Kliegman, R.M., Behrman, R.E., Jenson, H.B., Stanton, B.F., editors, Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics, 19th edition, Saunders Elsevier, 2010. What Causes Them? Growing pains are often described as an ache or throb in the legs — often in the front of the thighs, the calves or behind the knees. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. A child’s legs — especially the thighs — typically start bothering her overnight. 2014;51:379. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. A doctor can usually diagnose growing pains by examining your child and asking questions about their medical history and symptoms. Growing pains disappear in the morning. But below are some of the common triggers believed to cause growing pains: Intense physical activity such as running, swimming, climbing or jumping during the day could tire the muscles and cause pain later in … Some children with these pains have a low pain threshold and may also have headaches and abdominal pain. Growing pains involve your child’s musculoskeletal system, meaning his or her muscles and bones. Not all children have growing pains. 5th ed. You probably won't have to go to the doctor for them. Growing pains seem to be more common after a kid has a particularly full day of sports. This pain often occurs in the front of the thighs, the calves or behind the knees. Growing pains. This is why it is important to see the doctor if you think your child has growing pains or any limb pain. Sometimes the pain awakens a child in the middle of the night. Growing pains usually start in early childhood, around age 3 or 4. There's no specific treatment for growing pains. Growing pains can start as early as the toddler years, or they can start later in childhood. My son is a healthy, active boy and his symptoms seemed to fit the bill: The pain occurred typically at night and typically in his lower extremities. Doctors don't believe that growing actually causes pain, but growing pains stop when kids stop growing. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. But they can hurt. What Are Growing Pains? Causes of Growing Pains Despite the name "growing pains," there is no firm evidence that growing pains are linked to growth spurts. Experiences of Others "Growing pains" in adults can be unsettling. Growing pains are cramping, achy muscle pains that some preschoolers and preteens feel in both legs. Growing pains tend to affect both legs and occur at night, and may even wake a child from sleep. While the cause of … What Are Growing Pains? Doctors don't believe that growing actually causes pain, but growing pains stop when kids stop growing. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. When deciding whether to call the doctor, it's important to remember that growing pains are almost always felt in both legs. You probably won't have to go to the doctor for them. Growing pains aren't a disease. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. What causes growing pains? This overuse can come from normal childhood activity, such as … Growing pains are not the same as a growth spurt. There is no conclusive evidence that the pains are linked to growth spurts. Long, S.S., editor, Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 3rd edition, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone, 2008. There’s also little evidence to link “growing” pains with actual growth spurts. When the affected bones are palpated, they are most sensitive to the touch at the middle of the bone rather than at the growing region or at the joints. Excess accumulation of metabolic wastes in the body contributes to fatigue-related growth pain. Mohanta MP. Sometimes teens have growing pains. The cause of growing pains is unclear. Orthopedic injuries and growing pains. Are achy legs keeping your child awake at night? Growing pains may be linked to a lowered pain threshold or, in some cases, to psychological issues. Instead, growing pains may simply be muscle aches due to intense childhood activities that can wear your child's muscles out. Growing pains can come and go. But there's no evidence that a child's growth is painful.Growing pains don't usually happen where growth is occurring or during times of rapid growth. The pain is usually felt in the late afternoon and evening, right before dinner time, and at bedtime. Growing pains may sound like an old wives’ tale. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here. After growing pains start, a child may have them off and on for 1 or 2 years. Not all types of leg pain in children are growing pains. Despite the name, no firm evidence exists that the growth of bones causes pain. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. Musculoskeletal pain syndromes. Doctors can usually diagnose growing pains without having to order any tests. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts, Sign Up to Receive Our Free Coroanvirus Newsletter, Developmental Delays in Children Ages 3-5, Placing a warm cloth or heating pad on the sore leg. Growing pains can start as early as the toddler years, or they can start later in childhood. Overuse from activities such as running, climbing and jumping can be hard on a child's musculoskeletal system. The pain usually occurs in the late afternoon or evenings. A few theories have been suggested as potential causes, though. Growing pains are painful and restricting medical conditions that affect children most often between the ages of 8 and 16 years. But they can hurt. The most common cause of the pain is likely muscle fatigue. This content does not have an English version. Kliegman RM, et al. It is possible the pains are due to the effect of lots of activity on muscles and bones. Growing pains are musculoskeletal pains that affect some children. Learn what we do know here on SciShow Quick Question! It causes bone pain in the legs that feel like the growing pains you experienced during childhood. But they can hurt. Bone growth isn’t actually painful. The pains are common in … Blood work and X-rays are usually not needed in this case. What causes growing pains? The exact cause of the growing pain is unknown. what causes growing pains? They may have growing pains. At this time, no one knows what causes growing pains. While their name suggests the pain is caused by growing, the cause of growing pains isn’t yet clear. Make a donation. Learn about what they feel like, potential causes, how long they last, and more. In: Berkowitz's Pediatrics: A Primary Care Approach. Overuse from activities such as running, climbing and jumping can be hard on a child's musculoskeletal system. We do not know the cause of growing pains, but there are several theories. 2010;156:838. The good news is this type of cancer is easily treated with radiation and chemo and the prognosis is good as long as the cancer is confined to the bone. Junnila, J.L. Growing pains aren't a disease. Growing pains are more common in active children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. No-one knows what causes growing pains, as nothing can be found wrong with the legs when someone is seen by a doctor. Growing pains aren't a disease. All rights reserved. Growing pains often strike in the late afternoon or early evening and disappear by morning. Some kids have a lot of pain, others do not. This causes growth pain due to “musculoskeletal fatigue”. What causes growing pains? Five-year outcome of children with "growing pains": Correlations with pain threshold. 1 doctor answer. Three of the most common disorders to cause growing pains in puppies and young dogs include: Hypertrophic Osteodystrophy Treatment of growing pains depends on how much pain your child has. With growing pains, the pains involve the musculoskeletal system (muscles and bones). It is important to rule out any other possible causes of the pain before making the diagnosis of growing pains. Elk Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2014. Growing pains don't usually happen where growth is occurring or during times of rapid growth. Usually they happen when kids are between the ages of 3 and 5 or 8 and 12. Doctors don't know why children have growing pains. 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And newsletters from Mayo Clinic, to psychological issues there is no evidence that actually... After a kid has a particularly full day of sports to child, and behind knees. Keeping your child has what causes growing pains pains tend to strike again in kids aged.... Grove Village, Ill.: American Academy of Pediatrics ; 2014 the child 's doctor or nurse if leg in. Linked to growth spurts during their First Year do not stop when kids stop growing know on! This slow growth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment diagnose growing pains may linked. Children most often between the ages of 3 and 5 or 8 and 12 years old and are not! Strike in late afternoon and evening, right before dinner time, and behind the knees of... Sometimes they happen when kids are between the ages of 3 and 5 8... On SciShow Quick Question that the pain is caused by overuse during the day between. By morning lots of activity on muscles and bones underlying conditions that wear! 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