Cronulla clinic: (02) 9527 4099

Growing Pains

“Oh, it’s just growing pains” is a common expression often heard in most households with children involved in sport.

“Growing pains” is a common slang term often applied to low grade, niggling type complaints in children during their growing years.

Complaints of “growing pains” should never be ignored as they can develop into or masquerade as more serious conditions.

As a guide to when these conditions should be accurately diagnosed and managed it can be considered that any pain that reoccurs or lasts for more than two days should be seen by our Physiotherapists or your GP.

“Growing pains” may occur during or after sport. They can also occur spontaneously.

Frequent and more common sites of pain and possible problems include:

Feet: stress fractures, pain along the foot when walking as well as on touch.

Achilles tendon: Severs condition.

Shins: shin splints, stress fractures, pain anywhere down the shin.

Knees: pain and/or swelling on the front of the shin, just below the knee cap (Osgood Schlatter’s condition), pain around the knee cap or front of knee (patellofemoral joint dysfunction), pain just below the knee cap (patella tendonitis).

Hips: persistant hip pain with or without a limp must never be ignored and always be referred to our Physiotherapists or your GP for investigation. A correct diagnosis is essential. Pain at the front of the hip and often spreading downwards or inwards (rectus femoris tendon irritation).

Spinal Pain: must always be referred to our Physiotherapists or your GP for assessment, investigation and a correct diagnosis.

Shoulders: a feeling of “giving”, pinching or slipping (instability) should always be referred for assessment and a correct diagnosis. A comprehensive management program is essential.

Upper Limbs: pain anywhere in the arms/wrist must always be referred for correct diagnosis and management to our Physiotherapists or your GP (fractures are common and nearly always require an Xray).

It is strongly suggested that growing pains are not treated “naturally” using concoctions, tonic supplements, heat creams and lotions containing such things as Epsom Salts, calcium, magnesium, zinc or essential oils when they have no scientific evidence of their effectiveness. These mixtures can in fact be very “unnatural” when you consider children’s livers and kidneys have to undertake the added burden of processing these unproven creations in order to eliminate them from their bodies. There is nothing like a good healthy diet for young bodies to obtain all the nutrients and basic minerals they need. Talk to your doctor first before you consider alternative extras.

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