An estimated 2 in 5 children will experience growing pains. They occur between the ages of 3 to 12. Parents often take their children to the doctor for growing pains.
The cause is unknown, but they are considered related to the normal process of growth and development.
Chiropractic care can help with these pains by realigning the spine and helping to improve blood flow and nerve function.
Here is what you need to know about how chiropractic care can help bring relief to your child that is suffering from growing pains.
What are growing pains?
Although there are no known medical causes, theories of cause range from muscle fatigue to juvenile arthritis. According to a 1984 study, limb pain was a presenting complaint in 7% of visits to the pediatrician. Furthermore, a South Australian study published in the August 2004 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics found that approximately 36.9% of children 4–6 years of age experienced growing pains, nearly one-third of the children in the population.
Leg pains are usually explained by medical doctors as a result of physical activity, and parents are given few to no options for treatment. They may suggest massaging the legs or the use of pain-relieving medication. They may explain that growing pains are normal during the growth process and it will pass. However, this does not offer comfort to parents who awaken to their children crying in pain every night.
Should we accept that there is no treatment for growing pains, which affect 25%–40% of children? The answer is “No!” Are there other options available to alleviate these leg pains? Try Chiropractic!
Getting to the Cause
So, what causes these “growing pains”? From a chiropractic standpoint, we must look at the biomechanical issues. We must first understand the growth process time line. The first five years of a child’s life is the time of greatest spinal growth. During the first year of life, the spine increases 12 cm in length and another 15 cm between 1 and 5 years of age. Between 5 and 10 years of age, the growth rate decreases to 10 cm. There is another increase at puberty between approximately 10 and 18 years of age with 20 cm of spinal grown in males and 15 cm in females. Logically, if something interferes with this growth process, there may be problems. What if a child was put into a baby walker before his/ her body was ready to walk? This premature walking assistance can alter biomechanics, leading to postural abnormalities, disruption of proper locomotion skills, and also injury to the child. Other interferences of the growth process may include birth trauma, a fall, sports injuries, and overly sedentary lifestyles.
What causes growing pains?
There is no one cause of growing pains, but several factors may contribute to them. Some of these causes include:
Increased physical activity. Children may have more pain if they are very active, as their muscles and joints are constantly in use.
A lower pain threshold. Some children may be more sensitive to pain than others, leading to growing pains. Headaches and stomach pain usually accompany these pains.
Hypermobility, or moving joints beyond their typical range of motion, can also contribute to growing pains. The reason is that hypermobile children may put more stress on their muscles and joints, leading to pain.
Low vitamin D levels can also contribute to growing pains.
How can chiropractic care help?
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to managing growing pains, but chiropractic care may be a safe, non-invasive, and non-addictive alternative that can help. Chiropractors can realign the spine and joints, which may help ease swelling and pain.
Additionally, chiropractic care can help improve overall health and well-being, which may also help relieve symptoms of growing pains. Although chiropractic care is often considered an alternative treatment option, it is an effective and safe way to manage pain in children.
In fact, chiropractic care is a safe, non-invasive alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
Another important point is that many of these children also have complaints of spinal pain in addition to the leg pain. There is little medical research, but, much of what there is focuses only on growing in the legs. Chiropractors look at the body as a whole and not as separate parts. Chiropractors recognize that, if there is stress in one area of the body, the rest of the body will somehow compensate for this stress.
Don’t let your child’s growing pains and leg cramps ruin a good night’s sleep for you or your child. Remember, a chiropractor does not just treat one problem, but instead aims to promote overall health in your child. This is why it is important to make the chiropractor an important factor in your child’s health routine.
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