These pains occur in both boys and girls but slightly more common in girls. Because these pains most often occur during years when the child's growth is not at its fastest rate, the pains are NOT associated with growing. The name was given in the s to s when the pains were thought to be from faster growth of the bones when compared to the growth of the tendons.
- Growing Pains.
- Together Alone: Should I Stay or Should I Go?;
- From the Heart of Covington: A Novel (Ladies of Covington series).
We know today that this is not true. The name has remained despite our new understanding of these pains.
Symptoms of Growing Pains
We do not know the cause of growing pains, but there are several theories. Many children with these pains are very flexible hypermobile with flat feet. Some children with these pains have a low pain threshold and may also have headaches and abdominal pain. One study found that children with these pains have less bone strength than the normal population.
Therefore, pain on a day of increased physical activity may mean the child may have pain from "overuse" of the legs. Local modalities such as massage, heat or cold application in the form of heating pad, ice pack, or ointments commonly improve muscle discomfort. If a child has difficulty falling asleep, occasional over-the-counter medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be utilized Evans, ; Naish, ; Noonan, ; Pavone, ; Peterson, Complications: No long term adult musculoskeletal abnormality has been associated with growing pains as a child. Episodes resolve by skeletal maturity Evans, ; Peterson, If the pain characteristics change and the family does not seek medical evaluation, a different etiology of the pain such as inflammatory arthritis, musculoskeletal infection or tumor may be the source.
Once the child is seen by a medical provider, prompt evaluation and treatment is appropriate.
Growing Pains | Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America (POSNA)
Pavone, ; Peterson, J Pediatr Orthop. Bennie PB. Growing pains. Arch Pediatr.
J Pediatr. Evans AM. Growing pains: contemporary knowledge and recommended practice. J Foot Ankle Res.
Naish JM, Apley J. Arch Dis Child. Growing pains: are they due to increased growth during recumency as documented in a lamb model?
Onel says parents should be on the lookout for the following symptoms:. A more serious problem can be misdiagnosed as growing pains, and if a child is experiencing persistent pain, it may be a good idea to see an expert.
What are common aches and pains in small children? Do older children suffer from growing pains? When should a parent be concerned about childhood pain?