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Growing pains

General characteristics

General characteristics

Growing pains can be difficult to spot in young children and can manifest as 'my leg hurts' from your young one. My youngest son would occasionally wake in the night as a small child complaining of bad pains in his feet or legs. On inspection, everything seems fine, no fever, no swelling, redness or bruising yet the pain is very real. It is unclear if the pains are actually related to growth of the child but it is most commonly felt in the bones or muscles of the legs and feet (not the joints). Growing pains are more common between the ages of about 3-12 and are usually not painful to touch but respond positively to a warm loving touch.
Growing pains are not harmful and are very common among children, usually dissappearing when they reach their early teens.

Diet and lifestyle

Diet and lifestyle

As with all children their growing bodies need proper nutrition to thrive, so pay special attention to diet (see the segments on 'healthy eating', 'minerals', 'vitamins', 'protein', 'carbohydrates' and 'fats' in the 'natural healing' section of this site) and avoid white sugar and fizzy drinks as these can rob the body of vital nutrients that are important to healthy growth.

Include plenty of plant foods containing calcium and magnesium such as raw carrot, leafy greens, tahini paste and other seeds. A daily drink of carrot and apple juice will be helpful.

Make sure children exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep and relaxation.


Useful herbs

Useful herbs

One of the finest herbs for growing pains is Boneset which is excellent for easing aches and pains of bone and muscle. At the first sign of growing pains put a teaspoon of dried bonest herb in a cup and fill up with boiling water. Stand for 5 minutes or so, strain some off into a small beaker and add a splash of cold water to make it luke warm and drinkable. Get your child to sip this over a few minutes so that most of it is consumed (check child dosage first on boneset page). This remedy starts working very quickly and within 15 minutes the pains should have gone or educed considerably.
To ensure that the pains come less frequently give the child nettle tea during the day to provide essential vitamins. One teaspoon of nettle per cup once or twice a day should be enough. Add equal parts oatstraw for extra nutrients. 

Natural healing

Natural healing

Reassure your child that all is well and that the pains are not harmful or dangerous to them.
Gentle massage of the legs and feet will relax the child and ease the pains.
You can wrap the legs and feet with a warm towel or hot water bottle which also brings relief.

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