Does your child complain of pain or cramping in the legs and feet especially at night? Do they wake up in the night because of pain in their legs? It is possible that these are due to growing pains. Growing pains are no myth. They are said to affect around 37% of children according to a South Australian Study.
What are growing pains?
They are usually defined as muscle cramps and aches in the lower legs especially in the front of thigh, the calf muscle or behind the knee. They are more common during growth spurt periods between the ages of 3-5 and 8-14 years. They are usually poorly defined and do not usually occur around major joints. Growing pains are more likely to occur later in the day and after a busy day running around or playing sport.
What causes growing pains?
There is no obvious cause for growing pains however, possible causes include muscle fatigue from physical activity, poor posture and other biomechanical factors. Mechanical instability of the feet can be a significant cause of growing pains in some children, particularly in children with very flat feet.
Pain in the legs and feet can be a result of a range of podiatric conditions, some more serious than others. Growing pains usually occurs in both legs and can be spasmodic occurring for a few nights in a row then a gap between episodes for a month or more. If your child is experiencing leg pain it is also important to rule out other possible medical conditions.
How can podiatry help with growing pains?
At Camberwell Road Podiatry our Melbourne podiatrists will undertake a thorough examination in a friendly environment to check for symptoms of tenderness, swelling, limited range of motion and infection and to effectively diagnose and treat your child’s pain and to rule out any other more serious conditions. Growing pains shouldn’t be ignored and can be treated with a range of modalities. Stretching exercises can be really helpful in easing pain and our Melbourne podiatrists can offer advice on how to help when an episode occurs. Sometimes orthotics are required if your child’s pains are associated with biomechanical factors and if a flat foot posture is present. 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.
If your child has aching legs, make an appointment at Camberwell Road Podiatry for expert assessment and treatment advice.