Questions and answers about pain due to growth in children

Your little one is in full age increase. When he goes to bed at night, he complains of leg pain, will he be known as'growth pain', or should you worry? It is a question that you have probably raised. A question that comes with other few that we respond below.

What is pain for growth?

The pain for growth is, as explained by the Spanish Association of Pediatrics in Primary Care, AEPED, a benign, normal pain in childhood, which usually appears at night "without there being a cause that produces it". According to these experts, it happens in one of every five children when they are between two and 12 years old, although it occurs more in those between four and eight years old.


"Although it is called" pain of growth ", there is no evidence that this is the cause", however, say the pediatricians, who mention how, in some way, this way of calling pain" is a reference to the population group that suffers it and to the benignity of the picture ".

Why do leg pains occur in children?

The next most common question in parents whose children feel pain is: However, the truth is that this time there is no response. Or, rather, why? answer is: "the cause is unknown". "Although its relationship with different factors has been studied, it has not been possible to clarify its origin," the pediatricians point out.

What are the characteristics of growing pains?

- The pain typically appears during the night, although it can also occur during the nap.


- The child wakes up complaining of pain in both legs.

- The little one is not usually able to locate a concrete area, so I dream to point out the calves or the anterior area of ​​the thighs or shins.

- Affects both legs equally but not to the joints.

- Older children describe it as "cramps", or as an "internal" pain.

- When observing the child is not found no apparent alteration in the extremities.

- The pain disappears after several minutes or, at most, a couple of hours.

- Episodes of pain may recur intermittently for a long time.

What do I do if my child's legs hurt?

As it is a benign pain, it is usually enough to relieve it with a gentle massage or with the application of heat. "In very rare cases it is necessary to resort to the administration of some analgesic: ibuprofen or paracetamol", the experts point out.


Should I go to the pediatrician?

It has already been mentioned that this pain is totally benign, so it is very rare that they come to manifest some other important disease, although it could be. Of course, in that case the pain would be different, not as we have described previously. However, pediatricians recommend consulting the doctor if the child suffers any of these episodes:

- Pain of increasing intensity and very frequent.

- Pain that does not go away during the day.

- Pain located in the joints.

- Pain in only one leg.

- Weakness, fever, malaise.

Damián Montero

Video: Pediatric Answers : Causes of Nighttime Leg Pain in Children


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