Chiropractic Care for
Growing Pains

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Growing pains in kids and toddlers

Growing pains first appeared as a term in medical literature in 1823. It refers to recurrent leg pain common in children ages 2-12. These pains are not dangerous and are experienced by 10 to 35 percent of children at least once (Source).

If your child reports pain in the front of the thighs, in the calves, or behind the knees, they may be experiencing growing pains.
Chiropractic treatment for growth pains is an alternative medicine that offers pain relief without dependency on over-the-counter medicine.

What causes growing pains?

Despite what the name suggests, these pains do not occur because of bone growth. There is no identified cause, but doctors have presented several theories for why children experience this.

Chiropractors look at the body as a whole rather than as a sum of parts. Although most growing pains occur in the legs, we know that the body can compensate in one area for stress felt in another.

Children experience growth in their spine significantly between ages 1 and 5, and then at a lesser rate from ages 5 to 10. If something disrupts their growth process, it may be causing them discomfort like growing pains.
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Treating your child's growing pains

Bringing your child to see a chiropractor can help with managing and relieving the swelling and pain caused by growing pains. Rather than a prescription or over-the-counter solution, we offer a non-invasive and non-addictive treatment alternative for your child.

We conduct a physical exam on the first visit and then provide gentle spinal manipulation during routine chiropractic adjustments. These adjustments reduce joint restrictions or misalignment of the spine and other joints.

A chiropractic adjustment reduces inflammation and improves functions of the nervous system and joints treated. This helps your child's body more effectively manage symptoms caused by growing pains.
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Diagnosing growing pains

One way that doctors suggest diagnosing this issue is by judging your child's response to touch. Children experiencing pain because of a serious medical reason won't want to be touched because movement could make the pain worse.

If your child feels growing pains, they will respond positively to touch because they want to be cuddled and comforted.

What do growing pains feel like?

Your eight-year-old may have played hard during the day and then wakes in the night to complain of an extreme pain on his shins. The duration of pain is usually between 10 and 30 minutes, but may last longer. The pain varies from mild to severe and mostly occurs in the legs – shins, calves, front of thighs, or behind the knees.

Usually growing pains occur in the evening or at night. Your child may be woken up by more severe pain but by morning experience no symptoms. Many parents find they can predict these pain episodes on days of increased activity.

  • Growing pains usually occur in your child's shins, calves, front of thighs, or behind the knees.
  • Most pain episodes occur at night and can disrupt sleep if they are severe.
  • Pain lasts 10-30 minutes, and your child will be fine the next day.

Growth pains occur intermittently, and medical advice for treating it usually includes different pain relief techniques and some variation of "they'll grow out of it." For children who experience these pains frequently, a more proactive approach to pain management is needed to give everyone peace of mind.
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Managing your child's growing pains

During an episode of growing pains, your child may be comforted by any of the following:
  • Massage
  • Heating pad
  • Stretching
  • Taking an ibuprofen or acetaminophen

Medical doctors advise against giving aspirin to children and teens because of its links to a rare but serious illness called Reye Syndrome.

If your child frequently experiences growing pains, routine visits to a chiropractor may help. Spinal misalignment often leads to imbalances and pain in the legs and lower back, and it could be contributing to your child's pain.

When should I seek medical attention
for my child?

Recurrent leg pains in children ages 2-12 are usually referred to as growing pains. There is no identified medical cause, and many children grow out of these pain episodes. Growth pains are not serious, but some leg pains may be symptoms of other medical issues. These are NOT growing pains and should be treated by a doctor.

If your child experiences the following symptoms, you should call your doctor:

  • Long-lasting pain
  • Pain in the morning
  • Swelling or redness in one particular area or joint
  • Pain associated with an injury
  • Fever
  • Limping
  • Unusual rashes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Unusual behavior

Integrative health for your child

Our chiropractic care team can work seamlessly with your child's pediatrician to provide the integrative healthcare needed to treat your child's growth pains. Your doctor of chiropractic may collaborate with other healthcare professionals like massage therapists, physical therapists, or primary care physicians.
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Chiropractic care from Bedford County Chiropractic can help solve a number of issues like headaches, whiplash, back pain, sports injuries, and more for a low cost compared to medications and surgeries. Get in touch today to relieve your pain and take back your life!