Growing pains are certainly not pleasant, especially if you have experienced these firsthand or are parenting a child going through them. A recurrent, painful sensation that can be described as throbbing muscle pain or intense leg cramps, these pains are typically experienced by children aged 3 to 12 and usually affect the lower extremities and (sometimes) the arms. They often come in the evening and throughout the night.
If your child is limping, has rash, has appetite loss or other symptoms, consult with a pediatrician. However, unlike most joint pains, growing pains are non-inflammatory and occur typically only in the soft tissues. Still, as a parent or a guardian, it is painful to see young ones suffer from growing pains, leaving you feeling helpless. Fortunately, Wellness Mama has shared the following natural remedies to growing pains that can help ease your young ones’ worries:
Stretching And Massaging The Muscles
A 2008 review in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research
concluded that scientific evidence has not been found to support a theory introduced in the 1950s suggesting that musculoskeletal problems such as scoliosis and flat feet cause growing pains, but stated that these could be a genetic syndrome. The same article found that one of the best ways to soothe growing pains is by stretching the triceps, quadriceps and hamstrings and massaging the muscles.
Though rubbing the muscles once pain strikes help immediately, starting a pre-bedtime stretching routine may be good for those that wake up at midnight as a result of growing pains. It can also be effective when used in combination with other available remedies.
Vitamin D has many functions in the body, especially when it comes to bone health. A 2011 study linked low vitamin D levels with growing pains. The same study found that only 6 percent of children experiencing growing pains had adequate levels of the vitamin.
One natural way of getting that vitamin is by adequate sun exposure. However, if it is not possible, you can add vitamin D supplements to your child’s healthy diet to ensure that the child gets enough to help with growing pains.
Another important mineral, magnesium positively impacts the bones, joints and muscles. It also helps your child’s body absorb vitamin D and other vitamins. The mineral is often used on Epsom salt baths and can also help sore muscles.
It is for these reasons that an Epsom salt bath or using an all-natural magnesium lotion before bed may help with your young ones’ growing pains. A warm bath may also help soothe discomfort.
Heating pads also help in relieving growing pains. Just like in a warm bath, a heating pad helps soothe and relax tension in the muscles. Place a heat pack (on a low setting) on your young ones’ legs as they fall asleep. Then be sure to remove the pack from their bed once they fall asleep.
Bone broth is a source of bio-available bone-strengthening and muscle-supporting nutrients such as calcium and magnesium. Its amino acid structure and high levels of gelatin enhance (food-based) nutrient absorption.
Used in salves and lotions, this herb relieves sore muscles and helps with bruises. Since growing pains may be related to overworked muscles, an arnica rub can be used on a child’s legs to ease the discomfort.
Natural Pain Relievers
OTC pain relievers are good, but natural ones are better in dealing with a child’s growing pains. Here are are some of them:
- Omega-3 – anti-inflammatory and good for a child’s diet, whether or not they suffer from growing pains.
- Turmeric – has been used in ancient Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties stemming from the spice’s curcumin content
- Capsaicin – an active ingredient in hot pepper, can be a good topical pain relieve when added to cream or lotion.
- Green Tea – both anti-inflammatory and can support joints.