What are Growing Pains?
If your child constantly complains that his/her legs ache or burn at night, then they are most likely experiencing the neuralgia of growing pains. About one third of children experience growing pains, mostly later in the day and sometimes at night. Growing pains do not necessarily occur during puberty and the “growth spurt.” Your child is likely to have 2 waves of pain: at 3-5 years of age and then again at 8-12.
What Causes Growing Pains?
Whilst it may sound obvious that growing causes growing pains, it is not necessarily bone growth that causes your child’s legs to ache. It is more likely to be muscle formation. Pain will be concentrated at the front of the thighs and shins and also behind the knees, areas where there is a greater concentration of muscle.
- Mobilisation and Manipulation – gentle and controlled stretching of the affected muscles will reduce the tingling pains.
- Rest – symptoms are often more severe when your child has been very active, so make sure he/she gets plenty of rest and quiet time.