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Tag: growing pains

Why do children get growing pains?

Lots of pain in children get called “growing pains” but merely because there is pain in a growing child does not necessarily mean it's a real growing pain. It is possible to dismiss pain in a growing child as this. A genuine growing pain only happens at night and never during the day. The discomfort is also in the upper calf muscle and behind the knee. If the discomfort happens during the day and in another place than the rear of the leg and knee, then it's not really a true growing pain and is probably due to something different which should be looked into. Generally, it only happens in younger children and awakens the kid during the night. There is no history of trauma or any kind of damage to the location that the pain happens in.

Growing pains are usually somewhat benign and self-limiting, in that they do come right after time. However, they can be stressful to the child and parents at the time and, more importantly, there are several very serious and rare conditions that can have signs comparable to growing pains, therefore each case must be given serious attention and looked into to eliminate the other possible reasons. The consequences of missing these rare causes of similar symptoms can be significant.

The standard treatment for growing pains is simply reassurance of the child. They must be comforted and helped to return to sleep. Soothing massage or rubbing of the leg will often help. In some cases medication may be used to help the pain and relieve the returning to sleep. Stretching out just before going to bed and if the pain happens can also be helpful. Of most importance is education in regards to the nature of growing pains and that it will pass as well as an assessment of those potential uncommon and serious causes of the discomfort.