erica Dash Podiatry
- Customised Orthotics to improve biomechanics
- Understanding and reassurance by parents or guardians.
Shockwave is a great alternative to treatments such as dry needling if you’re needle phobic and not keen on dry needling. We also have effective treatment offers for kids.