Rickets is a vitamin D deficiency usually seen in children and adolescents due to either improper diet or an inability for the body to absorb it. Vitamin D is necessary for calcium and phosphorus to be processed in the body, to then be used to build strong bones. Vitamin D can be found in foods (such as eggs, fish, cereals, and milk) but can also be found in sunlight. However, diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac’s disease may impair the body’s ability to use vitamin D.
Symptoms of Rickets include:
- Pain in spine, legs, or pelvis
- Delayed growth
- Muscle weakness
- Bowed legs
- Thickened ankles or wrists
- Other skeletal deformities
If left untreated, the child can develop spinal curvatures, seizures, and osteoporosis. Children who are solely breast-fed are more at risk to rickets due to the absence of Vitamin D in breast milk so talk to your doctor about supplements if you feel your child may be at risk.
Once the child becomes older, and still cannot absorb vitamin D, it is very important for them to try and increase bone growth as much as possible. Exercises while standing can help increase bone growth but due to osteoporosis may also be at risk for fractures. Your doctor may recommend seeing a physical therapist to adjust the dosage of exercise for it to be safe yet effective. Physical therapy can help to also reduce any bone or muscle pain through stretching and strengthening exercises as well as hands on manual techniques.
We treat patients with Rickets in the 34711 area!