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Growing Pains

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

What are growing pains?

Growing pains are leg pains that can hurt enough to wake your child at night. Although they can be very painful, they are not serious. They will not cause any long-lasting problems.

Growing pains can start as early as the toddler years, or they can start later in childhood. Sometimes teens have growing pains. After growing pains start, a child may have them off and on for 1 or 2 years.

Not all children have growing pains.

What causes growing pains?

Doctors don't know why children have growing pains. But the pain isn't caused by a child's growth. And it's not caused by a medical problem.

What are the symptoms?

When a child has growing pains:

How are growing pains diagnosed?

Growing pains have a certain pattern of symptoms. If you aren't sure if your child's pains are growing pains, talk to your doctor. He or she will ask about your child's pain. If it doesn't fit the usual pattern, the doctor may examine your child.

Your child may have a different problem than growing pains if he or she looks or feels ill, has pain during the day or during an activity, or has pain that gets worse over time. In these cases, your doctor may do more tests.

How can you help relieve your child's growing pains?

To help your child feel better:


Credits for Growing Pains

Current as of: February 10, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine


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