What causes growing pains in children?

A lot of things get branded as “growing pains” but just because there is pain in a growing child does not mean it is a true growing pain. It is possible to dismiss pain in a growing child as this. A genuine growing pain just happens at night and never during the day. The pain is also in the upper calf muscle and behind the knee. If the pain takes place during the day and in another area than the back of the leg and knee, then it's not really a true growing pain and is most likely due to something different that needs to be investigated. Commonly, it only occurs in younger kids and awakens the kid at night. There is no history of trauma or any kind of injury to the area that the pain occurs in.

Growing pains tend to be fairly benign and self-limiting, in that they do come right after time. Nonetheless, they are often upsetting to the child and parents at the time and, more importantly, there are several serious and uncommon conditions which may have signs much like growing pains, therefore each case has to be taken seriously and looked into to rule out the other possible reasons. The consequences of missing these uncommon reasons for similar symptoms is significant.

The standard management for growing pains is just reassurance of the child. They should be comforted and helped to get back to sleep. Gentle massage or rubbing of the leg will often help. In some cases medication may be used to help the pain and ease the getting back to sleep. Stretching prior to going to bed and when the pain occurs could also be useful. Of most importance is education in regards to the nature of growing pains and that it will pass and an evaluation of those possible uncommon and serious causes of the pain.