Pains in the legs, ankles or knees which occur in children during their periods of fastest growth are often called "growing pains". These pains have traditionally been viewed as normal and unavoidable. Many of us have experienced them ourselves.
The frequency and severity of such pain may vary greatly. One child may have an occasional pain after strenuous activity. Another child will wake with pain night after night and must be massaged or put into a hot bath before he can sleep. Most pains occur at rest, although a few children complain of pains while running or playing. Medical examination reveals no disease process or injury and no treatment is recommended. Parents and children are assured that the pain will eventually go away. And it usually does with time.
Many children who are seen in a chiropractor’s office suffer from these "growing pains". There may be no other complaint if the child is only brought in for a spinal check-up. In nearly every case, there is an imbalance in the lower spine or pelvis which is causing uneven stress on the muscles of the legs. Most cases of leg, knee or ankle pain in children are easily resolved with adjustments to the lower back or pelvic area and the relief is usually permanent. A lot of discomfort and pain - to say nothing of lack of sleep for parents - can be easily avoided.
There is an even greater reason to treat the cause of these pains, however, than just providing relief. If not completely corrected, the pelvic imbalance which leads to the pains will persist even after the pain is long forgotten. The body learns to compensate for the imbalance, but over time it can cause painful symptoms in adulthood and eventually lead to degenerative changes in the spine, hips or knees. The problem which could have been treated quickly and easily in the child becomes a more complicated and serious problem in the adult, requiring a long series of treatments to achieve relief and correction.
Growing pains in children should be seen as a warning sign that the body is not in balance. If your child is suffering from leg pains, I will be able to determine whether the cause is improper joint movement or alignment and recommend the best course of treatment.