What are growing pains?
Many children and teenagers experience growing pains. Growing pains are cramping, achy muscle leg pains that can start as early as age three and may reoccur in adolescent years.
Growing pain may occur in the late afternoon or evening and may even cause kids to wake up crying at night. Despite the name, growing pains are not actually thought to be linked to growth spurts, and they appear to be more common after intense physical activity or sports.
Growing pains can be experienced for months or even years, but will eventually subside. It is important to be aware of the sources of ongoing physical stress to your family, and particularly your children’s spines.
Heavy backpacks, as well as long periods of sitting and slouching are a serious concern as they place additional pressure on the developing spine and body. This can lead to ongoing health problems as the body struggles to function effectively.
Good posture is a key part of maintaining good spinal healthy. Your family chiropractor will be able to advise you on ways to improve your family’s posture. This can lead to a healthier spine, and better overall health and well being.
Proper hydration is also vitally important to avoid muscle cramping and maintain electrolyte balance. It is critical to ensure that all of your family members are drinking enough water throughout their day.
Are growing pains normal?
So, does that mean it’s normal to have growing pains and we should just ignore them?
The answer is absolutely not!
Children should not suffer from on-going pain. If they do, it should always be fully investigated. So often it gets brushed off as just ‘growing pains’ but discomfort in children can be a sign of a developmental or functional problem. In rare cases it can even indicate a more serious condition.
Parents should make sure they take their child to their chiropractor for a check up to see if something is functionally or structurally amiss. Altered biomechanics and spinal misalignment, especially in the lower lumbar spine and pelvis, creates imbalances in the quadriceps, hamstring, and calf muscles, which may contribute to leg pain.
Pelvic misalignment can lead to leg-length inequalities where the child is unevenly distributing his or her weight, placing additional stress and strain not only on the spine, but the feet, ankles, and knees as well.
Your chiropractor will fully assess your child’s spine for areas that are not functioning properly and correct them using precise spinal adjustments. A chiropractic adjustment restores nerve system function and your child’s whole body benefits. Often this is all that is required but your chiropractor will refer to the most appropriate healthcare provider if they suspect something more serious may be occurring.
If you child is complaining of pain or discomfort that is not resolving it is important to get them checked out as soon as possible. Contact us today for an appointment.