Children's Health - Growth and Development


Children’s Health

Growth and development

Screen time is a big issue in our household - not only is a lot of the day spent looking at a screen for school lessons, but there is the addition of critical communication and gaming with friends during leisure time.  A lot of the time, in our house anyway, these sessions are not carried out sitting on a decent upright chair at a desk but often slumped in a bean bag or on the bed - hopefully dressed and out from under the duvet!

This can lead to tension building up in the upper back and neck resulting in muscular aches and pains and possibly headaches. Exercise and the will to do so is not always strong but just breaking up the day with short walks or cycle rides can be hugely beneficial in counteracting these tensions building up.

The conditions to be discussed today are not necessarily related to poor posture, but have signs and symptoms that are important to be aware of as early as possible in order to put the correct measures and treatment plans in place.


Firstly, Scheuermann’s Kyphosis - the cause of this is unknown, it is thought to run in some families, but that there are many contributing factors. This condition usually appears in adolescents between the ages of 10 and 16. They may often experience back pain during the early teenage years.

The boney process that causes the forward curvature of the spine is often blamed on poor, slouching posture but it actually occurs when the front sections of the spinal vertebrae grow more slowly than the back sections meaning that the bones grow in a wedge shape. As a result, they cannot stack up in a straight line and a forward curve develops as the spine grows - this curve is called a kyphosis.

The curvature often remains mild, so x-rays may be taken intermittently to check that the angle is not increasing.

Often, a conservative approach to treatment is sufficient, for example osteopathic hands on treatment combined with stretching and/or strengthening exercises.

More extreme cases may require bracing or surgery but this is rare due to the condition usually settling as growth rate slows towards adulthood.


The second condition is Perthe’s - this is rare, but if not promptly diagnosed there is an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis of the hip in later life. There is no known reason as to why the process occurs but it happens when part or all of the femoral head loses its blood supply and possibly becomes mis-shapen, usually starting between the ages of 4 and 8.

Symptoms may include groin, thigh and/or knee pain particularly after physical activity.

They limp and may  complain  of stiffness in the hip joint. The disease process can last for a few years, but symptoms, if addressed correctly, commonly persist on and off for several months. Most children recover fully without any treatment but require close monitoring with regular x-rays and examinations. Although impact sport has to be avoided for several months, full recovery and return to sport is possible within a few years from when the disease begins.


If you have any concerns about your children’s physical wellbeing, not necessarily in relation to the conditions discussed, but general aches and pains during these critical years of growth and development, please do not hesitate to contact any of the osteopathic team at Trinity Practice. We are happy to discuss any issues over the phone/via email or book an appointment for a consultation. 

Telephone:  01747 851726


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Selected Saturdays, please call for availability, closed bank holidays.






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