Thursday, December 8, 2011

Growing Pains and Somatosensory Dysfunction

A recent study in the Journal of Pain Research researched how children with growing pains responded to various sensory inputs. Thirty three children, ages 5-12, with a history of growing pains underwent sensory response testing to touch, dynamic brush, cold, vibration, and deep pressure applied to limb and abdominal sites. The results indicated that children with growing pains exhibited "minor but statistically significantly increased responses to cutaneous cold, vibration, and to deep pressure stimuli in cases compared to controls, evident in a wider distribution than the symptomatic lower limbs". The researchers concluded that growing pains is a regional pain disorder with deficits in somatosensory processing.

Question of the day - do you find that children who have deficits in somatosensory processing complain more often of growing pains or pain in general? Just curious...

If sensory integration techniques are successful in children with sensory processing disorder would they be helpful for children with growing pains? I know this is a HUGE conclusion to make from this small study but just makes me question where we as therapists can help.

Reference: Pathirana S, Champion D, Jaaniste T, Yee A, Chapman C. Somatosensory test responses in children with growing pains. Journal of Pain Research December 2011 Volume 2011:4 Pages 393 - 400

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