Growing can be a Pain!

Growing can be a Pain!

Growing up can be a pain in the neck – or should I say legs?

Many children experience “growing pains”.  But what are they?  Do they really exist?  And what can we do about them?

Firstly, ‘growing pains’ is a bit of a misnomer.  Whilst we don’t know for sure what causes them, it seems unlikely that the pain is due to growing.  More likely it is overuse of muscles during the day in active kids.  But, whilst the name is incorrect, the pain is certainly real.

Growing pains affect children between the ages of 3 and adolescence.  Generally, they present as pain in both legs – in the thigh, calf or behind the knees.  They always occur in the afternoon and evening.  Sometimes they can be quite severe, and children may wake in pain during the night, disturbing everyone’s sleep.  Some children will even suffer headaches and abdominal pain.  The good news is these pains should not be severe enough to affect your child’s daily activity.

If your child is only experiencing pain in one leg, if there is swelling, redness or tenderness, or if your child is still in pain in the morning – it is not growing pains, and we would advise a visit to a health professional.

Growing pains will eventually resolve themselves, but in the meantime light stretching, massage and heat packs can help relieve the symptoms.  If you think your child is suffering from growing pains, Precision Health Spine & Sports Clinic have an information sheet that will show you both how to help get some relief!

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