growing pains"  in which the">




 
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Quick reference medical handouts used by Pediatric offices


My three year old son complains a lot of leg pain in one leg. The pain is usually in the evening and he wakes up at night complaining of the pain. What can we do to help him?
    

About 15% of children between the ages of 4 and 12 experience "growing pains"  in which they awaken at night with intense leg pains. The pains often get better when the legs are rubbed by the parent or the youngster is given a dose of Tylenol®. Growing pains almost always affect both legs and in no way limit the child during the day .The child does not limp during the day and there is never any joint swelling. When the youngster is seen by their doctor, the examination is completely normal.

There are other causes of nighttime leg pains but these usually include only one leg or the joints. Nighttime pain associated with a limp during the day or reduced physical activity should always be evaluated by the child's doctor. Pain that is made worse when rubbed by the parent, or when the discomfort is in the same exact spot each and every night should also be checked by the pediatrician.

Leg pain that occurs on a very regular basis and is associated with other symptoms, such as decreased appetite, weight loss, pale skin color, and fatigue, may be a sign of a more serious problem and should be checked by the child's doctor.

 

As a reminder, this information should not be relied on as medical advice and is not intended to replace the advice of your child’s pediatrician. Please read our full disclaimer.

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