By Nick Nyman – Physiotherapist

Growing pains unfortunately can be a limiting experience for kids as their bodies go through growth spurts. Knowing the common symptoms that physiotherapy can assist with can be helpful in getting the right care early.

Why do growing pains happen?

When a growth spurt happens the bones of the body will go through a rapid period of lengthening. The pace at which the muscles can lengthen is slower, which results in muscles that are relatively shorter than their bones.  These tight muscles pull on the growth plates causing growing pains.

Is it only to do with growing?

No! Other factors including training load levels, running technique, movement patterns, footwear, training surfaces (to name a few!) can cause the pain.  These can be modified to allow kids to stay active with less pain. Growing pains can be extremely frustrating for kids and may limit them from doing the activities they love. With good treatment and management, kids can stay active. Growing pains rarely progress to anything sinister, however it is important to have a Physiotherapist assess the area, confirm the diagnosis and give a plan to manage the pain.

Foot and Ankle

Sever’s Disease:

  • Heel pain during or after activity
  • Pain worse with activity, improves with rest
  • Common between 8-14 years of age
  • Running and jumping sports
  • May have warmth or swelling over the heel

Islin’s Disease:

  • Pain on the outside of the foot during or after activity
  • Pain worse with activity, improves with rest
  • Common between 8-13 years of age
  • Change of direction sports, gymnasts, dancers

Shins

Shin splints

  • Pain on the inside of the shin bone, typically 2/3rd down
  • Pain worse with activity, improves with rest
  • Common during adolescence and into adulthood
  • Common in running and jumping sports
  • Common at the start of a sports season with increased training load

Knee

Osgood Schlatters

  • Pain at the front of the knee over tibial tuberosity
  • Pain worse with activity, improves with rest
  • Boys: 12 – 15 years of age
  • Girls: 8 – 12 years of age
  • Common in running and jumping sports
  • May cause the bony bump at the front of the knee (tibial tuberosity) to become enlarged compared to the pain free side

Sinding Larsen Johansson

  • Pain where your patella tendon attaches to your patella
  • Pain worse with activity, improves with rest
  • Common between 8-14 years of age
  • Common in jumping and sprinting sports

Hip

Hip apophysitis

  • There are 7 sites of growing pain in and around the hip
  • These locations will present slightly differently and have different causes
  • Typically occur in adolescence
  • Pain worse with activity, improves with rest
  • Often triggered by a sudden increase in training load

If your child is experiencing Growing Pains, don’t let them put up with it, call us to make an appointment with one of our experienced physiotherapists. Call (08) 6389 2947 or click here to book online

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