From Dr. Natalie Meiri’s Clinical Pearl Stories:
Chiropractic Care for Growing Pains and Sports Injuries in a Child
This was a 12 year old patient with sports related injuries and “growing pains”. To be HIPAA compliant, I will call her Jill instead of her real name. Jill was very happy, outgoing, and enjoyed sports. She had joined a volleyball team at school a year ago and played almost everyday. Her chief complaints were headaches, stomachaches, and leg pains. She often missed school or left classes early because of the headaches and stomachaches. Also, Jill and her mother were exhausted from Jill crying and waking up at night with leg pains. Her mother finally brought her to see me after a sports injury.
Jill’s Acute Sports Injury
Jill presented to my office in an arm sling. She had hurt her arm playing volleyball the day before. Her mom had taken her to an urgent care clinic where the sling was put on her arm. Jill was perspiring from the pain. There was a lot of spasm in her shoulder and arm, but it wasn’t fractured. Since it was too spasmed to adjust, I did soft tissue manipulation on her shoulder/arm muscles, mild mobilization (nonthrust manipulation) at the joints and gave her some homeopathic medicines. Her mother told me “she played volleyball the very next day, the next day and the next day!” When Jill returned for her visit to treat her chronic pains, her arm was pain free.
Jill’s Chronic Pains
Jill described her headaches as “in the middle of her forehead, above her eyes”. Her stomachaches were nearly everyday in the late afternoon. Her leg pains started in the late afternoon and at night were severe enough to awaken her. Jill had been to her pediatrician and her blood tests were normal. The pediatrician had told her mother, Jill’s “growing pains would just go away eventually”.
Upon examination, there were positive tests for her cervical (neck) spine and ankle joints. She also had some tenderness and palpatory findings (examine by touching) in the muscles around the neck and back portion of both lower legs. The x-ray of her cervical (neck) spine taken in my office, showed a loss of her normal cervical lordosis (neck curve). This x-ray finding was consistent with cervical myospasm (muscle spasm). Jill couldn’t remember how she hurt her neck, but her mother attributed it to her many sports activities. So Jill had a sports injury related problem also in her neck along with “growing pains”.
Although the exact cause of growing pains is unknown, it is an actual diagnosis. Growing pains are characterized by bilateral pain (pain on both sides) usually in the lower legs occurring severely enough at night to awaken the child, with associated headaches and stomachaches.
Growing pains usually occur between the ages of 6 and 19 years. Moreover, the pains are more pronounced during the ages of 3 – 9 and then again at adolescence (process of developing from child to an adult) as in Jill’s case.
Firstly, Jill’s treatments consisted of chiropractic manipulation/ adjustments of the cervical (neck) spine, both ankles, and associated regions. Associated regions that were adjusted were her thoracic (mid back) and lumbar (low back) spine, which were misaligned (chiropractic subluxations or intersegmental dysfunctions) due to the conditions she had. Secondly, soft tissue therapy (myofascial release, pressure point and various therapeutic muscle stretching) was performed on all her tender and spasmed muscles. Thirdly, ice/heat therapy recommendations and exercises to continue her treatment at home were given. Finally, homeopathic medicines were prescribed to help reduce her healing time, especially for her headaches and stomachaches.
Jill continued the chiropractic care for growing pains and sports injuries for one and a half years. She felt better with the treatments. Jill no longer awoke during the night due to leg pains. She didn’t miss school due to stomachaches or headaches and continued to play volleyball. During this time, she also had a “growth spurt” and started her menstruation (period). It may appear like growing pains are due to a child’s growth spurts. However, there are no direct indicators relating growing pains in children with their height, weight or rate of growth.
If your child is suffering from growing pains, sports injuries or just needs more wellness, contact Meiri Chiropractic. Dr. Natalie Meiri would be happy to explain the methods of chiropractic care for sports injuries and growing pains in a child.
11985 U.S. Highway 1, Ste. 102
North Palm Beach, FL 33408