What causes growing pains in children?

A lot of things get branded as “growing pains” but merely because there's pain in a developing child does not necessarily mean it's a true growing pain. You can certainly dismiss pain in a growing child as growing pains. A genuine growing pain just happens at night and never in the daytime. The discomfort is also in the upper calf muscle and behind the knee. If the pain occurs in the daytime and in another location than the back of the leg and knee, then it is not a true growing pain and is most likely because of something different that ought to be looked into. Typically, it only occurs in younger kids and wakes the kid at night. There will be no history of trauma or any sort of injury to the area which the pain occurs in.

Growing pains are usually somewhat harmless and self-limiting, in that they do come right after a while. Nevertheless, they usually are upsetting to the child and parents at the time and, most importantly, there are a few very serious and rare disorders that can have signs much like growing pains, so each case has to be considered seriously and looked into to eliminate these other possible reasons. The repercussions of missing these rare reasons for similar symptoms can be serious.

The normal management for growing pains is just reassurance of the child. They need to be comforted and helped to get back to sleep. Light massage or rubbing of the leg will often be useful. In some instances medication may be used to help the pain and ease the getting back to sleep. Stretches prior to going to bed and if the pain happens might also be helpful. Of most importance is education concerning the nature of growing pains and that it will pass and an evaluation of those possible uncommon and serious causes of the discomfort.