Growing Pains Are Not Caused by Growing, Experts Say
Despite what you’ve been told, experts say growing pains are not caused by growing after all. It was believed that sudden growth caused joint pain in the early 20th century, but doctors now agree that the cause of such pain is unknown and found largely in the leg muscles of children. Pain occurs mostly in the afternoons and evenings. While no one knows for sure what the cause is, experts do agree that there are a few tools you can use to help alleviate a child’s discomfort naturally: massage therapy, stretching, and heat therapy.
Massage therapy is one of the best tools a parent can have in their arsenal. It has many benefits including, relaxation, promotion of body awareness, and stress relief! Nationwide Children’s Hospital also reminds us that “Massage helps decrease muscle tension and increase range of motion, which assists in recovering from, or preventing, injuries.” That means leg massage can help with those pesky growing pains. Expert Village tells us to, “…walk the hands down the length of the calf to warm the muscles and back leg area.”
Stretching is another great tool for natural pain relief from growing pains. Children with growing pains tend to be more “clumsy.” And stretching promotes healthy muscles which may help with balance problems according to Harvard. To best help a child dealing with discomfort, try stretching the hamstrings, calves and quads.
Sometimes children need a little something extra to help them feel better. The University of Michigan recommends that you “use heat.” Heat has been a long standing natural remedy for soothing sore muscles. And Thermal-Aid makes huggable heating friends perfect for any growing child. Simply put the product in the microwave and place on the affected area for a warm hug that eases the discomfort.
We’ve learned the actual cause of growing pains is unknown, but experts believe “Growing pains may consist of tenderness caused by overwork during hard exercise.” (Source) And now that we know this, we can take the natural steps to making sure our children are comfortable with relief from their pain.