Is It Growing Pains or Something Else Entirely?

In a previous blog post, I’ve already discussed what growing pains are, and how to treat them. Growing pains are quite normal, and are a somewhat painful reality that every child has to go through on their way to adulthood.

Growing pains are often a delayed reaction to an extremely physical activity done earlier in the day. Unfortunately, they can also be confused with other serious medical conditions, which is why you need to be on your guard when your child is complaining about achy limbs. There are many illnesses associated with aching limbs among young children, such as chronic rheumatic disease and childhood arthritis.

It can be tricky to differentiate growing pains from other medical problems, but here are the four signs to watch out for:

Pain is experienced in the morning. Growing pains usually happen in the late afternoons or early evenings, and are often gone right away. If pain continues to persist in the morning, there could be something more to it.

Pain is in the joints. Growing pains are usually located on the calves or behind the knees. They do not manifest in the joints.

Pain affects only one area. Growing pains are usually bilateral in nature, meaning the pain happens to both sides of the body. If your child’s pain occurs in one leg—not in both legs—it could be a symptom of something else.

Pain is visible. Growing pains should not leave behind any signs, so if they are accompanied by bruising, swelling, rashes, or redness, it could be something else entirely.

No one knows your child better than you. When in doubt, it is always best to consult with a San Diego pediatric orthopedic doctor to rule out other diseases. Having an early diagnosis is the key to your child’s recovery and healing.

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