Is your child complaining of achy and sore legs?
Growing pains in children can be difficult to diagnose, as the cause of them is still currently unknown. There is a misconception that pains are related to growth spurts, or bones growing too quickly, however this is yet to be proven. There is no damage caused by growing pains, with joints and bones being unaffected.
Growing pains most commonly occur between the ages of three to five, and from eight to eleven years. Some children continue to experience this pain up until early adolescence. Both girls and boys are equally affected.
Symptoms for growing pains include:
- Muscular aches experienced in both legs. Commonly the front of the thighs, behind the knees, and in the calf.
- Occasionally, pain in the arms can be felt too.
- Growing pains are most commonly felt in the evening or at night. Sometimes severe enough to wake the child from sleep.
- Pain is often resolved by morning.
- Pattern of this pain is often erratic. Pain can come and go, occurring nightly or a few times a week then sporadically resolving.
- Movement does not make the pain worse, and it does not hinder movement. You won’t find a limp or the inability to run or play.
It is good to note the symptoms presented by your child, as they will assist in your doctor ruling out other causes of pain. These can include arthritis, infection or injury – or an underlying problem that needs to be investigated. If your child’s pain is accompanied by feeling unwell, with a fever or swelling, it is strongly advised to visit your GP.
Your osteopath at St Kilda Osteopathy can help treat growing pains and the associated issues it presents! as well as rule out any biomechanical dysfunction potentially causing pain –eg flat feet, knocked knees, toe walking to name a few. Most common treatment for growing pains is gentle massage to help release tight muscles and assist with fluid movement and encourage optimal circulation. Heat, such as a warm bath or heat pack, can also be applied to the painful area or paracetamol can provide some pain relief too. And as always, staying fit and moving, having plenty of water and sleep and incorporating a healthy and balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, dairy and protein is advisable – but always check with your health practitioner first if you have any queries or concerns!
If your child is experiencing aches and pains, contact St Kilda Osteopathy and we can help you out!