We don’t believe that children should have to suffer with growing pains.

Growing Pains occur when a growth spurt is in full swing and the bones grow quicker than the muscles, causing them to pull on where they attach onto the bone. This causes a lot of pain and the children thus suffer from tendinopathies/tendinitis (as the part where the muscle attaches into the bone is called the tendon).

We have had a lot of experience in treating inflamed tendons, particularly Severs Disease (inflammation of the Achilles in children) and Osgood Schlatters Disease (inflammation of the patella tendon)

Osgood Schlatters

Pain at the attachment of the quadriceps tendon to the tibia can often be due to the condition known as Osgood-Schlatters Disease. This condition is most often noticed during a growth spurt early in the second decade of life. 

There is a higher prevalence in boys but this may be due to a greater involvement in sport. It is characterised by:

  • Pain that is dull, superficial and localised to the tendon attachment
  • Usually has a gradual onset but may be associated with a traumatic event
  • Tends to be aggravated by activities such as running, kneeling, kicking, squatting and jumping
  • The pain tends to linger for some time after activity and eases with rest
  • The area is usually tender to touch and pain can be elicited by resisting contraction of the quadriceps

Treatment 

As with all sporting conditions, correct diagnosis and treatment should be encouraged. The primary treatments for this condition are:

  • Stop the offending activities
  • Ice applied after any pain-producing activity
  • Gentle stretching of the quadriceps but not to the point of pain
  • Supportive tapes or straps may be of assistance
  • Other forms of physiotherapy such as ultrasound or electrotherapy may also be helpful
  • It is also important to educate the player to their condition and the probability of a complete recovery

Severs Disease

In adolescents, bones are still maturing. The points where tendons attach onto the bone often become inflamed. Severs Disease is one such case of this and refers to where the Achilles tendon attaches onto the heel (calcaneum).

This is common in young athletes involved in running and jumping sports, and particularly common in boys around the age of 10.

What do I look for?

  • Pain at the back of the heel around the
  • Achilles attachment
  • Tightness in the calf region
  • Pain with running, walking, heel raises or calf stretches
  • Pain lasting for a period of time after activity

What causes it?

  • Sudden growth spurt
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Poor foot posture/ incorrect footwear
  • Lower limb muscle imbalances
  • Increased physical activity

The problem will eventually resolve itself, but if not correctly addressed, can cause excess pain, and a dislike of physical activity.

Treatment:

As with all sporting conditions, correct diagnosis and treatment should be encouraged. The primary treatments for this condition are:

  • Rest from or modification of the pain producing activities
  • Eccentric rehabilitation program of the muscle/tendon complex, using ice and active exercises. Gentle stretching of the hamstring and calf muscles but not to the point of pain
  • Correction of biomechanical abnormalities and attention to the shoe

FREE Scoiosis Check

Is our community service to you, as school nurses no longer perform this check in schools.

Come and let our ‘state of the art’ computer program calculate all your boney angles by taking a plain photo of you fully clothed.

Our computer software then turns the picture into a skeleton model of your body and shows you where your pain may be coming from, or whether you may have scoliosis.

Our physio’s are also experts at assessing the spine and giving you corrective exercises or moulding orthotics to make sure your child grows straight with their growth spurts.