Growing pains around the knee

What are growing pains around the knee?

Growing pains are spontaneous and sporadic discomfort in the legs, typically around the knees, which children often experience at night. The pain can be so intense that it wakes children from their sleep. Although growing pains are a common issue for children aged three to eight, little is known about the reasons for their occurrence. However, growing pains are characterized by the onset of nocturnal or sometimes afternoon discomfort of the same nature in both legs simultaneously or separately. Since growing pains most commonly occur in preschool-age children, they are not directly related to the period of rapid growth, which is most pronounced during adolescence. It is crucial to emphasize to parents that growing pains are a completely harmless condition that spontaneously resolves without any negative consequences for the child.

How to diagnose growing pains around the knee?

If children complain of discomfort, sometimes in the left leg, sometimes in the right, with knees appearing normal during clinical examination (no swelling, redness, tenderness on palpation, limited mobility, or signs of instability), and the discomfort is relieved by the parents’ touch to the painful areas, it is generally safe to assume it is growing pains. Sometimes the painful areas are on the inner side of the lower leg, which may indicate fatigue of the tibialis posterior muscle. However, if persistent discomfort occurs in the same area for an extended period, or if changes are noticed on the skin, an X-ray of the painful area should be performed. Intense pain in the same area that wakes children from sleep can be a sign of inflammation or a tumor, so such cases require a thorough examination.

How to treat growing pains around the knee?

The best remedy for growing pains is loving care for the child. Since young children often vividly experience daily events at night, it is important for them to feel the presence and care of their parents during this period. Occasionally massaging the painful areas with anti-inflammatory creams is a good practice rather than administering syrups, as it involves more intense physical contact. In cases where children experience growing pains for an extended period, orthopedic insoles may be prescribed.

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