What we’ll cover
  1. Common conditions that we see for adolescents include:
  2. What are common symptoms of growth pains?
  3. Why do growing pains occur?
  4. How can I prevent my child from getting injured?

What to do when your child has growing pains

Do you want to know more about how physiotherapy can help your child’s health problems and injuries? Our physiotherapist Jason Lee explores adolescent conditions and what you can do to prevent your child from getting injured.

Adolescent conditions vary for a wide variety of reasons. Adolescent musculoskeletal pain generally occurs from the age of 11 onwards until growth phases have finished. This pain affects boys and girls equally however it often affects girls sooner due to development occurring faster in females.

Common conditions that we see for adolescents include:

What are common symptoms of growth pains?

Growth pains commonly occur around periods during and following growing spurts/rapid growth. The pain is commonly aggravated by sporting activities either during or after physical activity.

Early symptoms include pain that may appear to increase or decrease with further activity, however as symptoms progress, pain increases in severity. Symptoms may also occur with less activity and even after activity has ceased, especially several hours afterwards or the next morning.

In these cases with adolescents, parents are well placed to observe and notice any subtle and gradual changes over time.

Why do growing pains occur?

Commonly, the long bones such as the femur (hip) and tibia (shin) grow at a faster rate than the muscles themselves. This can cause the muscle length and flexibility to be reduced.

As a result of this decreased muscle length, flexibility increases force and pulls on tendons, which can result in Sever’s. This decreased muscle length can also cause tendons to pull on epiphyseal sites such as around the achilles or quadriceps, which results in conditions such as Osgood schlatters. These conditions can develop regardless of age as they follow physical activity overload.

Adolescents suffer more from conditions such as Osgood schlatters because they have an immature skeletal system whereas adults usually develop tendonitis/tendinopathy instead.

Biomechanics combined with growth spurts can also affect and increase likelihood of adolescent musculoskeletal pain. Biomechanical factors can include factors such as foot posture. For example, foot positioning and posture is developed by the time a child is six years old. This can be addressed with appropriate footwear for foot type and for specific type of activity.

We commonly recommend a shoe such as a cross trainer for sports that involve rapid change of direction. Cross trainers offer better support for rapid stopping and changing direction as well as increasing the longevity of the shoe.

How can I prevent my child from getting injured?

To avoid injury, your child should perform a proper warm up and cool down. Warming up should consist of dynamic movements designed to replicate training or game. They need to be age and sport specific. Cooling down commonly includes static stretches (holding stretches for 15 – 30 sec). Cooling down can even involve the use of equipment like foam roller/spikey ball etc. It is also important to vary sporting load throughout week.

Research suggests that early specialisation of sports/niching at a young age increases likelihood of injury. Cross training and a variety of sports are recommended. It is important to note that if children/adolescents are beginning to specialise, your physiotherapist will work in conjunction with sporting coach and those involved to ensure training program is balanced to prevent injury and improve performance.

Addressing and treating symptoms early ensures least amount of time if any required out of sport. Physiotherapists can even perform injury screenings to identify and reduce the likelihood of injury. They can also thoroughly assess flexibility and strength for range of joints that are commonly affected.

Here at Malvern East Physiotherapy, we are big believers in seeking help early and also making treatment age appropriate.

We commonly see a wide variety of adolescents who perform sport at all levels, and we aim to work with all involved, such as parents and coaches. This way we can ensure that your child can keep active and injury free.

If your child is experiencing any of the conditions listed above, please book in to see one of our qualified physiotherapists as soon as possible. You can book online or call our friendly team on 9571 6888.

Follow us
on instagram

Last week our team celebrated another great year. 

Whilst Melbourne’s weather had its own plans, we were still determined to keep with the theme of ‘Italian Summer’. We let our hair down to master the art of mixology 🍸🍹followed by an Italian feast. Friday morning Run Club with the team. Practicing what we preach!

Staying stronger, healthier and happier. This time last week, our team was nervously completing their final preparations for @melbmara . 

Congratulations to our physiotherapists and ME community who ran on the day.

Dilen and Michael completed their first marathons. Abbey and Lizzie smashed out their first half. Last Sunday, our team headed down to see our own Matt Warren win a premiership in the VAFA Premier Men’s Competition. Last week our team dedicated a full day to professional development and team building. At ME Physio we pride ourselves on collaboration to put you at the centre of everything we do. 

Our team covered the latest treatments for back pain, financial well-being and finished off the day with salsa dancing. 

Many thanks to our guests including James Schomburgk from @the2ndvisitphysio , Financial Planners Tony Vikram & Cameron Bishop and the @salsafoundation At ME Physio, our focus is on helping you get stronger so that you can keep doing the things you love.

For Tony and Joan, healthier and stronger is being able to navigate the iconic Coast to Coast Walk in the UK! We recently had the pleasure of hosting Elise Bujor from Women’s & Men’s Health Physiotherapy to discuss women’s health issues across the lifespan. 

Our team pride themselves on staying up to date to ensure you’re able to stay healthier, happier and stronger. Huge milestones over the past few weeks with both Tom and Jude from @delasallefc doing their first bit of running in their rehab. 

Tom is on the return from an ankle dislocation whilst Jude is putting in the hard work following a knee reconstruction. Last week our team enjoyed some friendly rivalry at the footy. 

With finals around the corner, some of our team can now safely make holidays plans for September. We recently had the pleasure of hosting the podiatry team from @sespodiatry. 

Our physiotherapists Michael and Abbey presented on rehabilitation following Achilles surgical repair and ankle surgery. Last weekend some of our team got together to complete the 10 km run @runmelbourne. There was no finish line picture as some were keen to run another 15 km!

Whilst running wasn’t for some - brunch was well received by everyone. Shoulder impingement can be incredibly frustrating and painful. 

Tony has been working closely with our physiotherapists Vernon and Dilen to get on top of his shoulder pain. His treatment plan has included hands-on physiotherapy and individualised exercises in our hydrotherapy and strength programs.

You Deserve to Feel Good.

Enter your email below to subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with clinic news and the latest tips and advice from our team of physiotherapists.