Growing pains



An ache or throb in a child's legs that often affects the front of the thighs, the calves, the shins or behind the knees.


Growing pains tend to affect preschool-age and school-age children. They're slightly more common in girls than in boys. The cause of growing pains is unknown. But there's no proof that a child's growth is painful. Running, climbing or jumping more than usual during the day might raise the risk of leg symptoms at night.


Most often, growing pains cause aching or throbbing in the legs. Usually, both legs hurt. The symptoms often come and go. They tend to strike in the late afternoon or early evening and go away by morning. Some children also may have belly pain or headaches during bouts of growing pains.


There's no specific treatment for growing pains. They often get better on their own within a year or two. But home remedies can help. Parents can rub their child's legs and use heating pads to soothe sore muscles. Certain children with growing pains may get relief from treatments such as physical therapy or shoe inserts called orthotics.