SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Growing pains are often described as an ache or throb in the legs — often in the front of the thighs, the calves or behind the knees. Usually both legs hurt. Some children may also experience abdominal pain or headache during episodes of growing pains.
Growing pains often strike in the late afternoon or early evening and disappear by morning. Sometimes the pain awakens a child in the middle of the night.
When to see a doctor
Consult your child's doctor if you're concerned about your child's leg pain or the pain is:
- Still present in the morning
- Severe enough to interfere with your child's normal activities
- Located in the joints
- Associated with an injury
- Accompanied by other signs or symptoms, such as swelling, redness, tenderness, fever, limping, rash, loss of appetite, weakness or fatigue
- Lowe RM, et al. Growing pains: A noninflammatory pain syndrome of early childhood. Nature Clinical Practice Rheumatology. 2008;4:542.
- Lehman TJA, et al. Growing pains. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Aug. 23, 2010.