The causes of growing pains – Q&A

  1. The causes of growing pains. How to recognise them?

The causes of growing pains have not yet been clearly identified. As the name suggests, it is usually said they are caused by the growing of a young body. According to certain theories, growing pains can also come as a result of high physical activity, due to overloaded muscles. They can also result from postural deformities, for instance, flat feet.

Growing pains usually occur in the evening or during the night and can continue for up to half an hour. They are sometimes so intense that they can wake the child. The affected areas of the body are usually the thighs and calves, as well as the area behind the knees. It is characteristic that there are no other symptoms apart from the pain; there is no swelling, reddening or any other changes to the skin.

  1. How old are children complaining of growing pains?

Growing pains usually occur when the child is between the ages of 4 and 12.

  1. Similar pain can be a symptom of different dangerous diseases. Which? Which tests should I perform?

No pain should be ignored as it may be a symptom of various conditions, including serious conditions. Pain in the legs, for example, could mean a rheumatic disease, problems with the joints, the skeletal system or even cancer. If the child is complaining of pain, he or she needs to see a doctor who will then choose the correct tests.

  1. Is it true that growing pains are usually experienced by children with a so-called low pain threshold?

Certain experts claim that growing pains may be associated with a lower pain threshold, but it is not their only cause.

  1. From my own and my son’s experience, I know growing pains can be an annoyance. The child may complain about the pain in the evening and possibly cry for a couple of hours. How can I help?

Gently massaging the painful parts of the body with your hands will bring relief. You can also apply a warm compress or prepare a hot bath. Remember to consult your doctor before your child takes any painkillers.

  1. When will it stop?

Growing pains cease when the child is about 12 years old.


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