Growing pains

Growing pains are very common in children and young people- particularly young athletes. Harris & Ross regularly see many children and teenagers who are suffering from growth related pain. It can seriously effect the participation and enjoyment of sports in adolescents, and be extremely challenging for both the athlete and the parents. Symptoms can also occur in less active children and adolescents, although this is far less common.

Growing pains generally have their basis in two of conditions. Find out more about them and how best to treat and manage them below-

Sever’s Lesion

What is it?

Severs is pain felt over the back of the heel (calcaneus) where the Achilles tendon attaches to the bony bump on the heel (calcaneal tuberosity).

What causes it?

It occurs during a phase of rapid growth of a young individual. This growth spurt in conjunction with high levels of sport and activity causes repetitive pulling on the heel bone. This leads to pain and inflammation.

Common symptoms:

  • Heel pain and tenderness to touch
  • Possible swelling over the heel bone
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Symptoms worse with activity
  • Symptoms ease with rest

Osgood Schlatters Disease

What is it?

Osgood Schlatters disease is pain felt over the bony bump at the top of the shin-bone (tibial tubercle). This is where the tendon running from the kneecap (patella tendon) attaches to the top of the shin-bone (tibia).

What causes Osgoods?

This occurs where excessive pulling of the patella tendon on the shin-bone leads to pain and inflammation. As with severs, it occurs during a phase of rapid growth of a young individual in association with high activity levels.

Common symptoms of Osgoods

  • Pain and tenderness over the shin-bone bump
  • Increased pain from jumping, running and other sport related activities
  • Increased prominence of the bump
  • Tight thigh muscles (Hamstrings and Quadriceps)
  • Symptoms ease with rest


How are Severs and Osgood Schlatters treated?

Severs and Osgoods Schlatters are treated largely through good management. Physiotherapy can help through:

  • Accurate diagnosis
  • Advice with regards to rest, activity modification and management
  • Ice
  • Stretches
  • Strengthening
  • Foam rolling
  • Sports massage to loosen tight muscles
  • Addressing other Biomechanical factors along with Podiatry, such as leg length discrepancy
  • Orthotics may be required

Over time as the child matures these issues tend to improve over 6-12 months, although they can continue for up to 2 years. Our team at Harris and Ross have worked with young athletes and are well experienced in dealing with all young people who are suffering from growing pains.

To make an appointment for an initial physio assessment at our Wilmslow, Manchester, Altrincham or Wigan clinics, and discuss a treatment plan for your child’s growing pain issues call Harris & Ross on 0161 832 9000 or click the book now icon below