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Is There Such a Thing as Growing Pains?

Is There Such a Thing as Growing Pains?

Does your child complain of achy, throbbing legs, particularly at night time? Though any parent would be concerned when a child complains of pain, your child is most likely experiencing nothing more than “growing pains” which is a common complaint affecting 25 to 40 percent of children. Often the pain happens in the front of the thighs, the calves or behind the knees. Growing pains tend to affect both legs and occur at night, and may even wake a child from sleep.

What causes growing pain?

The cause of growing pains is rapid bone growth and soft tissues (muscles, tendons ligaments) don’t keep up. Growing pains don’t usually happen where growth is occurring or during times of rapid growth. Growing pains may be related with restless leg syndrome and from overuse of muscles during the day. Overuse from activities such as running and jumping can be hard on a child’s musculoskeletal system, some children have growing pains on and off for years but usually the pain goes away by mid adolescence.

The pain may be related with:

  • Muscle tiredness: more physical activity than usual can be related with growing pains as the muscle becomes tired.
  • Poor posture: standing or sitting with poor posture puts greater strain on the supporting muscles of the body especially children with flat feet may have more trouble with pains than other children.
  • Psychological factors: emotional upset, stress or unhappiness may trigger aches and pains in children.

How to deal with growing pains?

There’s no specific treatment for growing pains and they don’t cause other problems nor affect children’s growth. Growing pains usually resolve on their own within a year or two. If they don’t go away completely, they often become less painful. You can help ease your children’s discomfort with the following tips…


Lifestyle and home remedies

  • Massaging your children’s legs. Children often respond to gentle massage together and they feel better when they’re cuddled.
  • Use a heat pad. Heat can sooth sore muscles, use a heat pad before bedtime or when your child is in discomfort. Remove the heat pad once your child falls asleep.
  • Stretching exercises. Stretching muscles in the legs during the day may help prevent pains at night. Ask a chiropractor to personalize which stretches might help your child.
  • Magnesium supplements, like muscle ease
  • Epsom salt bath – put 2kg Epsom salt in a hot bath and marinate your child for 45 min to 1 hour

What is the outlook for growing pain?

While they can be uncomfortable for your child, growing pains aren’t dangerous. They will not lead to any serious health conditions and they usually resolve by late childhood. However, growing pains can have a major impact on your child and family’s daily routine as it can cause daytime tiredness, reduced physical activity and missed school days. Talk to a chiropractor about the best ways to manage your child’s growing pains.


Here at Lakeside Chiropractic, all our chiropractors able to diagnose and treat your child’s underlying leg pain issue. To find pain relief and permanent solutions feel free to call us on 9300 0095 for any inquiry or visit our website at to make a booking online.

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December 19, 2022