Boys and girls from the age of 5 -16 often complain of growing pains, usually in their legs. This is often due to growth spurts which can see a lot of growth occur over a short time. Bone tends to grow quicker than soft tissues (muscles, ligaments etc) and most of the growth in height occurs in the tibia and femur (leg and thigh bones).
Often children who do a lot of sports involving strong contraction of muscles suffer more. Mostly these pains will disappear as the soft tissues catch up but occasionally the pains can become severe due to the strong pull on immature bone leading to inflammation and stress reaction. The areas most affected are knee (Osgood Schlatters), heel (Sever’s disease) and occasionally front of the hip.
These conditions are easier to prevent than to treat. This could include stretching after sports or including exercise that naturally stretches the body such as swimming, Walking, gymnastics and yoga. Many normal postures will also naturally stretch the body and children could be encouraged to play or relax in these positions.
Where pain is restricting activity, management may involve a period of relative rest and sometimes, in severe cases, a plaster cast of the affected area.
If Stretching hurts or for any persistent pain please contact a qualified health care practitioner.
If your club would like help with a post training stretching routine, please do not hesitate to contact the clinic.