Many kids get aches and pains as they are growing and frequently they are easily named growing pains when they may not be or they might be something really serious. Just because a growing youngster has aches and pains while growing does not necessarily mean that they are actually a ‘growing pain’.
The true syndrome of Growing Pains typically occurs about the ages of 4 to 5, but may happen up to age of around twelve. This in general occurs behind the knee and is generally reduced by mild rubbing. The discomforts only occur at night and do not occur during the day. If the pains occurs during the day, then it's not really growing pains. The disorder is generally self-limiting and treatment is not usually required. It may happens to as much as 15-30% of kids, so is very common.
Whilst the condition of a standard growing pains is harmless, there are many different potentially very serious but uncommon conditions for example infections and bone tumours that can result in very similar signs and symptoms, so that is the reason why every growing pain really need to be taken seriously and adequately looked into. There are occasionally horror accounts in the news media of kids which had aches and pains disregarded as growing pains, only to have one of those uncommon conditions with very serious outcomes.
When the symptoms are leading to distress and difficulty with sleeping then some therapy for this is recommended. Most of the treatment is directed at not neglecting the symptoms as simply ‘growing pains’ and taking it seriously. The child and parents should realise the self-limiting nature of the symptoms. Often just rubbing the painful area and sending the kid back to bed is useful. A hot pack could also be applied to the region to encourage the child back to bed and sleep. Stretches of the calf muscles when it is bedtime can sometimes help. NSAID’s or anti-inflammatory drugs could be tried at bedtime if the symptoms are waking the child from sleep.