Are your Kids Growing up in pain?
Many young, sporty children suffer from pain in their muscles and joints. They can also have very poor posture.
“Stand up straight, pull your shoulders back!”
Children as young as 3 and into the early teens suffer terribly from ‘’growing pains’’; they can be in tears as helpless parents look on wondering what they can do.
Parents are told their child will grow out of it, but they are still left in pain.
Kids with poor posture are told to “stand straight” or “pull your shoulders back”.
There is nothing they can do apart from painkillers and some heat….
….OR IS THERE???
Children grow; we all know that with the amount of food they eat!
Problem is they grow in bursts.
During this time the child’s body does a number of different things.
Bones get longer as they physically get bigger, the muscles, ligaments, and tendons have to stretch to accommodate.
What can happen then is the body gets out of balance and cannot stretch quickly enough, this can be made worse if the child is sporty and does not stretch very much.
Pain is caused by the muscles and the deeper connective tissue (the fibrous stuff that holds us together) being very tight and unable to relax.
It can be very painful!
Posture- Kids can be very round-shouldered or have a bottom that sticks out.
Features of growing pains include:
Age: Any age but mostly 3-8 and then early adolescence
Daily Pattern: late afternoon or evening and will occasionally wake a child at night. Maybe after activity, weekly or nightly
Pain: generally mild, but may be severe. Maybe brief or last an hour or more.
Posture: is poor and kids can be round shouldered.
Muscles usually, occasionally joints. Front of the thighs and knees, in the calves, or behind the knee. Almost always affect both limbs.
The neck and back may also be affected, headaches and even TMJ.
What can be done?
Growing pains are very easy to help with simple advice and some deep specific therapeutic massage and deep release techniques.
One of the best things is, we can teach a willing parent (and compliant child) some of the more simple but effective massage techniques.
This is where massage, manual therapy, and proper stretching comes in.
Massage helps the muscles to relax and improves the amount of blood supply to the area. The muscles can then start to relax and the muscles and joints are put under less stress. Therefore there is less pain. Joints, ligaments and tendons are also treated to help stretch them as appropriate. Finally, the connective tissue(fascia) is also treated which allows the body to move more freely.
There is also less pain after exercise as the blood supply and therefore nutrition to the area improves.
As well as massaging and release all of the tight area’s of the painful areas, we will also need to look at the joint and limb mechanics.
This is essentially like looking at the tracking on a car. You need to check the balance front and back and then how things all work together.
Steve Palmer D.O.