Pain (usually described as aching, throbbing or cramping) in the thighs, calves, behind the knee of one or both legs, or in the feet that occurs in the evening or night. These are the typical symptoms of ‘growing pains’. However, despite the name—there’s no evidence that growing is painful.

So what is causing your child’s pain?

Muscle overuse during the day is a likely cause of musculoskeletal pain at night. Muscle overuse can be caused by simple and common activities such as running, jumping, climbing or even standing for lengthy periods.

Common symptoms of activity-based musculoskeletal pain include:

  • Pain located in the lower limbs
  • Pain is isolated to lower limbs (legs, calves, ankles, feet)
  • Likely incidence of sport or activity within last 48 hours
  • Pain can worsen as child continues activity
  • Temporary relief may be achieved with pain relief medication, massage or heat packs

Treating ‘growing pains’

Children suffering from ‘growing pains’ are commonly told, “they’ll grow out of it” or “just rest” — this advice is not only disappointing and frustrating for parents it is NOT A TREATMENT MODALITY,” says podiatrist and founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care Dr Brenden Brown.

If the discomfort is linked to activity-based musculoskeletal pain, there are a myriad treatment options including:

  • Foot posture assessment
  • Soft tissue rehab therapy
  • Warm-up and training modifications
  • Progressive muscle loading
  • Prescription orthotics (ideally soft and pliable)

The answer to ‘growing pains’ is that you don’t need to wait until your child outgrows the pain. The pain experienced is treatable with the right assessment and approach,” advises Dr Brenden.

A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care is based in Western Sydney. We have multiple practitioners with lots of experience in helping kids become pain free.

If you’d like more information please contact our helpful front desk team. They are brilliant at working through what help you need, guiding you to the appointment that is right for you or your family, running through cost and then reserving your appointment time. Call us today on +61 2 9673 2987 we look forward to helping.

Got a question about growing pains, musculoskeletal pain or any other foot or ankle concern? Visit us on Instagram #AskDrFoot @AstepAheadFootandAnkleCare or Facebook @podiatristsydney

Related articles:

Growing pains—more than just pain from growing

Taking care of common kids’ foot complaints

Heels pain in active kids (Sever’s disease)

Infographic: Common kids’ heel pain