Foot, ankle and leg problems are often considered to be growing pains in children in the bone and muscles of the lower extremity. While in a small number of cases this might be true, in a majority of the cases the pains that plague these children and teenagers may be caused by lower extremity malalignment problems.
Growing Pains in Children CAUSES:
- Excessively flat feet or feet that appear to point to the outside.
- Children who are knock-kneed.
- Tight muscles, especially the calf, hamstrings and external rotator muscles of the hips.
Growing Pains in Children SYMPTOMS:
- Pain with activities, especially along the inside of the shinbone, ankle, and foot.
- Premature fatigue with activity.
- General avoidance of activity and sports.
- Leg pain, especially at night.
- Associated with lower back pain.
Many children who have been diagnosed with growing pains have primary causes that can be addressed with great success. Many of these children are not able to keep up with their peers during activity due to pain and premature fatigue and ultimately this may affect their self-esteem. They become more likely to sit at home or participate in sedentary activities.They are less likely to participate in sports. Inactive children usually become inactive adults who may become overweight.
Growing Pains in Children TREATMENT MAY INCLUDE:
- Changing to more supportive shoes to help support the feet and lower extremity better.
- Custom molded prescription orthotic (shoe inserts) to realign the lower extremity. In many cases this will have a relatively quick positive effect on the leg pains these children are experiencing
- Physical therapy to improve overall muscle flexibility and to improve muscle strength, coordination and balance.