If your child complains of sore legs, they may be experiencing growing pains. Growing pains are essentially pains in the leg muscles (not the joints). Growing pains are very common, affecting up to 20% of children at some stage. Most often, growing pains occur during the primary school years and can equally affect boys and girls.
What are the symptoms of growing pains?
Children with growing pains usually complain of aching legs which starts late in the day (afternoons or evenings), and may even wake them at night. Growing pains are more likely to occur after increased activity, and can be difficult to monitor due to significant variations in the frequency of pain. For example, growing pains may be experienced several times in one week, followed by a month of no pain.
What causes growing pains?
There is often no obvious cause for growing pains, however possible causes include muscle fatigue from physical activity, poor posture and biomechanical factors. Mechanical instability of the feet during weight bearing activities can be a significant cause of growing pains in some children, particularly in children who have very flat feet.
If your child is experiencing leg pain, it is also important to rule out other possible medical conditions such as arthritis or infection. In most cases, growing pains will be felt in both legs. Therefore if the pain occurs in only one leg, thorough consideration and investigation into other possible diagnoses is required.
How can podiatry help with growing pains?
If your child’s growing pains are associated with biomechanical factors and in particular a flat foot posture, then podiatry treatment can help to relieve pain by improving foot function. Flat feet roll in excessively which causes uneven weight bearing through the foot as well as misalignment of joints further up the body.
Our podiatrists are able to assess your child’s foot type to determine whether a flat foot posture may be contributing to leg pain, and can prescribe orthotics where appropriate. At Entire Podiatry, our Total Contact (custom) Orthotics improve foot function by evenly distributing weight bearing forces along the whole length of the foot, which helps to realign joints and optimise posture. We also prescribe child-friendly and age-appropriate exercise programs to assist with addressing muscle imbalances that may be identified.
We are committed to offering a range of quality treatment options for your child. If we don’t think your child would benefit from orthotics, then we won’t recommend them.
If your child has aching legs, make an appointment with one of our podiatrists at Entire Podiatry in Brisbane, Logan, Moreton Bay or on the Gold Coast, for expert assessment and treatment advice. Book an appointment online or Freecall 1800-4-ENTIRE (that’s 1800-4-368473).