Ayurvedic treatment for Growing pains

Growing pains

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  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Growing pains Ayurvedic treatment

WHAT IS GROWING PAINS?

Growing pains is the pain that growing children experience in their legs. Growing pains are usually experienced at night and may be related to a lowered pain threshold of the child.1

Ayurveda does not recognize the concept of growing pains. Pain although is a symptom that is covered under vatavyadhi.2

According to Ayurveda, pain is attributed to Vatadosha, thus any kind of Aghat or shock will sensitize the pain Vata dosha.3 Ayurveda divides pain into categories depending upon the element (dosha: Vata, Pitta, Kapha) that caused them.

We have pain due to dryness and excessive air within the system, which is attributed to Vata dosha. This dry pain may appear extreme, come and go, travel throughout the body, feel like pins and needles, prickling pain or numbness.5

Vata – Pitta Pain : Presents with burning, is intense in nature and localized.The intensity increases until peak is achieved around midday or midnight.5

Vata-Kapha pain: it is a dull and localized type of pain.  Pain increases in intensity gradually over 6 hours to upto 25 hours and last for days. Pain is highly troubling in late evening or early morning.5

Causes

Growing pains

GROWING PAINS CAUSES

The exact cause of growing pains is not known. It is assumed to have a psychological reasons and it is well accepted that the growth of the child is not a reason even though the pains are called as growing pains. It is likely that over-activity of children during the day may cause these pains at night1

Symptoms

Growing pains

GROWING PAINS SYMPTOMS

Some common symptoms of growing pains include1:

  • Aching & throbbing feeling in the legs
  • Pain in front of the thighs, calves and behind the knees
  • Pain in both legs
  • Pain usually at night
  • Abdominal pain & headaches sometimes
  • Pain in the joints
  • Pain after an injury
  • Swelling, redness and tenderness

Diagnosis

Growing pains

GROWING PAINS DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor will diagnose your child’s growing pains based on the symptoms that he/she experiences. In rare cases, your doctor may ask you to perform additional tests such as X-rays, to rule out any other conditions or complications that may be causing growing pains in your child.1

Management

Growing pains

GROWING PAINS AYURVEDIC TREATMENT

There is no specific treatment for growing pains as they generally go away on their own.

Ayurveda recommends a general line of treatment for Vata diseases. Everytime, in pain Vata is the main dosha involved, following disease management can be useful depending on the symptoms. These include2:

  • Snehana (oleation) – administering ghee, herbal oil, animal fat or bone marrow to expel the imbalanced dosha out of the body
  • Swedana (fomentation) – application of hot, moist substances to heal pain

Additionally, Ayurveda also recommends a combination of healthy diet (ahar) and lifestyle changes (vihar) in order to manage general pain effectively. The diet varies based on which imbalanced dosha is the cause. These include:4,5

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

Vata balancing diet

  • Grains – Rice, wheat, barley, corn, millet, buckwheat, rye, oats
  • Vegetables - Peas, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, celery,
  • Fruits – apples, pears, pomegranates, cranberries, dry fruits after soaking overnight
  • Sweeteners – jaggery, honey, maple syrup
  • Oils & Ghee - Sesame oil, Cow ghee

Pitta balancing diet

  • Vegetables - asparagus, lettuce, broccoli, cucumber, raita, mung dhal, summer squashes, courgettes, cilantro, coconut, cucumber, lime and green salads.
  • Fruits – Peaches, figs, berries, raisins, pineapples
  • Grains - wheat, basmati rice, oats, barley, corn, millet and rye
  • Herb teas - peppermint, spearmint, rose, coriander or liquorice
  • Ghee

Kapha balancing diet

  • Vegetables – Asparagus, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Bean sprouts, Cabbage Carrots Cauliflower, Lettuce Peas Peppers Potatoes (roast) Radish/Spinach
  • Fruits - Apples Apricots, Berries, Cherries Cranberries, Grapefruit, Papaya, Peaches, Pears, pomegranates, raisins, Watermelon
  • Grains - barley, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, corn, millet and rye
  • Herbs – Hot lime water with ginger, barley tea

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

Yoga asanas, daily Ayurvedic body therapies and massage with special herbs, oils to rub into afflicted areas, lifestyle support, specific exercises, meditation, visualization (consciously using your natural creative imagination to make positive changes in your life and health), breathing, mantra repetitions, and prayers are recommended.

Types of Pranayama: Bhastrika pranayama, Suryabhedana pranayama, Anuloma-viloma pranayama

Yoga Asanas: Bhujangasana, Uttanapadasana, Sarvangasana (Yogasanas are to be practiced under supervision)

           Bhastrika pranayama                                                       Suryabhedana pranayama    

Bhujangasana                        Uttanapadasana                        Sarvangasana

FAQS

Growing pains
  1. What is Osteoarthritis? How is it caused?

Osteoarthritis refers to a type of bone and joint problem in which a person suffering from it will have pains in joints. This happens due to the wearing down of the protective cartilage on the bones due to age or other factors. While any joint in the body can have osteoarthritis, usually it happens commonly in the joints of knees, hips, spinal column and hands.

