Growing pains in children: my son complains of leg pain

Between two and twelve years of age it is common for children to suffer pain in the legs that are not caused by any blow. Parents worry a lot about these discomforts believing that something bad could happen to the child, but most of the time it is about growing pains, which occur in one in five children.

They are bone pains caused by the growth of the bones, the stretching of the muscles and with them the blood vessels and nerves.

When do growth pains appear?

Pains they appear mainly at night, sometimes during naps, and they are not rheumatic or articular, that is, they are not located on the knees or ankles, nor are there external manifestations such as swelling or redness.

They usually appear those nights that the child has done a lot of physical activity during the day and in the fall, at which time the “stretches” occur most frequently.

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How are the pains?

They are persistent discomfort in thighs, calves, behind the knees and sometimes in the arms (where the longest bones are found) that can last from a few minutes to several hours.

They are asymmetric and bilateral pains, that is, they occur in both parts of the body but not always symmetrically. One day the left thigh and the right calf may hurt, and the opposite the next day.

It affects both legs, and the joints don't hurt. Older children describe it as "cramping", or as an "internal" pain

The most common growth pains during childhood are acute and pulsating pains in the legs that usually appear at night or at the end of the afternoon.

Are they really produced by growth?

Although they are known as "growing pains", there is no evidence that this is the cause. In some ways, it is a reference to the population group that suffers from it and to the benignity of the condition.

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How to relieve pain?

In addition to giving you some mild analgesic with the consent of the pediatrician, warm baths, localized heat application and massages are the best medicine. Also perform gentle stretching exercises on sore limbs.

Consult with the doctor if:

  • There is pain of increasing intensity and very frequent
  • There is pain that does not go away during the day
  • There is localized pain in the joints
  • There is pain in one leg
  • There is weakness, fever or discomfort

Video: Pediatric Answers : Causes of Nighttime Leg Pain in Children (April 2020).