Growing pains are widely known as a reason for pain in children with specific areas that are commonly affected but why does it happen?

Typically during a growth spurt the bones grow faster than the muscles causing ‘tight’ muscles and tension on the growth plate which can be as painful as it sounds. Commonly, there is swelling and inflammation in the area and will resolve as your child settles into their new height. However, there are ways in which physiotherapy can assist this transition for you and your child.

For this blog, we will focus on the specific growing pain termed ‘Sever’s Disease’. The term refers to the particular type of growth related pain at the heel or Achilles tendon. Most frequently this type of growing pain is found in very active or overweight children aged 8 to 15years and affects more boys than girls.

Ways to decrease pain and inflammation:

  1. Apply ice to the heel
  2. Use of a heel cup
  3. Calf stretching/massage/
  4. Decrease amount of sport and activity

With regard to decreasing the amount of sport and activity, each individual is different. However, as a rough guide if your child has more than 5/10 pain (on the number scale) or a 2 /5 (on the picture scale) during or post activity they need to cut down. Using this scale below with the pictures can help with quantifying this with your child.

Because of the position a heel cup puts you in it is very effective at off-loading the tendon and cushioning the heel. However, it is recommended to be doing calf stretches whilst using them to help with the calf tightness.

Did you know there are two calf muscles - one short one and one long one. It is important to stretch both as they both join to form the Achilles. Follow the quick tips to get a really effective stretch. Because let’s face it if you’re going to stretch it may as well be as effective as it possibly could be.

Calf Stretches

An assessment by a physiotherapist can assist with helping your child to move as efficiently as possible with an individualised program to suit their body’s strengths and weaknesses which can they can utilise throughout their growing years. For more information or to book an appointment call us at 8th Ave Physio - 5534 3347