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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for tag: Growing Pains

As your child continues to grow taller and stronger, they may experience what we commonly call “growing pains”. But did you know that there is no evidence that growth causes pain? So what’s going on when your child complains of aches and pains in the legs and is sometimes even woken up by it?

Well, it’s most likely the body’s way of telling your child that he or she has overused muscles throughout the day. As your child learns the limits of what the body can do, (s)he might play (run, jump, or climb) to the point of overexertion. The thighs, knees, or calves may feel stiff or sore and the pain may not go away until morning (with adequate rest).

But what if the pain continues to bother them? Or what if the pain is in the feet or ankles? These symptoms may indicate more of a problem.

Ongoing or chronic pain can indicate that there are misalignment issues in the feet, ankles, or legs, causing repetitive strain on certain muscles, tendons, or ligaments. Children who are pigeon-toed or are in-toeing can experience ongoing pain in different parts of the feet, ankles, or calves.

If the pain is localized to a specific part of the foot or ankle, there’s a good chance that there is a foot problem, such as:

Actually, pain in the feet and ankles are never “growing pains”. So if your child complains of pain in the areas of the leg with muscles, they may find relief with some massage or a warm bath with Epsom salt. However, if the pain is in the joint itself, or the feet or ankles, make an appointment to see us at The New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute at Clark Podiatry Center. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy will assess your child’s feet and ankles to find the best treatment. We are located in Clark, NJ and serve patients in all the surrounding Union County towns!

When your children participate in sports, it can help them develop physically and socially. It’s a great way to keep them physically active, but it also comes with risks of injury. In particular, for children ages 9 to 14, Sever’s Disease can affect their growing heel bones. This disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is usually brought on by an injury while playing sports.

What is it?

Sever’s Disease is a condition of pain that develops as a result of overuse. Children playing sports that include walking, running or jumping can experience painful heels from the repetitive impact on the growth plate. Since the heel bone and tendons are still growing, they are more at risk of injury.

What are the symptoms?

When children complain of heel pain or limp due to heel pain, the foot should be examined. The pain is felt mostly along the bottom and rear of the heel, and may show no exterior symptoms. Our podiatrist can check for a sure sign of the disease by using the “squeeze test”, in which the sides of the heel are squeezed, causing immediate discomfort or pain for the child. Remember that prolonged pain in the feet is not normal and should not be attributed to “growing pains”.

How is it treated?

The immediate treatment includes resting and icing the heel bone to reduce pain and inner inflammation of the growth plate.

  • If the heel feels discomfort sometimes, but not all the time: Some children may insist on finishing the season. If the pain is not severe, your child may be able to use heel cups, stretching exercises, and orthotics to prevent worsening symptoms. After the season, you’ll need to rest the feet to allow for recovery.
  • If putting weight on the foot is painful all the time: This may indicate a severe condition and your child should stop activity for at least 2 weeks. In some cases, our podiatrist will recommend use of a walking boot or cast.

Sever’s Disease can sometimes resolve itself as the heel bone fully develops. This can be as simple as resting for several weeks, or continuous pain for many years. In other cases, it can lead to some developmental problems as the bone continues to grow. In very rare cases of severe injury, bone can break off at the point of attachment to the Achilles tendon.

While we understand the importance of finishing a season or your child not wanting to miss out on sports activities, it’s better to come see us for treatment to decide whether or not they should continue playing. Treating earlier can mean missing out on less of their favorite activities. Consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. Our team is here to treat your family’s needs at The New Jersey Children’s Foot Health Institute at Clark Podiatry Center. Make an appointment to see us today at our Clark, NJ office.

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M
November 15, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Growing Pains  

Growing PainsIf your child has ever complained of not being able to sleep at night due to leg pain, he or she may be experiencing what many people refer to as growing pains -- a common occurrence seen in kids during their growth and development years.

Growing pains are often characterized by a sharp, throbbing pain in the leg muscles, usually occurring during the night and sometimes late afternoon without an apparent cause. The nighttime pain can be so intense that it is enough to wake the child from sleep. While there is no evidence that a child's growth is painful, these pains often occur during an active day of running, jumping or swimming.

Whenever a child is afflicted by episodes of recurrent leg pain, it is always best to have them evaluated by Brandon Macy, D.P.M . Other foot and leg conditions should be ruled out before a diagnosis of growing pains is made. If the examination is normal, with no redness, tenderness, swelling, or limitation of movement, then it is generally safe to say the child is suffering from growing pains.

Consult with a physician or a podiatrist at Brandon Macy, D.P.M if aching legs are a chronic complaint or if the pain is so severe it interferes with the child's daily activities. Persistent pain and other unusual symptoms may indicate a more serious problem. The following symptoms are not due to growing pains and should be evaluated by a doctor:

  • Persistent pain
  • Swelling or redness in one specific area or joint
  • Limping
  • Fever
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal behavior

There are no treatments or medications available for growing pains, but parents can help ease the pain with simple home remedies.

  • Massage and rub the child's ache until the pain passes
  • Stretch your child's legs throughout the day and before bed
  • Heating pads or warm baths can help soothe sore muscles
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers (always consult with physician first)

While growing pains are commonly seen in young children during the growth and development years, lower extremity pain can also be caused by mechanical misalignments and structural imperfections. A thorough evaluation is crucial in order to determine the exact cause of your child's leg pain. If growing pains are the cause of your child's discomfort, rest assured that the pain is only temporary and will pass with time.



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470