• Growing Pains

    Growing Pains

    Growing up can hurt – literally. Most kids go through some form of growing pains during childhood, usually around age 10. In most cases the symptoms are mild and include dull aches and a throbbing sensation in the legs. In a small minority of cases, however, growing pains can be severe, waking kids from sleep and causing high levels of discomfort. Here are some of the best ways to diagnose and treat growing pains.

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    Problem Areas

    It can be hard to definitively diagnose growing pains because there is no test and your must rely only on what your child reports. They typically occur bilaterally (on both sides) in the lower body. Calf, hip, and thigh muscles are the most frequently affected. The exact cause of growing pains is still unknown; in fact, many doctors no longer believe the symptoms are linked to growth spurts as once was thought.

    Unlike pain associated with an accident or a virus, growing pains tend to only occur in the afternoon, evening, and night. Parents are often surprised at how kids can bounce back from a painful night of soreness and be seemingly fine in the morning. This is actually typical. Aches that linger through the morning and day are likely symptomatic of a different ailment.

    When Growing Pains Might Be Something Else

    If you think your child has growing pains, but aren’t sure, you should know that they will never affect the joints, result in redness or rash, or cause a fever. If your child has any of those common symptoms, you can probably rule them out. But if you’re not sure and your child’s pain becomes unbearable, we recommend consulting your pediatrician.

    Ways to Help

    Once you have identified the problem, you can begin helping your child cope. Massaging the achy area and applying heat can offer relief. Try leading your child in a few stretches, focusing on the legs. NSAID painkillers like acetaminophen and ibuprofen (avoid using aspirin) can lessen the pain and allow your child to get back to their normal routine.

    Luckily for parents and kids, this uncomfortable stage tends to only last a few months. Just do what you can to help your little one hang in there.

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