I can remember as a child crying in the night because my legs would hurt so bad. My parents told me that I had growing pains, and my dad rubbed my legs until I quieted down and went to sleep.
There was a mint green lotion my grandma had called Cool-A-Pad. She let us have some, and it did wonders for relieving my growing pains. It was an instant relief. I even remember once my dad drove in the middle of the night to go get some from my grandma because we were out. I rode with him, so he could rub it on as soon as we arrived. Thankfully, once again it worked!
Jock has never had any problems with pain in his legs, but Luke is another story. He goes through spells where he wakes 3 and 4 times in the night crying, “Mama”, and rubbing his legs and feet. I rub and massage the areas he guides my hands to until he falls back asleep.
Before he was even 1, he asked us to rub his legs and arms periodically. Eventually, I asked him if they hurt and he shook his head yes. (before he could talk) I mentioned this to the doctors because it began to worry me and keep me up at night Googling.
All the doctors that I spoke with about Luke’s pain at night have called it growing pains. This led me to research what is growing pains exactly and what causes them?
Here’s what I found out that doctors know about growing pains:
* There is no proof that growing causes pain. The word “growing” is misleading. They believe that children get these pains from being very active throughout the day.
*It is usually found in preschoolers and preteens.
* 20 – 40% of children experience them.
*The pains are usually in the thigh and calf muscles, not joints. Kids may also experience headaches and stomachaches at this time.
* Other diagnoses should be ruled out before a doctor rules its growing pains. Growing pains do not cause fever, chills, redness, swelling, limping, or joint pain.
Remedies to Treat Growing Pains:
1. Ibuprofen or Acetaminophen-NO ASPIRIN.
2. Massage the area
3. Stretch the area
4. Use a heating pad on the area
5. Magnesium: While you can find magnesium in dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, and even dark chocolate, you can also get a good quick dose of magnesium with an epsom salt bath! Run as warm a bath as the child can stand and add lavender and chamomile salts.
6. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is essential for bone health. Get outside and get into the sunshine! Fatty fish, canned tuna, orange juice, egg yolks, fortified cereal, beef liver, and cod liver are also sources of Vitamin D.
Are We Dealing With Growing Pains or Not?
One way to know if it is growing pains is the child will be relieved if you try the above. If they are not comforted by touch and massaging, then a doctor should be seen.
Luke’s symptoms did not match all of the criteria I read about growing pains, so I mentioned this to the doctors. They still say growing pains. They use the ole, “Every individual is different.”
With Luke, we ended up at Texas Children’s and did blood work there to make sure all was well. The lab work showed him to be low in some vitamins and iron, but they agreed with previous doctors on why he wants his limbs rubbed. They suggested that Luke might just like massages.
I know I’m a little bit hyper paranoid because I’m a mom and because I knew a couple whose daughter was complaining about her legs for a couple of days. Two doctors diagnosed it to be growing pains. At first, it was easy to believe because the child was learning to roller skate, so maybe her legs were sore. After the second diagnosis, the mother didn’t have a good gut feeling, so they took the child to Texas Children’s ER. Doctors diagnosed her with leukemia on the spot.
I’m not trying to scare you, but at the same time, I admire this mother for being an advocate for her child. As parents, we have to advocate for our children in the health care system when we do not feel like the diagnosis seems correct or we are not getting the best care.
Other Remedies for Growing Pains
Stanley Home Product Feet Treatment: After being up at night with Luke and having to massage, I started to wonder if they still made Cool-A-Pad. I discussed it with my grandma, and she told me that was a Stanley Home Product.
After some research, I found Stanley and ordered a product that seemed like what my family used on me. We rub it on Luke’s legs and arms after a lavender salt bath before bed. It makes a big difference. When we put it on, he does not have episodes.
Be sure to try it on a small area at first. Make sure the kid’s diaper or underwear is on before applying, so it doesn’t get anywhere near their privates. The best way I know to describe it is a really mild version of an Icy Hot.
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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours! Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS