For Parents Growth spurt strikes..at the worst possible time

PeanutsMom

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Last year in March of 2020 when everything shut down for months. My 11 year old daughter was 4'4 inches tall. This year she is 4'9". At least she looks like a 6th grader now. However, her bones in her legs and feet grew faster than the muscles and she is having terrible pain in her feet and legs when she tumbles and runs. She is spending a lot of time on bars and beam, but vault was always a challenge (as in it SUCKED for her) and her floor was always her top score in meets (she dances well). Now she is losing skills on floor and vault is not improving. She has had 2 meets this year. One she rocked, the other she tanked. We have another meet in a couple weeks where she will likely compete only 2 events (bars and beam), but in that first meet she qualified for State and she is likely not going to be able to do all around at State. If she is okay competing 2 events, I am okay with it, but I think the coaches want all arounders.

It isn't like they have had much of a season anyway, but she moved up to level 7 and has technically qualified out and has been working 8 skills on bars and beam, but the regression on vault is so much I wonder if she will remain a 7 next year too. Is chatting with her coaches about how to still work vault with her foot issue appropriate or should I wait until summer when they start training upskills? She isn't truly "injured" as there isn't much other than stretching she can do to make those muscles catch up. I have gotten the sense from her coaches they think she is babying it and it isn't as bad as she says because it is not truly injured.
 

Gbmom

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Wow! 5 inches is a lot of growing in a year! I can imagine how it would affect her. My oldest DD has had similar issues with growing over quarantine, except her blood pressure didn't catch up to her height. Has she gotten her yearly physical yet? If not, I would take her in for it and also bring up the foot problem. Maybe then you could better describe it to her coaches so they don't think she's babying it. Is there and tsuk/yurchenko drills she can do that don't hurt? I would also ice her feet after practice, make sure she is eating healthy and filling meals, and get a good night's sleep. Surprisingly, sleeping and eating filling meals helped my DD so much! I'm sending lots of love to your DD because growing pains suck: (
 

cogymmom2dd

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I feel ya, momma! We are in the same boat. I have an 11yo L7 who has grown ALOT in the last year. At least 6’’.
She has lost a lot of her flexibility due to this and has had some foot issues also. We saw a sports medicine doctor and she was diagnosed with sever’s disease, which is common at this age during a growth spurt. We bought a cheetah cup and X-brace to help with the foot pain. We also do stretches specifically for Severs and a lot of her focus at practice is on stretching vs. tumbling. We also bought some inserts for her day to day shoes and the sports medicine doc said only wear shoes that tie. No more slip-on shoes or boots. She’s been doing all of the above consistently for the past 2 weeks or so, and feels so much better. Also, most of her tumbling is being done on the trampoline (less impact on legs and feet) and if they are running through routines on floor, coaches have been allowing her to wear her shoes for the time being. Same for vault. She wears them if she is going to be running and doing yurchenkos, but doesn’t wear them for drills.
I would get her in to see a sports medicine doctor or at minimum in with her primary care doctor. We were lucky to have a dedicated pediatric/adolescent sports medicine clinic relatively close. At least now, we are established with someone and if we have issues that pop up down the road, we can hopefully get in sooner vs. waiting for referrals since she is an established patient.
And, repeating L7 won’t be the end of the world. My DD has technically scored out of L7, but she already told me that she wants a chance to do L7 over. Her L6 season only had 2 meets before we were shut down. L7 has been weird, we had 3 meets cancelled early on and only have one more scheduled meet, I think she feels like she needs a full season of lower level optionals before making the leap to L8.
 
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CLgym

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Just wanted to drop a note to commiserate. My DD has grown 2 inches in the last 6 months (age 12 to 12.5 yrs — 4’9” to 4’11”) with no end in sight. She is repeating L8 and struggling both with skills and leg pain. We just started with a PT who reported that DD’s inside calves and right glutes/quad are pretty locked up (even having spasms in her glutes). Hoping PT will help bc at this point she is taking Motrin before every practice. PT might be worth looking into? Also, for what it’s worth, my DD’s vault has taken the biggest hit too. But even things like giants have had to be reworked (she now has to straddle past the low bar).
 

PeanutsMom

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I feel ya, momma! We are in the same boat. I have an 11yo L7 who has grown ALOT in the last year. At least 6’’.
She has lost a lot of her flexibility due to this and has had some foot issues also. We saw a sports medicine doctor and she was diagnosed with sever’s disease, which is common at this age during a growth spurt. We bought a cheetah cup and X-brace to help with the foot pain. We also do stretches specifically for Severs and a lot of her focus at practice is on stretching vs. tumbling. We also bought some inserts for her day to day shoes and the sports medicine doc said only wear shoes that tie. No more slip-on shoes or boots. She’s been doing all of the above consistently for the past 2 weeks or so, and feels so much better. Also, most of her tumbling is being done on the trampoline (less impact on legs and feet) and if they are running through routines on floor, coaches have been allowing her to wear her shoes for the time being. Same for vault. She wears them if she is going to be running and doing yurchenkos, but doesn’t wear them for drills.
I would get her in to see a sports medicine doctor or at minimum in with her primary care doctor. We were lucky to have a dedicated pediatric/adolescent sports medicine clinic relatively close. At least now, we are established with someone and if we have issues that pop up down the road, we can hopefully get in sooner vs. waiting for referrals since she is an established patient.
And, repeating L7 won’t be the end of the world. My DD has technically scored out of L7, but she already told me that she wants a chance to do L7 over. Her L6 season only had 2 meets before we were shut down. L7 has been weird, we had 3 meets cancelled early on and only have one more scheduled meet, I think she feels like she needs a full season of lower level optionals before making the leap to L8.
We saw an orthopedic doctor and nothing was said about tie shoes or inserts or that it was specifically Sever's (though I suspected that before we saw the doctor). She had x braces before, and I am wondering if they will help for now because the taping of her arch does NOT stay on therefore she doesn't tape as much as she should. I will order a new (larger) pair of x braces and tell her to wear them. I will also ask her PT about wearing shoes. There is a PT who works in our gym with gymnasts (ex-gymnast and elite level coach) so we are going to try to get her in to see him as well so he can see what it is during practice that causes her pain. Lots of things to follow up on. I don't mind her repeating level 7 (she was only 1 of 2 who made the jump from 6 to 7, so she really isn't any further behind than kids she has been competing with her whole life). I just know she has goals of making it to 8 and uptraining during the off season, but I just don't think she is ready. Nor do I think the coaches think she is ready.
 

