There certainly debate about the term growing pains in children

A lot of kids get discomfort as they are growing and quite often they are easily named growing pains when they might not be or they may be something quite serious. Just because a growing youngster has symptoms while growing does not mean that they're can be a ‘growing pain’.

The real syndrome of Growing Pains typically happens around the ages of 4 to 5, but can occur up to age of around twelve. This frequently happens behind the knee and is generally relieved by gentle massage. The symptoms only happen during the night and do not happen during the day. If the pain occurs through the day, then it's not necessarily growing pains. The disorder is usually self-limiting and therapy is not necessarily needed. It can occur in as much as 15-30% of kids, so is quite common.

Although the condition of a standard growing pains is benign, there are various sometimes serious but rare conditions such as infections and bone cancers that can cause similar symptoms, so that is the reason why every growing pain must be considered seriously and extensively looked into. There are often horror accounts in the news media of children whom had pains dismissed as growing pains, and then have one of those rare problems with extremely serious outcomes.

When the symptoms are causing distress and problems with sleeping then some therapy is recommended. Most of the treatment is directed at not ignoring the symptoms as merely ‘growing pains’ and taking it seriously. The child and parents need to comprehend the self-limiting character of the symptoms. Typically just massaging the painful area and sending the child back to bed is helpful. A hot pack may be put on the region to motivate the child back to bed and sleep. Stretching of the calf muscles before going to bed can sometimes help. NSAID’s or anti-inflammatory medicines may be tried at night if the symptoms are waking up the child from sleep.