Growing Pains & Chiropractic Care in New York City

Anyone who clearly remembers their childhood most likely remembers experiencing Growing Pains. The throbbing and aching that would hit at the most inconvenient times, mostly at night, and leave your parents bewildered. This condition is not an old-wives tale, it affects 20 to 45 percent of children and usually occurs at two periods in life; between 3 and 5 then again between 8 and 12, although it can be experienced at any age. 

Symptoms of Growing Pains include aches and pain in the thighs, calves, joints, and muscles. They generally ramp up in the evening time and occur at different levels of severity depending on the child. There is no overarching medical cause of Growing Pains and bone growth has not been determined as a definitive answer. At present it is thought that these pains are the natural side effects from active play such as jumping, running, and climbing. 

Since there is no conclusive medical cause for Growing Pains treatment and prevention can be difficult to achieve. Most parents find different forms of touch to be effective such as massage, stretching, heating pads, and administering ibuprofen. 

Chiropractic care can be a helpful alternative in treating childhood Growing Pains primarily due to growing pains being commonly rooted in muscle injury. Many physicians are of the opinion that when the rate of the bone growth outpaces the ability of the soft tissue muscles and tendons to keep up, muscle injury, spasm and even tearing can occur. 

Chiropractic care generally recognizes subluxations at the core of this condition. (subluxation defined as the loss of proper position or motion of a joint). Abnormal joint mechanics result and can cause localized pain and inflammation as well as abnormal soft tissue tension and pain. Misaligned joints don’t work the way they were intended and alter gait and other movement patterns.

Frequently children suffering with “growing pains” have subluxations affecting the function of the knees, hips, pelvis and sometimes the feet and ankles. The focus of treatment is chiropractic adjustments that restore the normal alignment and the mechanics of joint motion. Soft tissue work in the form of stretching and massage is also helpful, but doesn’t seem to achieve lasting effects when practiced in the absence of adjustments.

Chiropractors can administer gentle non-invasive forms of treatment through Chiropractic care. Through Chiropractic adjustments children can experience improved flexibility, decreased inflammation, joint pain relief, and improved range of motion. Each of these areas of improvement will result in a decrease in overall symptoms of Growing Pains as the child is more able to adjust and recover from active play. 

The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA, September 26, 2016) published a research study that looked at the process of a young boy with growing pains under chiropractic care. In this case a 3 year old boy was being affected by complaints of leg pain and lower back pain. On top of that, he experienced pain in both feet, headaches and recent bed wetting. He had received no prior treatment aside from his parents massaging his legs.The case study notes how the term growing pain has been used for an estimated 150 years. The term was initially coined by Duchamp in 1832 in his treatise, “Maladies de la Croissance.” Reports say that what is referred to as “growing pains” occur in approximately 20% of kids and might be as high as 37% and is a little more prevalent in girls when compared with boys.

The study notes that growing pains can start in infancy with the greatest discomfort between the ages of 3-5 years and generally manage to disappear as the child matures. A number of conditions have been implicated (though not fully substantiated) as possible factors in growing pains such as rapid growth, overexertion, rheumatic conditions, infection, sacroiliac joint dysfunction, orthopedic defects, vague ill health, and psychological factors. The diagnosis of this condition is generally made by excluding other conditions and thus leaving merely the idea that the pains are “growing pains”. In the matter of this young boy, a chiropractic examination revealed the existence of subluxations and a course of care was initiated. The care consisted of 15 visits spanning a 13 week period. After the first adjustment, the patient didn’t complain of leg pain for 3 days. After 7 visits, the mother reported that her son was sleeping through the night without leg pains. By the 15th visit, the child had become and remained symptom-free for nearly 3 weeks. The author’s conclusion of this study was, “This case report provides supporting evidence of the effectiveness of chiropractic care in kids with growing pains. 

Another worthwhile approach is Craniosacral Therapy an effective alternative to traditional treatment approaches. Through specific contact with pressure points the practitioner can bring relief to the child’s areas of pain and prevent or reduce pain in the future. 

As with any alternative treatment modality, these should be performed by a professional licensed and trained to perform the treatment method. Growing does not have to include pain and each child should be advocated for against unnecessary pain and discomfort. 

