Growing pains commonly present in children between the ages of 3-12. Mostly occurring at night, children complain of aching, cramping or pain in the calves, thighs, shins or back of the knees.
Unfortunately, despite the name, there is no current research to confirm that these symptoms are actually caused by growth or ‘growth spurts’. Rather, it is more likely that they are related to intense or longer periods of activity like running, jumping or climbing. It may be useful to keep a diary to identify any pattern or link between your child’s pain and their activities that day, for example a full day of sport.
Children do ‘grow’ out of these symptoms by the age of 12-15. However to provide some relief in the short term the following treatments are known to help:
- Massage of the legs, particularly the muscles around the painful area
- Regular stretches, focusing on the calves, hamstrings and quads (thighs)
- Heat in the form of a heat pack or warm towel to soothe and relax tight muscles
If the symptoms do not resolve or continue to worsen, it is safest to consult a health professional such as a podiatrist, physiotherapist or GP to rule out other possible concerns.
If you are concerned your child may be experiencing growing pains we can help, see a caring Podiatrist or Physiotherapist at Rural Health. You can book online or phone (02) 5926 3806.