Growing Pains: A Concern in Adolescence


Article by John Miller

Addressing Growing Pains for Adolescents

A Guide to Understanding and Relief

Growing pains are common among teenagers, pre-teens, and their parents in Australia. Often misunderstood and brushed aside as an inevitable part of adolescence, growing pains deserve more attention than they usually receive. Most “growing pains” can be alleviated or even eliminated with proper care and attention.

Exploring the Causes of “Growing Pains”

During periods of rapid bone growth, such as adolescence, individuals commonly experience what is referred to as “growing pains.” However, this process doesn’t always occur seamlessly. If muscles fail to lengthen adequately, there’s an increase in musculoskeletal tension, which can lead to the pulling of the soft bone growth plates. Consequently, the muscles need to extend to maintain a balanced “muscle length-tension ratio.”

Interestingly, youngsters who encounter “growing pains” often have overly tight muscles, which contribute to their discomfort.

Effective Strategies for Alleviating Growing Pains

While becoming a contortionist isn’t a realistic solution, the good news is that physiotherapists possess the skills to assess a child’s muscle length. Following the assessment, tailored techniques are recommended to enhance the flexibility of any tense soft tissue. Considering the uniqueness of each child’s genetic makeup, the rate of improvement, methods employed, and exercises prescribed will naturally vary from person to person.

Anticipating Positive Outcomes

Thankfully, growing pains tend to fade away within days or a few weeks after appropriate treatment is initiated. This is particularly reassuring compared to the prospect of untreated “growing pains” persisting for 18 months or more. By embracing a straightforward, safe, and effective approach, there’s no need for your child to endure unnecessary discomfort.

In conclusion, addressing growing pains requires understanding the underlying factors, recognizing the importance of tailored care, and embracing effective treatments. By doing so, adolescents and parents can navigate this development phase with greater ease and comfort.

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