Posted by Leslie
Your 8-year-old son wakes up crying in the night complaining that his legs are throbbing. You rub them and soothe him as much as you can, but you’re uncertain about whether to give him any medicine or take him to the doctor.
Sound familiar? Your son is probably having growing pains, which about 25% to 40% of kids do. They usually strike during two periods: in early childhood among 3- to 5-year-olds and, later, in 8- to 12-year-olds.
Signs and Symptoms
Growing pains always concentrate in the muscles, rather than the joints. Most kids report pains in the front of their thighs, in the calves, or behind the knees. Joints affected by more serious diseases are swollen, red, tender, or warm — the joints of kids having growing pains look normal.
Although growing pains often strike in late afternoon or early evening before bed, pain can sometimes wake a sleeping child. The intensity of the pain varies from child to child, and most kids don’t have the pains every day.
What Causes Them?
Bone growth hasn’t been proved to cause pain. So “growing” pains might just be aches and discomfort from the jumping, climbing, and running that active kids do during the day. The pains can happen after a child has had a particularly athletic day.