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What are growth pains?
Typically, growth pains are characteristic of the period of growth and development of the child's body. It is estimated that they concern from 25-40% of the pediatric population and occur in children aged 10-12when muscle growth develops after a period of intense growth.
Pain is usually localized in the lower limbs and affects the front surface of the thighs and popliteal area, it is often strongly felt too in calf muscles. Muscle growth pains appear most oftenin the evening and night hours, they can often be so strong that they become cause of waking up from sleep.They usually last about 10 - 30 minutes, and a gentle massage usually brings relief quickly. It should also be remembered that growth pains never occur constantly -they are seizure-like, they happen every few days, weeks or months depending on the body.
Why do muscles actually hurt when they grow? Growth pain in children
Although theories regarding the cause of growth muscle pain in children, scientists have not yet accepted any of them unanimously. Among all known explanations, one of them comes to the fore, looking at its causes in the very process of growth.
Growth of the body is possible because of the action of growth hormone produced during sleep - it stimulates organs and systems to systematically grow them. Due to the development of muscle tissue in a given period of a child's life, its intensive growth can take place mainly at night, with the participation of growth hormone, which may be the reason for pain occurring at that time. Some scientists explain the occurrence of this pain also by the fact that the muscles may be too short for longer bones, which is why their tendons are still in a contracture, which gives a feeling of constant tension and pain, and the child is then unable to, e.g. touch his toes with his hands without bending your knees.
Or is it not muscle growth pain at all?
It should also be remembered that muscle pains do not always have to be associated with the development of a young body. However, there are some characteristic features of pain that should lead you to the fact that it is probably not growth pain, but unfortunately something more serious.
Especially it should bother you constant, persistent pain that lasts a long time - for comparison, growth pains are short-lived and have a paroxysmal nature. When you notice that muscle pain accompanies swelling and redness of the limb and also thattouch increases pain, instead of alleviating it, it is worth consulting with a specialist, because this is often the first symptom of arthritis diseases. If together with painyou have a fever, weakness or weight loss- it should also be a serious alarm signal for you.
Remember that if you have any doubts as to whether a child's muscle pain is caused by the growth and development of his body, it is always worth going to a doctor who will examine the child and, if necessary, order appropriate diagnostics.
Although muscle growth pains are not serious and a lot of children experience them, you should be able to diagnose them correctly based on their characteristic features. Thanks to this, parents will be able to sleep peacefully, if the pains experienced by their child will fit into the given scheme, and thanks to the acquired knowledge about what should worry them when the pain occurs, in case of doubt they will quickly go to a specialist for advice.