PeanutsMom

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Just wanted to drop a note to commiserate. My DD has grown 2 inches in the last 6 months (age 12 to 12.5 yrs — 4’9” to 4’11”) with no end in sight. She is repeating L8 and struggling both with skills and leg pain. We just started with a PT who reported that DD’s inside calves and right glutes/quad are pretty locked up (even having spasms in her glutes). Hoping PT will help bc at this point she is taking Motrin before every practice. PT might be worth looking into? Also, for what it’s worth, my DD’s vault has taken the biggest hit too. But even things like giants have had to be reworked (she now has to straddle past the low bar).
That's exactly where DD has pain..her calves and feet especially. She also now has to straddle past the low bar, but she is on FIG and doesn't want to go wide set yet as the low bar is still significantly too tall for her (she is at a weird height I guess). So FIG she stays and has to learn to straddle or she flexes her feet (has been noted by judges in both meets). She is in PT and we are looking at another option for PT with someone at the gym who was a gymnast/coach and works with lots of athletes in the gym so he can see how they practice and what causes pain. I hope your DD gets some relief and the pain goes away.
 

MuggleMom

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My DD was never diagnosed with severs but she was having tightness and pain that could have led to it so we were very proactive about it. The best help for her was calf massages and getting Tulis cups for her school shoes. Running around at school was killing her feet before she ever even went to gym she would come home from school and say they hurt. With the shoe heel cups I saw a big improvement. Right now we got new shoes and havent moved the heel cups over yet and what do you know pain is starting back up. Kids shoes are not made with the right arch support so kids who have bad feet or are hard on their feet really suffer. I have found that Under Armour has pretty good kids shoes with decent support. Also find flip flops with arches for the summer. I have done rubber Birkenstocks and they are pretty good. This year her podiatrist recommended oofos and they have great arches in them. She recommends them for all foot issues my friend started using them for her Planters Faciitis and she said they have been life changing.
 
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PeanutsMom

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My DD was never diagnosed with severs but she was having tightness and pain that could have led to it so we were very proactive about it. The best help for her was calf massages and getting Tulis cups for her school shoes. Running around at school was killing her feet before she ever even went to gym she would come home from school and say they hurt. With the shoe heel cups I saw a big improvement. Right now we got new shoes and havent moved the heel cups over yet and what do you know pain is starting back up. Kids shoes are not made with the right arch support so kids who have bad feet or are hard on their feet really suffer. I have found that Under Armour has pretty good kids shoes with decent support. Also find flip flops with arches for the summer. I have done rubber Birkenstocks and they are pretty good. This year her podiatrist recommended oofos and they have great arches in them. She recommends them for all foot issues my friend started using them for her Planters Faciitis and she said they have been life changing.
I just ordered her x braces and have a call in to the PT at the gym. Hopefully the x braces help.
 

cogymmom2dd

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I just ordered her x braces and have a call in to the PT at the gym. Hopefully the x braces help.
Also try a cheetah cup or cups for practice. DD1 prefers it over the x-brace.she said she would consider wearing the X-brace for competitions because it’s not so big and bulky, but loves the cheetah cups for practice. She has the Tuli’s heel cups for her every day shoes and the cheetah cup (same brand) for practice.
 

txgymfan

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My DD was never diagnosed with severs but she was having tightness and pain that could have led to it so we were very proactive about it. The best help for her was calf massages and getting Tulis cups for her school shoes. Running around at school was killing her feet before she ever even went to gym she would come home from school and say they hurt. With the shoe heel cups I saw a big improvement. Right now we got new shoes and havent moved the heel cups over yet and what do you know pain is starting back up. Kids shoes are not made with the right arch support so kids who have bad feet or are hard on their feet really suffer. I have found that Under Armour has pretty good kids shoes with decent support. Also find flip flops with arches for the summer. I have done rubber Birkenstocks and they are pretty good. This year her podiatrist recommended oofos and they have great arches in them. She recommends them for all foot issues my friend started using them for her Planters Faciitis and she said they have been life changing.
I have foot issues and have a pair of Oofos, they are comfortable. I also have found that compression ankle sleeves ( toeless ankle socks, I like the brand SB Sox). I dont always like wearing shoes and the socks give me support while still feeing like I’m barefoot.
 
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PeanutsMom

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Thanks for all the advice! We got the cheetah cups, the x-braces, she is doing PT twice a week. States was this past weekend (Season highs on Floor, Vault, and Bars) and she competed all 4 events. She ended up 6th in the All-Around and qualified to Regionals. Yeah!!!!

So thank you all again for letting me pick your hive mind on Sever's and growth issues!