“Ouch! Mom, my legs hurt!” How many of you have had a child wake you up in the middle of the night crying with pains in their legs? Did you have them as a child? Growing pains are usually described as aches and pains in the muscles in the thighs, calves and behind the knees. Typically, children between the ages of 3-5 year old’s report growing pains and then again in children ages 8-12 years. Pain in the joints is not associated with growing pains and can indicate further evaluation.
Getting to the Root Cause
Parents, you may be wondering what causes growing pains. From a pediatric chiropractor’s viewpoint, we have to look to the spine as the root cause. Frequently, parents will come in with their kids and mention that their child is having “growing pains”. I often hear that they have already taken their child to the pediatrician and have been told it’s normal and they will grow out of it. Growing pains are reported to impact 25-40% of kids. Just because growing pains are common, does not mean the pains are normal.
At night when your child is complaining, here are some tips that you can use to help relieve the muscle aches and pains.
Moist heat, like a rice sock or hot water bottle, is helpful to relax the muscles and soothe sore muscles.
Stretching and bending their legs at night before bed can provide them relief during the night.
Massaging their legs at night when they are having complaints can help provide relief to sore and achy muscles.
Essential oils such as Lavender, Chamomile and Marjoram can be helpful to massage into their legs with a carrier oil like coconut or grapeseed oil to relax the muscles and alleviate pain.
How can a pediatric chiropractor help?
As a pediatric chiropractor, my job is to detect and correct vertebral subluxations in their developing spine. The nervous system controls blood and nerve supply to the entire body including the muscles in their legs. Subtle misalignments in their lower back or pelvis can cause the nerve or blood supply to be impacted. Stressors like chemical, physical or emotional can have an impact on the function of their nervous system. Minor falls and bumps which are all part of childhood, can cause stress to their developing spine. The stress on their spine can impact the growth process.
Dr. Davis has been thoroughly trained to provide a complete neurological examination of their developing spine. Our office utilizes the Insight Subluxation station that measures how well their nervous system is functioning. In addition, Dr. Davis will motion and feel their spine to feel for the areas of misalignment. Gentle adjustments to the lower back and pelvic region can improve blood flow to their legs and muscles and relieve the discomfort they are experiencing. Growing pains typically decrease once a child begins chiropractic care. Parents often report back that their child is more comfortable sleeping at night and the growing pains have resolved. If your child is struggling with growing pains, reach out to Dr. Davis to learn whether your child could benefit from chiropractic care.