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Growing Pains.....Reality or Urban Myth?

(19 Posts)
daisyandbabybootoo Wed 19-Sep-07 09:02:44

My DS 5 has been complaining about pains in his legs at night when he is in bed. DH and I have laughed it off saying it's growing pains, however he genuinely seems to be in pain; to the extent that last night he woke up crying and had to be given some calpol.

He says it's in his lower legs and feet. He seems oblivious to it during the day and says it's only sore at night.

Is this normal or should I get him to the doctor?

It's growing pains. I used to get them at night as well. VERRRY painful.
My mom used to soak a towel in hotwater, wrap it around my foot then wrap that in a plastic bag. I'd wake up with wrinkly toes but it would help the pain.

daisyandbabybootoo Wed 19-Sep-07 09:11:49

DH says he remembers having growing pains when he was in his early teens, and my sister used to get them (I remember mum and dad dismissing it as growing pains), but I didn't.

Weird isn't it?

daisyandbabybootoo Wed 19-Sep-07 09:40:01

bumpity, stretchy groany bump?

anyone else?

Carmenere Wed 19-Sep-07 09:41:53

I remember them acutely, bloody awful pain and now dd gets them too, poor lamb. Massage helps a little.

foxybrown Wed 19-Sep-07 09:46:32

Definately sounds like growning pains, one of mine complained about back ache, the other had it in his feet too. He only complained about his feet at night, but I guess that was the only time he stayed still enough to notice it.

A shot of calpol and a hot water bottle under his feet helped, but I don't think you can take it away.

expatinscotland Wed 19-Sep-07 09:47:17

I had them! I remember them and they were definitely no urban myth!

frogs Wed 19-Sep-07 10:00:07

I remember having them as a child, and ds has had them on and off since he was about 5. I usually rub Deep Heat into whichever part of his spindly little legs he says hurts, which seems to help. You can get a gel that has some kind of paracetamol in as well -- Tranxam or something like that, but in an emergency any kind of cream will help.

Hot bath before bed helps too, and/or hot water bottle.

Don't dismiss it -- the medics may not be able to prove it exists, but the pain is pretty real.

i've been wondering lately if dehydration had anything to do with it? i don't think i drank enough water as a kid.

daisyandbabybootoo Wed 19-Sep-07 10:10:09

Thanks for your replies...will get a hot water bottle today...or dig out the microwave bear.

He does seem to be shooting up at a rate. Bless him, he seemwd in so much pain and there was nothing I could do!

alycat Wed 19-Sep-07 10:14:21

I had them, my Dd also had them.

There is a condition which normally affects older (9?) boys called Oscar Slatterns (well thats what it sounded like when the GP told me!!)where the bones grow too quickly for the ligaments and tendons.

My DD was in pain night and day, had to give up ballet and sport for a while. GP said give ibruprofen. It went away after a few months.

sylvev Wed 19-Sep-07 13:39:09

Hi
It is Osgood Schlatters disease. Nothing scary but painful. My DD had it when 6-7. She is now 8 and she gets occasional bouts.
It is episodic and responds to rest and calpol. At times she was in a lot of pain and limping. She is a very active child, horse riding, ice skating, tennis.....etc. The Doc thinks this exacerbated the problem. No long term effects and she's been fine for ages now. Hope your ds feels better soon.

RosaLuxembourg Wed 19-Sep-07 13:44:01

I used to get it and DD1 does, although she is 10 now and hasn't had an episode for some time. Calpol helps and just rubbing the legs (though that may be a comfort thing mainly). They are real, can't believe that people might think otherwise, and the nighttime-only pain thing is classic.

TheQueenOfQuotes Wed 19-Sep-07 13:49:26

I remember getting them when I was younger - and DS1 has had several episodes in the past. Actually last one was a week or so back.....and this morning as I was brushing his hair with him stood right in front of me I realised he's suddenly shot up again.

chopchopbusybusy Wed 19-Sep-07 13:50:45

DD1 was recently referred to a paediatric physiotherapist and she gave us a fact sheet about growing pains. It says

"when bones grow at a rapid rate the muscles, tendons and soft tissues are unable to keep up with the rate of bone growth. The muscles lose their flexibility and pressure is placed upon the lower limbs causing pain. It is possible to quickly regain muscle flexibility by stretching and thus relieve the pain."

It also says that this is most common during growth spurts and the pains can last for months or years - sorry!

So I'd say if you feel the pain is really upsetting your DS go along to the GP and get a referral to the physiotherapist so they can show him how to do the proper stretches.

Neverenough Wed 19-Sep-07 13:56:33

Growing pains do occur though the pathophysiology behind them is not known.

I quote:

Growing pains are described as acute muscular pain in the legs which can cause nocturnal waking.

This condition occurs in about 15% of children. The child does not limp. Symptoms are relieved by massage and simple analgesics.


There are however some rare but important differentials so always see your GP if things don't seem right.

mumlove Wed 19-Sep-07 14:00:51

I got told to let my DD drink lots of milk to help with the bones growing.

daisyandbabybootoo Wed 19-Sep-07 14:03:18

thanks for all this, I was beginning to think he was just putting it on as we have had a lot of changes going on recently and have a new baby in the house. It seems to have been since bub arrived and I had wondered if it was his way of getting attention.

We will keep the calpol or nurofen handy and watch his height with interest.

It was quite funny last night though that 15 week old baby slept through and five year old was up twice in the night.

I'll try giving him a nice leg rub as well with some scented oils, make him feel a bit special.

harrisey Wed 19-Sep-07 16:24:56

We saw an orthopaedic surgeon for a while for dd for a while as she had club feet at birth and is borderline for hypermoblity.

At her last appt she had been complaining a lot about leg, back and arm pain in bed at night and he said that growing pains were real, and shoudl be treated while they last by a full dose of ibuprofen at night to stop waking. And plently exercise to strengthern the bones and muscles.

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