Growing Pains and Children: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


It’s common for children to experience discomfort in the muscles and even the bones of their legs. Parents often bring them to the podiatrist complaining of so-called “growing pains.” Parents should be alert to:

  • activity-related pain, especially during sports and/or along the inside of the shin bone, ankle, and foot
  • avoidance of play or sports, or premature fatigue when participating in such activities
  • leg pain at bedtime or overnight
  • pain in the hips or back that might be referred from the legs

For some children, this discomfort is truly idiopathic, meaning that they have no identifiable source. However, for many others, the discomfort is actually caused by alignment problems that affect posture or gait.  When that issue is addressed, the pains disappear. Common causes of what parents call growing pains in their children include:

  • flat feet or very high arches
  • feet that turn out excessively
  • tight, inflexible muscles, especially the calf, hamstrings, and external rotator muscles of the hips

Happily, podiatrists are able to offer children many treatment options for these misalignment issues, including:

  • over the counter and prescription medication to address discomfort
  • physical therapy to improve strength, balance, and flexibility
  • new, better shoes to offer greater support while walking and running
  • orthotics – custom-crafted shoe inserts – for increased cushioning when wearing shoes

If you are concerned about unexplained pains or anything else related to the health and well-being of your child’s feet, ankles, or lower legs, it’s time to visit the foot doctor. With years of specialized training and experience, your family’s podiatrist is the best-qualified professional to help your son or daughter. Contact us online or call Podiatry Group of Annapolis, P.A. at 410-224-4448 to schedule a convenient appointment with podiatrist Dr. James M. McKee in our comfortable office on Solomons Island Road. 

Dr. McKee cares for patients of all ages and takes care to make young people feel at ease. He will conduct a careful examination resulting in an accurate diagnosis, then work with you to create an effective and individualized plan for your child’s treatment and appropriate follow up care.