Kirk Cameron? Where are you? How come we are not married already?
Oh, wait. Not that Growing Pains. The other kind. The kind that may have resulted in leg pain when you were a kid. Or the kind that your kid may be mentioning now.
What are growing pains? No one really knows. Yet not knowing stuff has never really stopped people from saying what they think it is. One myth about growing pains that has been perpetuated (I even found it one a couple of prominent health organization sites!) is the theory that bone must be growing faster than the muscle, causing pain.
Bone: Growth spurt, woooo hoooo!
Bone: Hey, heeeyyy! Wake up, muscle, I’m way down heeeeeerrre. Wake uuuupppp...
Muscle: Zzzzzz..snort...*yaaaawwwwnn*...whoa, WHOA! Where’s you go bone? Yank, yank, yank.
Little kid: Ow, OW OW OW MOMMY, my leeeeggss hurt!
In theory, the muscle pulls tightly on the bone causing the bone to hurt. It sounds like a good theory, only, like many theories (did you ever hear the one about Earth being flat?) it is not quite right.
Studies have shown that growing pains:
1. Are not found in areas that are growing.
2. Are not experienced during periods of rapid growth.
Which leads one to ask the question, “Why are they called growing pains in the first place?”
So many questions, so little time.
While no one knows what growing pains are, like many painful musculoskeletal issues, these "whatever they are pains" can be helped by stretching, light exercise, warmth, and massage.
If you have a kid who is whinging about aches and pains in the legs and you've been told it is growing pains, take it to heart. Before bed, take a 10-15 minute easy walk around the block together. Follow it up with a 10 minute soak in a warm bath, and then indulge them in 5-10 minutes of a gentle kneading massage to the calves, shins, and the front and back of the thighs. Also, create a 4-5 minute stretching routing that can be done just before getting into bed. Feel free to use these stretches pictured below...
What do you think?