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Child Growing Pains

Child Growing Pains


What you need to know about
your child’s Growing Pains

Are your child’s aching legs keeping them awake at night? They might be going through some growing pains.

Growing pains are cramping and achy muscular pains in both legs that affect some preschoolers and preteens. In the late afternoons or evenings, the pain is most common. However, it is possible that your child will wake up in the middle of the night.

Growing pains typically begin in early childhood, around the age of three or four. They usually strike again in children aged 8 to 12.

Symptoms of Growing Pains

Everyone’s growing pains are different. Some children are in a lot of pain, while others are not. The majority of children do not experience pain on a daily basis.

Growing pains can occur at any time. They can last for weeks, months, or even years. Most children grow out of their growing pains within a few years.

The pain is most common in the late afternoon and evening, just before dinner, and just before bedtime. Leg aches might be so excruciating that they may cause your child to wake up from his or her slumber.

Don’t assume your child is lying if they appear totally normal in the morning. In the morning, your growing aches will be gone. They normally do not obstruct a child’s ability to participate in sports or be physically active.

Growing pains affect both legs, particularly the front of the thighs, the rear of the legs (calves), and behind the knees.

Growing pains in youngsters may make them more sensitive to pain, according to research. Headaches and abdominal pain are more common in children who are experiencing growing pains.


Typically, a doctor would examine your child and ask questions about their medical history and symptoms to diagnose growing pains. Before assuming the diagnosis of developing pains, it’s critical to clear out any other probable reasons for pain. This is why, if you suspect your child is experiencing growing pains or limb pain, you should take him or her to the doctor.

During the physical exam, the doctor will not notice anything abnormal if your child is experiencing growing pains. In this instance, blood tests and X-rays are usually not required.


Despite the term, there is no conclusive evidence that growing pains are associated with growth spurts.

Growing pains are more likely to be muscle aches caused by strenuous childhood activities that wear out your child’s muscles. Running, jumping, and climbing are examples of these activities. Growing pains appear to be more likely after a particularly busy day of sports for a child.


Whiplash can cause chronic, long-term pain or headaches in some people for years after the initial injury. Damaged neck joints, discs, and ligaments may be the source of this pain, according to doctors. However, chronic pain following a whiplash injury is frequently undiagnosed.

When to call a doctor

When determining whether or not to see a doctor, keep in mind that developing pains usually invariably affect both legs. Pain in only one leg could indicate a more serious condition. If this occurs, contact your GP.

It’s also worth noting that growing pains affect muscles rather than joints. They also don’t make you limp or give you a fever.

If your child’s leg discomfort is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, contact his or her doctor or nurse. Although they aren’t signs of growing pains, your doctor will need to check and test your child:

  • Injury, such as a fall
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Limping or difficulty walking
  • Pain in one leg
  • Rash
  • Red, warm, painful, swollen joints
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss

And, of course, if you have any additional concerns, contact your GP.


The severity of your child’s growing pains will determine how they are treated. The following items may help your child feel better and relieve discomfort:

  • Legs are massaged
  • Stretching the leg muscles. For younger children, this may be tough.
  • Use a warm towel or heating pad to apply pressure to the hurting leg. Make sure you don’t burn your skin and don’t use it when you’re sleeping.

If your child’s discomfort does not improve, ask your doctor if it’s safe to give him or her an over-the-counter pain reliever such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Inquire about the proper dosage for your child. A child should never be given aspirin. Aspirin use in children has been associated with Reye’s syndrome, a life-threatening condition.