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Is there such a thing as growing pains



"‘Growing pains’ may be a misnomer because there’s no evidence that the process of bone lengthening is painful. However, while bones are still growing, children are very active and hard on their musculoskeletal systems. Muscle pain at night from overuse during the day is common and likely explains so-called ‘growing pains,’" says Frank Harrell, MD, who practices family medicine with Baptist Medical Associates.

"Growing pains" generally strike during two periods: in early childhood, among 3- to 5-year-olds, and later on, in 8- to 12-year-olds.

To help alleviate this pain:

  • Massage the area
  • Give your child ibuprofen (Advil,® Motrin,® others) or acetaminophen (Tylenol®)

"Occasional nighttime leg pain or discomfort in children is normal. But if it happens every night it may be due to restless legs syndrome (RLS), a condition in which your legs feel extremely uncomfortable while you’re sitting or lying down. This can result in sleeping difficulties," Harrell explains.

RLS can occur at any age. Some simple lifestyle changes may help relieve symptoms of RLS. Treatment may also include medications.

If you’re concerned about leg pain or discomfort that your child is experiencing, see his or her doctor.

Baptist Health Baptist Health Louisville Baptist Health La Grange Baptist Urgent Care BaptistWorx®