What are growing pains?
Growing pains are a form of recurring limb pain experienced by children. Their cause is not known.
Author: Idan Ben-Barak
First answered: 21 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 Votes: 149
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Growing pains appear in children aged 3 to 14 years of age, less commonly in later teen years. They usually affect the legs (thighs, calves and the backs of the knees) but can appear in the arms, shoulders and back as well. They are most …
It is not clear what causes growing pains. They are not, as the name mistakenly suggests, caused by growth.
Children between the ages of 3 to 14 are the most affected by growing pains.
Your doctor will diagnose growing pains by excluding other possible causes of limb pain.
There is no effective treatment or cure for growing pains. Leg massages and heat packs can help with the pain. Pain-relief medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can be used.
Leg massages and applying warmth can provide some relief from growing pains. Comfort and reassure your child if they are feeling anxious or frightened.
Most children experience an attack of growing pains intermittently every few days, weeks or even months. After a year or two, the attacks gradually stop.