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How to Relieve Your Child's Growing Pains

Updated: 3 days ago

What are growing pains?

Growing pains are generalised leg pains that are really common in children. The pain is mostly felt in the muscles in the calf, behind the knee and the front of the thighs. They usually occur in the afternoons or evenings, however, can wake children from their sleep. Growing pains tend to come and go and often are there after an active day.

Why do we get growing pains?

It is thought that growing pains are due to muscle strain and fatigue, linked with

muscle and bone changes that occur with growth.

How do you diagnose growing pains?

Children with growing pains generally have good health

- The diagnosis of growing pains is made clinically and is one of exclusion

- It is important to make sure there are no other worrying features like fevers or

general unwellness, joint pains, redness or swelling, persistent pain or morning pain

(particularly in one joint), limping, weakness or tiredness. If your child has any of these features, they need to be assessed by a doctor and possibly investigated.

Growing pains treatment

- Education and reassurance

- Symptomatic relief, e.g. massage, gentle heat (warm bath or heat pack)

- Prevention with muscle stretches before bed may help

- Pain relief with paracetamol or ibuprofen can be given

- It is important to be confident about the diagnosis so you do not miss more

serious conditions. If in doubt, get checked by your child’s doctor.

This article was written by our Pediatrician Expert Dr Lexi Frydenberg. To learn more about your child's development, purchase our Parenting Portal - Your Expert Guide to Parenthood.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to substitute advice provided by your doctor or other healthcare professionals. The author of this information has made a considerable effort to ensure the information is in-line with current guidelines, codes and accepted clinical evidence at time of writing, is up-to-date at time of publication and relevant to Australian readers. The opinions and thoughts expressed in this article reflects the view of the author only and not the broader medical profession or her places of work. The author accepts no responsibility for any inaccuracies, information perceived as misleading, or the success of any treatment regimen detailed in this information.  We recommend you always consult a qualified health practitioner for individualised advice.

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Child with growing pains




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