Are Growing Pains Actually Real?

You’re in the same body for all your life. By the time you enter your teens, you might start to think that you know it pretty well. That thought can be quickly retracted when your body starts going through some surprising changes when you go through puberty.

When you’re going through puberty, it can sometimes seem like you’re in a different body. The parts that you knew so well now look completely different, and you have all of these feelings going on and you don’t know what’s going to happen next. The thing to know is that everybody goes through puberty and there is a lot of helpful information out there about what to expect.

If you’re been reading up on puberty, you might have gone across stuff about growing pains. And you’ve probably wondered whether they’re actually a real thing or just some general term to describe growing up. Here’s the deal on whether growing pains are actually a legit thing.

I keep hearing about growing pains. Do people actually get them?

Let’s cut to the chase: Growing pains are actually real, according to the Mayo Clinic. Here’s something that’s interesting. They don’t actually occur during periods of rapid growth. Mayo Clinic says that science hasn’t figured out the cause of growing pains, but we know enough to know that it’s not connected to the time our bodies are growing. The growing pains could be from putting too much strain on one’s body or linked to restless leg syndrome.

Do they actually hurt?

If you haven’t gotten what you think are growing pains and are concerned that you’re going to bent over double on the floor in pain, stop worrying right now. The name “growing pains” might make them seem scary, but the Mayo Clinic says that there’s no evidence that the growth actually hurts. You can get those science fiction thoughts of bones growing and someone hollering in pain right now.

As with anything, there is a range of feelings with some people experiencing stronger symptoms than others. Web MB reports that growing pains are different for everyone. Some people describe them as a dull ache or throbbing while others find they’re more like cramping or even spasms.

Where do you get them?

Growing pains typical occur in the legs, specifically behind the knees, in the calves, and on the front of the thighs. So, you might have writing them off as leg pain or vice versa.

When do they start?

You might be surprised to hear that they can start a lot earlier than puberty. In fact, you might have already had them and not known. They can start at a young age for some people before you really start growing. There are reports of kids as young as three of four getting them.

Are there certain times when they come on?

Web MD reports that they’re often felt in the evening, from around late afternoon to evening. Some people might even get woken up with them in their sleep. Just know that there are those who don’t experience them at all.

Yikes. And how long do I have to deal with them?

Don’t worry, just because someone experiences symptoms at that age doesn’t mean that they’re going to be dealing with them until after puberty. Growing pains are usually a thing that you will feel and then they will go away.

Are there any sort of treatments I can try to stop the aching?

Normally, the best thing to do with growing pains is to massage and stretch the area to try and relieve any spasms or throbbing. Applying a heating pad or compress to the area can also work.

If symptoms don’t go away, you experience an injury, or the growing pains are strong enough to impact your day-to-day routine, speak to your doctor to see if they can come up with a way to make you more comfortable. There might be some other underlying thing that could be making the growing pains worse.

Do you think you’ve ever experienced growing pains? Let us know in the comments!


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