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Growing up can be a pain...

What are growing pains and when is it something more?

Adolescence is a time of great growth – physically, mentally, and socially – and can come along with pain and discomfort. So how do you know when it’s “just growing pains” and when it’s something more?

What exactly are growing pains?

The consensus is that growing pains are aches felt in the thighs, calves, or back of the knees, but not in the joints, and are usually felt on both sides. They usually occur in children from ages 3 -12 years old. These pains are usually felt late in the day or at night, they come and go, and are not worse during activity. A child who has growing pains will have a normal physical examination and no swelling.

What causes this pain?

The short answer is, we don’t know! They don’t actually seem to be associated with periods of rapid growth. They are thought to be from high levels of activity and overuse of the muscles while playing, running, and jumping.