Osteoarthritis is caused due to damage of the cartilages of the ends of the bones. This damage generally occurs due to multiple factors primarily being increasing age. Apart for age, the other factors that cause the damage to cartilage are Obesity, female gender and trauma to the joint.

  1. What is Rheumatoid arthritis? How is it different from osteoarthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refers to an auto immune disorder where the body’s defense systems turn against the body and mainly affect the joints but may also severely affect the eyes, skin, lungs, heart and blood vessels. It generally manifests as pain in the joints along with swelling and difficulty in movements.

Unlike osteoarthritis which affects the weight bearing joints, RA affects any and most joints of the body. It generally presents with swelling (hot swollen joints) as a cardinal feature and also shows some systemic manifestations (such as affects the eyes, skin, lungs, heart etc) unlike OA.

  1. What is osteoporosis? How is it recognized?

Osteoporosis refers to the condition where the bone becomes weak. Instead of the strong tissue that support the body structure, bones become brittle from inside and are capable of breaking with a minor jerk or fall. This leads to fractures in the hands, hips and legs with minor falls or injuries.

It can be recognized based on specific signs and symptoms and a BMD test. Symptoms are as follows -

  • Easily having a bone fracture
  • Pain in the back
  • Height becomes lesser than usual
  • A dropping posture
  1. What first aid should I offer to a person with a fracture?

If you witness a person developing fracture, take these actions immediately -

  • Urgently call for medical help or arrange for an ambulance
  • Stop any bleeding if there is an open wound. This can be done by applying pressure with a clean cloth or tight bandaging.
  • Avoid moving the injured area.
  • Apply ice packs to the injured part
  • If the person faints of is short of breath, put their head at a lower side and legs at a higher angle
  1. How does one know if a child has rickets?

The signs and symptoms of rickets are as follows –

  • Crooked or bow shaped legs
  • Thick joints of hands and feet
  • Protruded chest bone
  • A delay in growth milestones
  • Muscular weakness
  1. How does one have a dislocated joint?

Dislocations are usually caused due to a trauma or as a sports injury. Falls associated with contact sports such as football, basketball etc can lead to a dislocation.

Additionally, a fall on the outstretched hand and trauma due to a motor accident, too can cause dislocation.

  1. What is a Tennis elbow? How is it caused?

Tennis elbow refers to the pain in elbow due to swelling of the tendons which may occur due to repetitive movements of the wrists. Unlike the name suggests, the condition affects non-athletes as well.

It is caused due to overuse of the tendons resulting in a muscle strain injury. Any activity that requires repeated motions of the elbow and wrists can cause tiny injuries in the tendons leading to tennis elbow.

  1. What is frozen shoulder and how is it caused?

Frozen shoulder refers to a condition where the shoulder seems to be frozen in its movements. This condition cause pain and stiffness in the shoulder and restricts any kinds of movements. Medically, this condition in also known as adhesive capsulitis.

While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is not understood, it is believed to be caused due to a swelling of the joints covering called as capsule. This may happen due to long periods of immobility or trauma to the underlying nerve.

  1. How does a hip get fractured?

Generally hip fractures can be caused because of a trauma due to accident, falls, injuries or rarely violence. Hip fracture is very common in the elderly as it often happens due to a fall from height or sometimes even with twisting of the foot in people with weak bones. Younger people often have hip fracture as an outcome of a motor vehicle accident.

  1. What is meant by slipped disc?

A slipped disc refers to the swelling in the cushion between two bones, most commonly the vertebra (individual bones of the spine). This cushion is supposed to provide mobility and flexibility to the spine. This cushion between the vertebra is called as a disc and is filed with a gel like substance that provides the flexibility.

Slipped disc is the swelling of this disc which causes pain and obstructs mobility of the spine. A swelling in the cushion leads to some of the gel in the disc to protrude out between the bones.

References

Growing pains
  1. Mayo Clinic. Growing pains. Available at http://www.mayoclinic.org/home/ovc-20235503 accessed Sept 20th 2016
  2. Charak Samhita of Agnivesha. Vidhyotini Hindi Vyakhya- Sastry K & Chaturvedi G – Editors. Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi 221001. Reprint 2011. Chikitsasthana. Chapter 28
  3. Singh Preeti. Conceptual Study of The Effect of Madhu in Pain Management of Newborn. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://www.worldwidejournals.com/indian-journal-of-applied-research-(IJAR)/file.php?val=April_2016_1459498232__79.pdf
  4.   Webb T. Alternative Pain Management Resource Manual. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://kmccaffreydo.weebly.com/uploads/2/9/4/0/2940839/alternative_pain_management_resource_manual_5.18.20121.pdf
  5. https://www.ayurtimes.com/pain-in-ayurveda/
  6. Cavanagh D & Willis C. Essential Ayurveda – A Practical Guide to Healthy Living. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 24]. Available at: http://www.yogastudies.org/wp-content/uploads/Ch_1_10_Essential_Ayurveda.pdf

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