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Growing Pains

This week's question -

My doctor says I have growing pains. So I just need to wait to stop growing for them to go away. Is this true? How long will it take?

My answer -

This one is mainly aimed at my youth athletes and is a topic I discussed this week in my Facebook Group for Gymnasts and Parents (non gymnasts - don't worry I have something great coming for you too!).

The term "growing pains" can be used to describe anything from insidious pain in an area of the body to inflammation or irritation around the growth plates. Either way, it usually refers to pain that occurs due to one part of the body growing faster than another part. While this is a natural process that has to occur at its own speed, just because there is nothing to do about the growth speed doesn't mean that there is nothing to do about the pain. Sometimes there are simple things we can do to ease the pain during this growth period.

For example, if the bones are growing faster than the muscles, some targeted stretching to those muscles can help ease the tightness and pulling feeling. Conversely, if muscles and ligaments are growing faster than bones, some targeted strength, power and stability work can help ease pain and feelings of instability.

In conclusion, just because there is still growth to be done, doesn't mean there is "nothing" to do about the pain. Helping things along with some light exercise can make a world of difference!

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