Has your child been complaining about knee or ankle pain? Is this especially after sport? Have they recently gone through a growth spurt?
Growing pains are REAL and the underlying cause is muscular. It is estimated that 1 in 10 young athletes aged between 10 and 14 years will experience some form of this. During periods of rapid growth or increase in physical activity, your child may complain of increasing pain in the legs. This pain occurs when your child is growing, their bones grow at a faster rate than the muscles. This puts the muscle on increasing stretch and tension resulting in a pull on the bone on which they attach. As the tendons (connective tissue attaching muscle to bone) are attaching to soft, growing bone, this continual pulling can cause pain, inflammation and swelling.
Your physiotherapist will conduct a thorough assessment on joint mobility, muscle strength and flexibility. This will help determine an appropriate level of exercise that doesn’t aggravate or worsen symptoms. Sometimes there will need to be a complete rest from sport, but if picked up early this may be avoided. If complete rest is advised, cross training activities such as swimming or cycling can be used to maintain fitness.
If your child is diagnosed with growing pains, the first aim is to reduce pain and inflammation. Treatment techniques include: soft tissue massage, taping and mobilisation of stiff joints. A simple home exercise program to strengthen and increase flexibility of muscles will be implemented. These exercises are especially important if biomechanics or sporting technique is contributing to the pain.
If you think your child may be experiencing growing pains, give one of our friendly client experience officers a call on 9894 2463