Children and adolescents can often develop pain during periods of rapid growth. Generally, this pain will be intermittent, more intense in the afternoon or at night, and can be located in numerous muscles of the legs. Growing pains affect about 1 in 5 children, and usually present between the ages of 3 – 12, however some adolescents may experience pain into their late teens.
The diagnosis of growing pain is one of elimination; it is important that the practitioner first ensures that a more serious condition is not present. This includes Osgood-Schlatter’s disease, Sever’s disease or many other conditions which may develop in children of this age bracket. Once diagnosed, managing the discomfort is generally quite straightforward.
Some of the treatment options commonly employed by Queensland Physiotherapy in dealing with growing pains include:
- Exercise prescription
- Electrotherapy (Ultrasound, TENS etc)