Muscle sprains and strains are quite common in this age group. However, this joint pain is often misdiagnosed when in reality it is growing pains. Pain in this age group generally occurs in the front of the thigh, in the calves, or behind the knees, and on both sides of the body. The good news is this condition generally resolves on its own by late childhood.
When evaluating these patients we take into account age, strength and activity level. Generally reducing activity can help alleviate the pain. If needed, a supervised strengthening program can be designed if deficiencies are detected.
It is estimated that approximately 25% to 40% of children ages 8-12 experience growing pains. It often can occur in the late afternoon or early evening especially after strenuous activity. Sometimes, children will awake in the night with severe leg pain that often can be addressed with light massage