Growing pains are often described as an ache or throb in the legs — often in the front of the thighs, the calves or behind the knees. Growing pains tend to affect both legs and occur at night, and may even wake a child from sleep.
Although these pains are called growing pains, there's no evidence that growth hurts. Growing pains may be linked to a lowered pain threshold or, in some cases, to psychological issues.
There's no specific treatment for growing pains. You can make your child more comfortable by putting a warm heating pad on the sore muscles and massaging them.
Aug. 14, 2013
- Lehman TJA, et al. Growing pains. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 25, 2013.
- Berkowitz CD. Berkowitz's Pediatrics: A Primary Care Approach. 4th ed. Washington, D.C.:American Academy of Pediatrics; 2012. http://ebooks.aap.org/product/berkowitzs-pediatrics-primary-care-approach-4th-edition. Accessed April 16, 2013.
- Weiser P. Approach to the patient with noninflammatory musculoskeletal pain. Pediatric Clinics of North America. 2012;59:471.
- Pavone V, et al. Growing pains: A study of 30 cases and a review of the literature. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2011;31:606.
- Uziel Y, et al. Five-year outcome of children with "growing pains": Correlations with pain threshold. Journal of Pediatrics. 2010;156:838.
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