Are painful legs keeping your child awake at night?  If so, what can you do to help ease and soothe the pain? Below, you’ll find an outline of the symptoms and relief for growing pains to help your little one.

Symptoms and Relief for Growing Pains

What Are Growing Pains?

Growing pains are aches or pains that can affect children aged between three and 12. The cause is unknown and there is no firm evidence that growing pains are linked to growth spurts. They are more common in active children and children with loose, flexible joints (joint hypermobility). Although they can be painful and distressing, they don’t cause long-term harm.

What Are the Symptoms of Growing Pains?

Some children never suffer from growing pains while others have varying degrees of symptoms. These include:

  • Pain in both legs that develops in the late afternoon or eveningIt seems to get worse at night and may disturb your child’s sleep.
  • The pain is intense and cramp-like.
  • It is muscular rather than in the joints.
  • It usually affects the calves, shins or ankles, but can also affect the front of the thighs.
  • It is gone by morning.
  • The pain is unaffected by moving the legs, although changing positions can briefly ease the discomfort.
  • Growing pains may come and go. Your child could be affected for a few nights then not experience any pain again for several weeks. Most children stop having growing pains within a few years.
  • Your child’s ability to walk shouldn’t be affected. He/she have no signs of limp, physical injury or infection.

If it is an emergency take your child to see a medical professional right away.

How Can You Help Relieve Your Child’s Symptoms?

Treatment of growing pains depends on how much pain your child is experiencing. You can help ease discomfort by doing the following:

  • Just before bed, run your child a warm soothing bath. This will aid restful sleep by soothing and relax those young muscles.
  • When pain strikes, rub and massage your child’s legs. As well as relieving the pain, being held or cuddled will make your child feel better.
  • Temporary apply warmth to their legs using a warm blanket for example. Heat can soothe aches and pains and also relieves. Always consult your doctor before using heat with your child.
  • Stretching exercises help to ease the cramps and pain.
  • Supportive footwear such as trainers can help prevent growing pains.

If your child’s symptoms are different to those described above, it’s unlikely they have growing pains. For example, if only one leg is affected it may be a sign of a more serious condition.  If in any doubt, take your child to see a doctor.

Growing pains are not a serious condition. However, they can be distressing to your child, and difficult for you seeing your child in pain. Being aware of the symptoms and relief of growing pains means you will be able to ease their pains, and the whole family can have a good night’s sleep.

If ever in doubt consult your doctor.