Medical science is divided on whether the physical act of our bodies growing can cause pain.

There doesn’t seem to be any scientific basis for the claim, but the reality is that lots of kids between the ages of five and thirteen experience pain, primarily in their legs, and that pain stops when they get a bit older and stop growing.

Even if there’s ultimately some other cause, and the growth process itself isn’t responsible, it seems clear enough that there’s a connection. So for our purposes, we’re going to say yes, growing pains are real.

If you’re a parent, this probably comes as no surprise, as you’ve likely been kept up at night by your child, who’s whimpering or crying because their legs hurt.

Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do beyond treating the immediate symptom, and we’ll give you three tips for doing that next.

  • Massage – The pain your child is feeling is centered in their muscles, not their bones or joints. So, standard massage techniques will do a lot to help reduce the pain.
  • Alternate Ice and Heat – As with any other form of muscle strain, alternating between ice and heat will help reduce swelling and alleviate the pain.
  • Encourage Stretching – This one might be a bit harder to pull off, depending on how much pain your child is in. It could be the case that they’re hurting too much to engage in any kind of stretching, but if you can coax them into it, it will definitely help.

The good news is that even if your child experiences growing pains during the night, they’ll pass by morning.  Even so, it’s never pleasant to watch your child suffering.  Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do that will help ease their pain.