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Doctor insights on: Growing Pains In Legs In Adults

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Are "growing pains" in legs a real thing? I get horrible muscle pains in legs at night from time to time. I'm 18. Normal?

Are "growing pains" in legs a real thing? I get horrible muscle pains in legs at night from time to time. I'm 18. Normal?

Not entirely normal: Growing pains are real, but they are not typically severe. If you are having cramps in the muscles of your legs (they would feel hard/tight) then you might have low potassium. Add a banana or two to your daily diet- they are a good source of potassium. ...Read more

Growing Pains (Definition)

Growing pains usually occur in younger children, approximately age 3-5 years of age, but also may occur again in the 8-10 year age range. It refers to pain in the limbs and joints (especially the legs) of children. Growing pains, while associated with physical discomfort, are not harmful nor are they reflective of a disease process. They last a few minutes and are not generally associated with growing or growth spurts. These pains may actually wake the child from sleep, but in contrast to disease processes or abnormal signs, growing pains are usually soothed by touch or massage (whereas pain resulting from a disease state is often unaffected or worsened). ...Read more


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Can a child have fairly severe leg pain from growing pains?

Can a child have fairly severe leg pain from growing pains?

Depends: Growing pains are usually in the muscles-thighs, calves or behind knees. Severe joint pains-hot, tender swollen could be something more serious. Growing pains generally occur late afternoon, early evening but can wake up a sleeping child. Growing pains do respond to touch, massage where as more serious do not. Growing pains usually respond to moist heat, massage and stretching. Don't wait see dr. ...Read more

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What can cause leg pain in a 5 year old? It wakes him at night, screaming. Thought growing pains but only grew an inch in a year.

What can cause leg pain in a 5 year old? It wakes him at night, screaming. Thought growing pains but only grew an inch in a year.

Leg pain: His pain is not due to growing. There could be a variety of causes causing him pain. He needs an examination by his pediatrician including blood work and possible xrays. ...Read more

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9 year old complaining of leg pain and headached in the morning and at night. Could this be growing pains or something more serious?

9 year old complaining of leg pain and headached in the morning and at night. Could this be growing pains or something more serious?

Childhood pain: You should take your child to the doctor so he/she can examine him. It might be nothing serious, but maybe the doctor will want to order some lab tests. ...Read more

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My 6 year old is constantly complaining about leg pain. Says it's hard to walk. Not sure if this its growing pains or more serious. Concerned?

My 6 year old is constantly complaining about leg pain. Says it's hard to walk. Not sure if this its growing pains or more serious. Concerned?

Leg pain: The diagnosis will vary if unilateral leg affected vs. Both at the same time. Observe for redness, swelling and fever, moderate limping. Usually, it is musculo-skeletal
from activities in this active age group. Can try a trial of Advil or aleve every 8-12 hrs. If above symptoms arise, or continues with pain past 3-5 d, should be checked by your pediatrician. "Growing pains " are usually at nite. ...Read more

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I have severe bilateral lower leg pain, it happens every night and feels very similar to growing pains. I'm 21, can I still be having growing pains?

I have severe bilateral lower leg pain, it happens every night and feels very similar to growing pains. I'm 21, can I still be having growing pains?

Not likely: I would encourage you to have an exam and appropriate radiologic studies. It would be highly unlikely that someone in their 20s would experience "growing pains"; in part because the vast majority of 20 year olds have completed their growth. Thank you for your question. ...Read more

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My 3yr old has been complaining of leg pain for 5 days straight. He points to his shins and wants me to hold him. Growing Pains?

See Your Doctor: Your 3 yr old complains of "leg pain x 5 days straight; points to shins". Leg pain in this age group has many causes such as trauma, infection, & more. These causes must be ruled out before considering growing pains which is a benign condition, typically involving the shin, occurs at night and following days of increased activity, no swelling or limp. See your child's doctor for correct diagnosis. ...Read more

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My son has terrible leg pain, says behind his knees hurt... particular 1 leg, sometimes both. What can this be? I was told growing pains......

My son has terrible leg pain, says behind his knees hurt... particular 1 leg, sometimes both. What can this be? I was told growing pains......

Baker's cyst: Baker's or popliteal cysts are pockets of fluid behind the knees (inside the body) which can create discomfort or a sensation of fullness. It would be uncommon to have cysts in both knees, but anything it possible. Knee pain can also be caused from structural problems in the back, hips or ankles/feet. An orthopedist can help you sort this out! ...Read more

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When I first took wellbutrin (bupropion) it caused leg pain why? Felt like what growing pains in leg feels like. What does that mean? Will it go away?

