Growing Pains Stink: What They Are & How Chiropractic Care Can Help

A young Asian boy holds is head and looks directly ahead while crying. There are visible tears on his cheeks.

I have had the pleasure of watching my three children grow into teenagers, and hopefully, I will also see them grow into adults. I’m so proud that I got to watch them learn how to take their first steps, ride bikes, roller-blade, ski, snowboard, play sports, use technology, and so much more. How precious it was when they could hold their heads up and take their first steps. And how much I cheered them on when they were learning and excelling until they fell or got hurt. At times, I would get a sinking feeling in my stomach or tears in my eyes, knowing they just got hurt.  If you are a parent or grandparent, does this sound familiar? When it happened, what did you do? Did you kiss the boo-boo to make it feel better, or have your child shake it off, believing they can bounce back?

An illustration showing two skeletons. The skeleton on the left has a bent spine and the skeleton on the right has straight posture.

Injury-Caused Misalignments Are Like Onions

Children are so active all the time that they’re bound to fall over and over again.  These injuries that kids sustain, at times, can create enough force that jams and jars the body creating a misalignment of the spine, arm, and/or leg.  If the misalignment is not corrected then it will layer in. 

I like to compare this to an onion.  Have you ever taken an onion and cut it in half.  If you have, then you probably have seen the layers of the onion.  As a child has one injury, it creates one layer of injury.  As the child has a second injury, it creates a second layer.  A third injury would create a third layer.  Layering in, just like an onion.  And these layers, as they accumulate, eventually create a bigger problem which stinks just like the onion.  These layers of injuries overtime may create pain.  It stinks to be in pain and stinks when we have to see our child in pain. 

Signs & Symptoms of Misalignments

When there is a misalignment, you or your child may notice poor posture, a decreased range of motion, stiffness, pain and/or health challenges.  Some of these symptoms are gradual and accumulate slowly over time, from months to years, making it difficult to recognize. A child might even accept how they feel, as that is all they have known.

Are Misalignments the Real Cause of Growing Pains?

I have raised three children and have been a licensed doctor of chiropractic for 23 years. In my practice, I’ve regularly cared for children and don’t believe that growing pains are a part of the growing process. Growing is normal, but pain is not. “Growing pains” aren’t from the growing process itself, but from the pain caused by misalignments “growing” over time.

An unseen doctor's hands are placed on a child's back. The doctor is performing a chiropractic adjustment.

Why Misalignments Need to be Treated

It’s common for children to experience misalignments in the bones of the spine, arms, and/or legs. Misalignments in the spine are particularly bad because the spine protects the nerves that branch off the spinal cord and send messages to all areas in the body. Spinal misalignments put pressure on the nerves, causing them to become irritated.  It’s normal for children (and adults) not to feel misalignments at first since only 10% of the nerves sense pain, while the other 90% control muscles and organs. However, as more injuries are sustained, there will be enough pressure to cause pain. The real challenge is that once the pain is felt, there are most likely months and years of layers that must be corrected to get the pressure off the nerve.

How Chiropractic Adjustments Can Treat Misalignments & Growing Pains

Although pain relief is definitely important (because it stinks to be in pain), the problem may not be fully resolved.  As the nerve pressure is decreased by correcting the misalignments, the pain will begin to go away. When this happens, a parent may be tempted to stop treatments for their child. Stopping treatments as soon as the pain goes away may not be good because there may still be misalignments present, which will worsen with more falls, bumps, and other repetitive injuries.

A chiropractic adjustment focuses on correcting misalignments that cause these pains.

Ongoing corrective chiropractic care is the real solution.

Start Ongoing Chiropractic Care for Your Child

As a parent, I know your child’s quality of life is a priority. If those growing pains are becoming too much for them, know that I and the other doctors of chiropractic at Total Health Systems are here to help.

Total Health Systems is a Michigan-based multidisciplinary wellness center specializing in chiropractic care and other holistic services, including primary care, physical therapy, and functional medicine. Our goal is to get to the root of each problem so our patients can achieve and enjoy pain-free living.

If your child is in pain, please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our doctors.

Pamela L. Tomaszycki, B.S., D.C.

Total Health Systems

37339 Green Street

New Baltimore, MI 48047


Dr. Pam Tomaszycki, Total Health Systems

Pam Tomaszycki's Bio

Dr. Pam Tomaszycki has been licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic in Michigan since April 2001. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at Wayne State University. She then went on to complete her Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life University in Marietta, Georgia.