Is there such thing as growing pains? Last night my son cried himself to sleep because the back of his leg hurt, but he could walk find and extend and bend his leg ok. This morning he is like new! I had never seen him like this and if he hadn't gone to sleep i was about to take him to the ER. Please advise.
The term "Growing pains," according to most doctors, is a made-up answer to deal with a common and difficult problem: achy, painful legs, usually in the calf region. Boys have it more often than girls, and therapies are usually not too effective. My approach is to first find out if there is a family history of adults with such problems, like "restless leg syndrome." If so, the evaluation is complex. If not, I suggest ibuprofen 100mgs/kg. at the onset of the complaint. Most children have pain relief in one-half hour, and can return to sleep and feel normal in the morning. Many doctors feel this problem is caused by strenuous exercise, with pain showing up a few hours after a heavy exercise day, but I don't think it is always so. There may be an electrolyte imbalance in the circulation, such as low potassium or calcium or magnesium, but taking supplements does not usually help. Fortunately, most children have it only occasionally for a year or two and then never again.