Growing Pains in Children | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz
Growing pains in younger athletes are common occurrences. Being able to recognize which aches and pains may be related to growing and which may be of concern, however, is not always that easy.
All kids are going to grow, and some grow more rapidly than others. A lot of development and growth happens from age 10 through high school. Some kids are early bloomers; some are late bloomers. No matter when a kid begins and ends his or her growth spurt, many of the aches and pains associated with growth can occur in the same general area.
Two common areas are the knee — specifically the area of the tibial tuberosity — and the heel of the foot. The tibial tuberosity is the spot located just below the knee joint where the patella tendon inserts itself onto the tibia. The area of the foot at the base of the heel is where the Achilles tendon inserts itself to the calcaneus bone.
The rate of growth and activity level can sometimes determine how much pain a young athlete might have with these growth spurts.
To put it into better perspective, a person can think of the patellar and Achilles tendons as rubber bands. When bones grow, these rubber bands stretch. When there is rapid growth, the bands can’t always grow or stretch as quickly as the bones do. Therefore, you get an increased amount of tension and pain in the areas where the muscle tendon attaches to the bone.
Now factor in activity level. In a young athlete who is playing a number of sports, these growing pains can become quite severe because of the extra stress placed on these two areas. A less active individual might not have as many aches and pains.
So how do you treat the minor aches and pains, and what can happen if they go untreated and continue to get worse?
The most conservative treatment for the general pains is simple: see The Podiatrist, rest, ice and stretching.
For active individuals, finding time to rest is extremely important. Having young athletes in activities every night of the week and on the weekends is a recipe for disaster. Young athletes need time to rest, especially if they are experiencing some general knee or heel pain because of growing.
If young athletes try to push through that pain, they can end up with more severe injuries – usually starting in the form of tendonitis. If the stress and tension become too great, an avulsion fracture can develop in those areas. Basically, the overstressed tendon will start to pull away from the bone and take some of the bone with it. This type of injury will really limit the person’s level of activity.
But really, it all comes down to being smart about it. Young athletes and parents of young athletes need to understand that rest is important and make sure rest days are exactly that.
Being smart and addressing the minor aches and pains with some early conservative treatment can make a huge difference in keeping a young athlete healthy while he or she is growing at a rapid rate.
See The Podiatrist for any of your foot problems.
Posted on July 10, 2013, in Contact a Podiatrist, Kids n Motion, What is a Podiatrist, Your feet and tagged activity, arch pain, arch support, arch supports, Athlete, Athletic shoe, auckland podiatrist, auckland podiatrists, Caron Orelowitz, Child, children's foot pain, children's orthotics, childrens feet, flat feet, Foot, foot orthotics, foot pain, Footwear, heel pain, injuriies, intoeing, ligaments, muscles, new zealand podiatrist, orthotics, oshgood schlatters, plantar fasciitis, podiatrists remuera, podiatry new zealand, remuera podatrists, running, sever's disease, sore feet, sports orthotics, sprts, tendons, The Podiatrist, tip toe walking, young, your feet, yourfeetnz. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.