Maybe: Each person reacts differently to each medications. Sometimes some side effects are ones that no one else experiences or mentions experiencing. Whether it will go away or not will only be able to know if you continue to take the medication and see how you do. Sometimes lowering the dose and going up on the dose slowly helps. Discuss risks benefits and side effects with your physician. ...Read more

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9 yr old son is complaining of leg pain & headaches every morning & night for the past 2 weeks. Could this be growing pains or something more serious?

It could be...: ...Something more serious, but more likely it's growing pains. The leg pains are interfering with sleep, which in turn causes headaches. Nevertheless, be on the lookout; if symptoms worsen or there are fevers, have your doctor check him out. ...Read more

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Constant leg pain, 24 years old. Best way to describe it would be "growing pains". My knees hurt in side as well, and my achilles.

Constant leg pain, 24 years old. Best way to describe it would be "growing pains". My knees hurt in side as well, and my achilles.

Leg pains: To provide you with an accurate assessment, there would need to be more questions answered (ex: exact location of pain/any radiating? Things that make it better/worse, etc. There can be many causes of leg and Achilles pains. I suggest consulting with your primary care doctor or initiating a consult through HealthTap so that more information can be obtained and a proper assessment provided. ...Read more

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I have a 7yr old daughter. Is it normal for children to have leg pain, it has woken her up from sleeping? Would it be considered "growing pains"?

I have a 7yr old daughter. Is it normal for children to have leg pain, it has woken her up from sleeping? Would it be considered "growing pains"?

It could be: But make sure to bring it up to your child's pediatrician. If there is any limping, fevers, chills, not wanting to put weight on one leg, swelling, redness, pain when a specific area of leg is touched, you should take it more seriously, and go see your child's doctor, . ...Read more

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My 3yr old daughter complains of leg pain sometimes. The location varies (from ankle to knee and in between) and it is usually at night or late in the day. We have attributed this to growing pains, does that sound right? Should we look into it further, or

My 3yr old daughter complains of leg pain sometimes. The location varies (from ankle to knee and in between) and it is usually at night or late in the day. We have attributed this to growing pains, does that sound right? Should we look into it further, or

Flat feet: Flat foot in children can range from leg fatigue when walking with flat or non supportive shoes.
This can affect the legs higher up as well.
She should be evaluated by a pediatric orthopedist or pediatric foot and ankle specialist.
Good luck ...Read more

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Got growing pains in my left leg. A dull achy pain which has just come on even though I'm an adult what is it? What can I do to stop the pain?

Got growing pains in my left leg. A dull achy pain which has just come on even though I'm an adult what is it? What can I do to stop the pain?

Impossible: There is no such thing as growing pains, especially. In a 33 year old. See a doctor and have the issue evaluated. ...Read more

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Can adults get growing pains? I have muscle pulling-like pains in my legs similar to growing pains. Can a 44-year-old grow and get growing pains?

Can adults get growing pains? I have muscle pulling-like pains in my legs similar to growing pains. Can a 44-year-old grow and get growing pains?

No: Growing pains are a non specific term for common pains in the limbs of growing kids. By definition, an adult is not growing and will not have growing pains. Adults do get overuse pains, which have a similar origins in physical activity, but the similarity stops there. ...Read more

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Lots of achiness in both legs; feels better when messaged. Feels like growing pains. Are there rare events where adults can get growing pains? I'm 39.

Lots of achiness in both legs; feels better when messaged. Feels like growing pains. Are there rare events where adults can get growing pains? I'm 39.

No: But there is a condition called restless leg syndrome which your symptoms are suggestive of... There is also a medication which can be very helpful if this is your diagnosis. I would see your primary care physician for a thorough history and physical examination. Best of Luck! ...Read more

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I have calve pain in both legs every night it's a dull ache almost like growing pains but I am an adult?

I have calve pain in both legs every night it's a dull ache almost like growing pains but I am an adult?

Leg pain at night: There are several things that can cause this. The most common would be arthritis or poor circulation. You don't mention your age, so it's hard to determine the best mode of diagnosis or treatment. Anyway you slice it, night pain is not normal, so you should see your physician so he/she can examine you and diagnosis and treat accordingly. ...Read more

Dr. Nolan Segal
1,126 Doctors shared insights

Leg Pain (Definition)

Pain in lower ...Read more