Does your child complain of pain in his feet without any apparent reason? Does the pain increase at night and your child wakes up because of it? Have your friends told you that growth spurts are the cause? Is this real? It’s true that it’s called “growing pains,” but are they caused by growth spurts? Learn about “growing pains” and if it affects your child.
What are “growing pains”?
Growing pains affect children and cause cramps or pain in the extremities. It is the most common cause of pain in your child’s musculoskeletal system, affecting both legs and occurring at night. This usually affects children between the ages of 3 and 12. While it stops in adolescence. Despite its name, it has nothing to do with growth spurts or your baby’s development.
The reason for the name goes back to an old belief that bones grow faster than tendons which causes pain.
Is there a real cause of growing pains?
The cause of the growing pains is not clear. Some children feel pain after running and playing a lot. However, many causes may increase the pain in some children, such as:
- Muscle fatigue: More physical activity than usual can cause more muscle pain in some children.
- Poor posture: sitting or walking incorrectly leads to more stress than usual on the body’s supporting muscles.
- Emotional: Stress or unhappiness.
What are the symptoms?
Growing pains often occur in the late evening or before bedtime and may wake a sleeping child. The pain is in the thighs, legs, or behind the knees. The pain is in the muscles and does not include the joints. Symptoms of growing pains can come and go after months or even years.
- Muscle pain in both legs, usually in the calf, behind the knee, and in front of the thigh.
- Moving the feet does not make the pain better or worse, which indicates that the joints are not affected.
- Sometimes, pain in the arm muscles.
- The child may complain of a headache.
The pain is characterized by:
- Come and go.
- Gets worse during the night.
- Disappears in the morning.
- Does not cause lameness and does not make running difficult.
Growing pains treatment
You can visit Health and Style Medical Center to consult a doctor and make sure that there is no other cause for the pain. Things that may help your child control growing pains include:
- Hugs and reassurance that the pain will go away and their legs will look normal by morning
- Massage the painful area.
- Heat treatment such as warm baths and warm compresses.
- Give him medicines that reduce pain, such as paracetamol.
- Do not give your child aspirin.
- Increase physical activity.
- Wear orthotics if your child has flat feet.
- Avoid telling the child that the pain is related to play or growth, otherwise the child may feel afraid of both and will not live his life normally.
Finally, you should know that growing pains do not affect the way you walk or run. If your child is limping or complaining of pain during the day or his leg hurts when touched, you should consult a podiatrist to find out the real reason.