Firstly, we are not talking attitude or behaviour here .. that is not our area of expertise at all. In today’s post, we want to look at growth and growing pains.
So what are growing pains?
Growing pains are often described as an ache or throb in the legs and experienced in the front of the thighs, the calves or behind the knees. They tend to affect both legs most often occurring at night and may even wake a child from sleep.
Basically, the body grows in bursts starting with the foot and ankle, then knee and lastly the hip and groin. These can start from the age of ten when the bony growth plates either side of the joints become very vulnerable to impact.
In addition, the muscles surrounding these weight-bearing joints need to play catch up as they often don’t grow at the same rate. Meaning they can be very tight during this phase and therefore vulnerable, which can cause pain … “growing pains”.
To add insult to the injury it is active children that are more likely to have problems. As with everything, some people will fly through whilst others have a lot of pain which can be worrying. Mums will know if their child is growing as school uniforms seem to shrink plus new school shoes are needed more often.
Two of the most common areas coinciding with a growth spurt are:
- The knee: Osgood –Schlatter’s disease. An overload injury from excessive repetitive traction of the tibial tuberosity, which is where the tendon inserts into the bone. The junction being weaker than the tendon or bone in adolescents during the growth phase. This is most common in boys aged between nine and sixteen.
- In the younger age group those aged between eight and thirteen years Sever’s Disease. Suffered by girls and boys, a “heel pain“ and is the second most common growth disorder. This can be very painful and acute.
It is really important to get both checked out and for the child to stop the aggravating activity, RICE in the first instance.
What is RICE?
Quite simply an easy way of remembering Rest Ice, Compression and Elevation.
How can a physio help?
A Physio will look at footwear, advise on gentle stretches and progression and may use dynamic taping. Plus recommend orthotics, if appropriate. All to help support the growing phase, being kind and nurturing to that growing body … so it’s fit for purpose later in life!
On the positive … sport is so important for older children and a fantastic destress during exams! For the little ones, keeping active through play helps hugely with self-confidence, coordination and balance.
If you have a child complaining of limbs that ache and are mentioning pain, give us a call on 01722 415055 and let’s take a look.