G is for Growing Pains

November 17, 2012

‘Growing pains’ are a very commonly misdiagnosed condition, often with any leg pain that does not have a specific diagnosis being called growing pains.


Growing pains are a common phenomenon experienced by many children, typically between the ages of 3 and 12. Despite the name, growing pains are not directly caused by the growth of bones. The exact cause of growing pains is not fully understood, but several factors may contribute:

  1. Overuse or Strain: Growing pains may result from overuse or strain on the muscles and tendons around the bones. Children who are active, participate in sports, or engage in physical activities may experience muscle fatigue or minor muscle injuries, leading to pain and discomfort.
  2. Muscular Development: During growth spurts, the muscles and bones may grow at different rates, temporarily causing tension or imbalance in the muscles. This imbalance can contribute to muscle soreness or discomfort, particularly in the legs.
  3. Fatigue or Exhaustion: Lack of rest or insufficient sleep can contribute to muscle fatigue and discomfort. Children who are not getting enough rest may be more prone to experiencing growing pains.
  4. Genetics and Family History: There may be a genetic component to growing pains, as they tend to run in families. If a parent or sibling experienced growing pains during childhood, it increases the likelihood of a child experiencing them as well.


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