add share buttons

How to manage growing pains in children?

Lots of things get labelled as “growing pains” but just because there is pain in a growing child does not always mean it is a true growing pain. It is easy to dismiss pain in a growing child as this. A genuine growing pain just happens during the night and not during the day. The pain is also in the upper calf muscle and behind the knee. If the pain takes place in the daytime and in another location than the back of the leg and knee, then it's not really a true growing pain and it is most likely due to another thing which should be investigated. Generally, it only occurs in younger kids and wakes the child during the night. There will be no history of trauma or any kind of damage to the location which the pain occurs in.

Growing pains  tend to be relatively benign and self-limiting, in that they do come right after a while. Nonetheless, they can be upsetting to the child and parents at the time and, more importantly, there are some very serious and rare conditions that may have symptoms much like growing pains, so each case does need to be taken seriously and looked into to eliminate the other possible reasons. The repercussions of neglecting these rare causes of similar symptoms can be significant.

The typical management of growing pains is simply reassurance of the child. They need to be comforted and helped to return to sleep. Light massage or rubbing of the leg in most cases be useful. In some cases medication may be used to help the pain and relieve the returning to sleep. Stretching out prior to going to bed and when the pain occurs may also be helpful. Of most importance is education concerning the nature of growing pains and that it will pass plus an assessment of those possible rare and serious causes of the pain.