Did you ever know there was one such pain that actually tells you that your child is growing? When your 9 year old son or daughter complains of pain in his/her calves, after a sporty day - playing, running, jumping, climbing - and when this pain, normally vanishes away after some amount of rubbing and soothing, then in most cases it is the Growth Pain.
Growth pains, is a normal occurrence in about 25% to 40% of children, most commonly prevalent in the age group of 4 to 12.
How do you know your kid has growth pains?
- Most of the times, growth pains occur as a result of excessive exercising although there is no fixed time for the occurrence of growth pain in your kid, it often occurs late evening or night after the child has had an athletic day.
- The areas where this kind of pain is most concentrated is in the muscles rather than the joints and that’s why you see your growing kids complaining of pain in the calves, thighs, or behind the knees. These are only muscle pain
- Growth pain normally eases after some massaging and light rubbing. Moreover, it may not occur daily, some days it may be high or low and some days it may not be at all. The intensity of the pain varies from child to child and from the activities performed in the day.
- One way of knowing your child has growth pain, is to check the way he/she responds to touch, when in pain. A child who has growth pain, will feel better when the area that is in pain, is gently caressed and held, but if it is a pain that is the result of a serious underlying medical condition, the child will cringe, when the affected area is attempted to be touched.
How do you ease the pain?
Though growth pains are not the result of a medical condition or an ailment, and last maximum for about two hours, the pain can be a spoiler for parents and kids in the night and it is important to soothe it through simple ways.
These include, a gentle massage over the area of pain, placing a heating pad so that the warmth helps sooth the area, light stretching of the leg, letting them rest and as far as possible, pain killers must be avoided, unless the pain is more and wakes up the child from sleep. (It is recommended that kids are not given an aspirin).
But wait; there may be an underlying medical condition if-
The pain is continual and if the pain occurs in the morning after a relaxed night,
There is swelling, redness or unusual rashes in one particular area or joint
The child has gets fever, feels week and tired, does not feel like eating food,
If the child limps or exhibits a strange behavior pattern
Thus it is important to be sure that the pain is indeed agrowth pain and not a symptom of something more. A thorough history and physical examination of the child, by your family doctor can usually accomplish this. In rare instances, blood and X-ray studies may be required before a final diagnosis of growing pains is made.
Parents you need to know that
Though there is no evidence to prove that the growth of bones causes pain, experts suspect that the stretching of muscles, tendons and ligaments during growth process may be a cause of growth pains.
This is not a disease and it goes off on its own over a period of time. Moreover, growth pains do not continue over to the teenage years, hence, parents must be patient and reassuring, so that the child overcomes the pain easily and understands that it is just a passing phase.