Archive for growing

Why you shouldn’t ignore growing pains

Growing pains are very common in children and young adolescents, and can start as young as age three.  While generally, they aren’t anything to be too concerned about and can be often treated with rest, joint manipulation and massage, persistent pain may signal that something else could be wrong.

What are growing pains?

Despite the name, growing pains actually have very little to do with growth.  They are mainly harmless muscular pains that occur in both boys and girls. Pain is generally felt in the calf, front of thighs and behind the knees. It mainly occurs in the afternoon and evening, and can sometimes wake children from sleep.

Causes

While the exact cause of growing pains is unknown, what is known is that it is muscular and can relate to joint restrictions. The pain may be caused by muscular tiredness from physical activity, impacts from poor posture, or even stress and emotional upset can cause muscular pain in children.

The good news is that the symptoms of growing pains can be easily treated to reduce your child’s discomfort.

When pain becomes a problem

There are many cases where pain in children can be mistaken for growing pains but actually signal a more serious issue. The first thing to always remember is that pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong.  While short term pain may not be an issue, persistent pain warrants investigation by a health practitioner, even if it’s just for your own peace of mind.

Aside from growing pains, if your child is feeling muscular pain it could be a sign of health problems such as scoliosis, Osgood-Schlatter disease, biomechanical issues, or viruses such as Ross River virus.

If your child has severe pain, feels unwell, has swelling, a loss of appetite or rashes seek immediate medical assistance

Treatment for growing pains

The treatment for growing pains is relatively simple and very effective. Just make sure that your health professional addresses, or rules out, issues that may be impacting your child such as scoliosis, Osgood-Schlatter disease or biomechanical issues such as a short leg.  If these are left untreated, it can actually make the problem worse and cause longer term issues.

As a chiropractor, I generally treat growing pain symptoms with gentle chiropractic techniques, mobilisation and stretching, as well as provide gentle stretching exercises that can be done by the child at home. This is combined with massage and heat or ice treatments depending on whether there is any inflammation in the joints.

If you would like any further information about growing pains, or want to check your child’s biomechanics to identify any potential issues early contact me at Lane Chiropractic on 6676 2270.

Child Scoliosis

We often get asked about scoliosis so we thought we’d share some facts. Lane Chiropractic provides free scoliosis assessments for school aged children. For an appointment call 6676 2270.

Scoliosis comes from the Greek words that means crookedness. When you have scoliosis, your spine’s straight position begins to bend sideways. It can take the form of a single curve (C-shaped) or as a double curve (S-shaped). The most commonly affected area is the mid spine, followed by the lower spine. Double curves usually involve both of these areas.
This condition most commonly occurs in the young, between 10 and 15 years old. Females are more likely to have scoliosis than males.

Most cases are quite mild but in some cases they can cause health problems.
Advanced scoliosis curvatures can contribute to chronic back pain, compression of lung and heart tissue, and a multitude of different nerve disorders. In addition, pronounced scoliosis can create a negative self-image.
What Causes Scoliosis?

Why scoliosis occurs in the spine is often a mystery. In fact, the most common form of this disorder is called adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (of unknown cause).
In some people, scoliosis curves can be traced to structural abnormalities, such as incorrectly formed vertebrae or disc derangements. Other times, these curves can be linked to imbalances in the spinal musculature, nervous system disorders or leg length differences.

Chiropractors conduct an Adams test to screen children and adolescents for scoliosis. During this test, a person bends forward to touch their toes and the chiropractor observes the ribs on either side of the spine. If one side of the ribs sits higher than the other, the chiropractor may suspect scoliosis.
Scoliosis is typically classified as mild, moderate, or severe. If the spine is bent less than 20 degrees from vertical it’s considered mild. Moderate scoliosis is measured between 20 and 55 degrees and a severe case is considered a lateral bend of more than 70 degrees.

Can Scoliosis Be Fixed?
For mild scoliosis curves, the patient is usually only monitored for progression. Most people with mild curvatures don’t experience bouts of back pain any more than the normal population. However, if the curve shows signs of rapid progression or increases beyond 30 degrees, treatment is recommended.
In every individual with scoliosis there are bound to be areas of spinal subluxation. This can contribute to spinal pain or nervous system disturbances. Fortunately, chiropractors are specially trained to locate and correct areas of spinal subluxation. If you suspect scoliosis, the first thing you should do is visit your chiropractor. Not only do they work hard to reduce the symptoms caused by altered spinal mechanics, chiropractors do their best to reduce the curve angle. Large studies on the effects of chiropractic for scoliosis have not yet been conducted, but numerous case reports show chiropractic adjustments can significantly reduce the angle of the scoliosis curve. In situations where conservative treatments are ineffective, such that the scoliotic curve continues to progress past 70 degrees, surgical corrections are usually the only remaining choice to prevent the condition from affecting heart and lung function.

Because of the dangerous nature of a scoliosis curve, parents are advised to watch for signs their child’s spine is starting to bend. The symptoms include uneven hips or shoulders, or the body leaning to one side. If it can be treated early, scoliosis damage may be minimised. Chiropractors are alignment specialists. Be sure to have your child’s spine checked regularly for early identification of abnormal spinal curves.