About Dr. Kaminsky & Craniosacral Therapy

Dr. Kaminsky is a 1999 graduate of the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic. He is licensed to practice in NY and has completed close to three thousand hours of professional continuing education since becoming licensed in March of 2000.

The primary approach used in his office is Craniosacral Therapy (CST) which is a method focusing on the cranium (head) and sacrum (a large bone at the base of the spine) scientifically proven to control life sustaining fluid flow throughout the body.

Craniosacral Therapy is a gentle, non-invasive, hands-on manual therapy approach that brings about healing via the fluidity of the body. The existence of the Craniosacral System was first discovered by Osteopath Dr. William Sutherland in the early 1900’s, calling it Cranial Osteopathy.  And later rediscovered, validated, and developed by Dr. John Upledger in the late 70’s early 80’s, who renamed it Craniosacral Therapy after doing five years of research at the Michigan State University, School of Medicine. In 1983 Dr. John, as he was fondly called, established a teaching institute in Palm Beach, Florida, to teach this cranial sacral method to all healthcare providers. The Upledger Institute is still very active today.

The craniosacral mechanism pumps fluid which is produced in the brain, called cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF), through the fascial network of the body, the purpose of which is to lubricate joints, muscles, organs, all cells and all tissues. It is the driving life force for your body’s systems to function properly, CSF also carries healing properties to bodily traumas, injuries and past surgeries.

The proper function of your cranial sacral mechanism, via CSF flow, maintains the normal tone of your muscles, provide nutrients to your organs, and keeps you out of pain. It sustains human life and allows your nervous system to stay responsive to challenges of daily living and your mind-body life experiences. The better your craniosacral mechanism functions, the better the flow of this life sustaining fluid, the better your body can handle physical and emotional stress. The uninhibited flow of this fluid throughout your body allows you to thrive, opposite of survival mode.

CSF is part of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) brain and spinal cord), which is physically encapsulated within the dural membranes of the spine and head.

One of the functions inside of your brain is to automatically generate energetic rhythmic impulses that function to pump CSF throughout your body, regulating your peripheral nerves, nervous system and organ systems, which in turn, sustain your function (physiology) and life. It is an important force that maintains everything functioning in your body. This is what we call the Craniosacral System, or Craniosacral Mechanism. It is the hydraulic, energetic and rejuvenating system of your body.

This measurable life force of moving fluid is palpable to a trained craniosacral therapist, like the heart rhythm, pulse rhythm, breathing rate, that can all be felt, so too can the Cranial Sacral Rhythm (CSR) be palpated and measured. It is the foundational diagnostic tool in real-time used to evaluate your current state of well-being (or lack thereof), and potential for health improvement and healing.

Compromises of your rhythmic impulse, correlates to CSF flow restrictions in the system which the body is unable to self-correct or overcome on its own. This is the reason why over time we develop pain, dis-ease, symptoms, conditions, mind-body disconnect and basically all human physical and psychological ailments.

When the fluid isn’t flowing optimally, your bodily rejuvenation is affected, and this is where the skill of an experienced craniosacral therapist becomes valuable. By placing his or her hands on your body, most commonly on your head and sacrum, for diagnostic purposes, the practitioner can detect, feel, evaluate, and rate the SSQAR (strength, symmetry, quality, amplitude, rate) of the rhythm; then bring forth correction of any limitations with subsequent experienced hand placements on different parts the body during a session.

A craniosacral therapist helps your rhythm reset, restore and renew allowing for healing to take place of the mind-body connection, musculoskeletal tightness and spasms, neurological deficits, autoimmune issues, organ function, many common conditions, and of course pain. Through a practitioners properly focused and attuned touch, your body is facilitated to release channels of fluid stagnation and flow restriction, which ultimately breakthrough, overcome and improve CSR and the function of vital fluid flow.

Dr. Alex Kaminsky is an advanced practitioner of Craniosacral therapy, having studied up to advanced levels including SER and pediatric courses. He has built a solid foundation with many years of experience, treating babies, children and adults.

To learn more, visit the other pages on this website. Call to schedule your appointment with Dr. Kaminsky.