Growing Pains in Children: Is it Something to be Worried About?

Growing Pains in Children: Is it Something to be Worried About?

Growing Pains in Children: Is it Something to be Worried About?


Growing pains are frequently reported as an ache or throb in the legs, particularly in the front of the thighs, calves, and behind the knees. Such pains usually affect both legs and occur at night, waking a child from his or her sleep. 

Despite the fact that these symptoms are referred to as “growing pains,” there is no evidence that growth is painful. The condition might be caused by a diminished pain tolerance or, in certain situations, psychological problems. 

Putting a warm heating pad on the aching muscles and massaging them can provide some comfort and relief to the youngster.

Growing Pains in Children Is it Something to be Worried About


A throbbing pain in the legs, pain in front of the thighs, calves, or behind the knees is a common symptom. During instances of growing pains, some children may also endure abdominal pain or headaches. These usually do not happen every day, they come and go in phases.

Growing pains are most common in the late afternoon or early evening, and usually go away by the morning. 


It’s time to see a doctor if your child’s pains are chronic and present in the morning or early afternoon, or if they’re accompanied by swelling, fever, or weakness. A medical healthcare provider will be able to help assist in diagnosing and treating the condition further.


There is no such known cause for the condition yet and it is usually uncommon during periods of rapid growth. It’s been believed that restless legs syndrome is linked to growing pains. The musculoskeletal system of a youngster can also be harmed by overuse from activities such as running, climbing, and leaping.


Pre-school and school-going children are more prone to growing aches. Girls are slightly more likely to have them than boys. Indulging in physical and strenuous activities like running, climbing, may increase the chances of leg pain at night.


Children do not require a test always for diagnosing developing pains. A blood test or sometimes an X-ray might be recommended by your child’s healthcare expert in certain instances. Not only is growing pain the cause of leg pain in children but also other treatable underlying illnesses.


Growing pains do not have a specific remedy. However, it does not cause additional issues and has no impact on growth. It takes around a year or two for it to gradually subside. Meanwhile, self-care activities such as stroking your child’s legs can help reduce the intensity of the symptoms.


Certain home remedies may ease discomfort:

  • Your child’s legs should be massaged – Children feel good when they are massaged. Massage helps to subside the pain in them and also strengthen their bones.
  • Exercising your muscles. Stretching your leg muscles during the day can help you avoid soreness at night. Inquire with your doctor about the stretches that may be beneficial for your child.
  • Make use of a heating pad. Sore muscles can be soothed by heat. Use a heating pad on a low setting before sleep or when your child complains of leg pain. Once your child has fallen asleep, remove the heating pad. A warm bath before bedtime may also be beneficial. 
  • Consider taking pain medication. Ibuprofen (Advil, Children’s Motrin, and others) or acetaminophen can be given to your child (Tylenol, others). Giving aspirin to your child should be avoided since it has chances of giving rise to Reye’s syndrome, an uncommon but deadly illness.


The majority of children with growing aches do not require medical attention. Inquire with your kid’s provider if an evaluation is required in case your child is experiencing persistent or unusual pain.


You might want to make a list that answers the following questions before the appointment:

  • What is the source of the discomfort? 
  • Is the discomfort more common at various times of the day? 
  • How long will the discomfort last? 
  • What, if anything, helps to alleviate the discomfort? 
  • Is your child’s pain keeping them awake at night or making it difficult for them to fall asleep? 
  • Have you noticed any other symptoms or indicators in your child, such as swelling, redness, abdominal pain, or headaches? 
  • Have you lately introduced your child to a new physical activity?


Your child’s provider may inquire about the symptoms and activities throughout the examination. He or she might also check your child’s bones and muscles for tenderness.

Ankura Hospital
Author: Ankura Hospital

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