416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday - Friday 7am - 8pm

416 Ilam Road, Fendalton, Christchurch 8052

Clinic Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm

The Benefits of Osteopathy For Relieving Growing Pains in Children

Published by Better Health Osteopathy on 15 January 2023, Children

Children can experience aches and pains in their muscles and bones, which can affect their legs, thighs and calves, which are often called growing pains. Growing pains affect children at a young age and sometimes can be due to growth spurts. The pain and discomfort experienced is often mild, but children can sometimes report severe pain, especially at night time. The leg pain and discomfort can be so intense that it can wake children from their sleep. The good news is that children do not have to suffer, as osteopathic treatment can help!

In this article, we will discuss the benefits of seeking osteopathic care for growing pains and how to recognise them, and we will provide six tips for parents to better help manage growing pains at home.

Growing Pains in Children

What Are Growing Pains?

Growing pains are muscular aches and pains in both legs, usually in the calf, behind the knee and in the front of the thigh. Growing pains shouldn’t cause any pain in the joints and should not cause any swelling, warmth, redness, or limping. If your child experiences these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Can Growing Pains Cause Significant Pain in Children?

Growing pains can come and go and be quite intermittent in nature. The pain can be quite intense at night but should be gone in the morning. Some children can become quite distressed with the intensity of pain, especially at night.

Growing pains should not impact on how your child moves and should not cause any limp in a child. They also do not cause any long-term health problems. However, parents should be aware that growing pains can sometimes affect a child’s daily activities and behaviour, as growing pain symptoms may also cause fatigue, irritability, and difficulty sleeping.

How Are Growing Pains Diagnosed?

Growing pains can be diagnosed by your Osteopath or Doctor, who will, first of all, consider anything serious that may be causing the pain. X-rays and other imaging normally are not required.

If you are concerned about the pain in your child’s legs and are not sure if this is growing pain, always reach out to your Osteopath or doctor. They will help to give you a proper diagnosis and identify the root cause of your child’s pain.

Can An Osteopath Help With Growing Pains?

The benefits of seeking osteopathic treatment for growing pains are numerous. Osteopaths will address the underlying factors that may be contributing to growing pains, such as postural dysfunction or physical restrictions in the calf and thigh muscles and joints such as the foot, ankle and hips. Through a holistic approach, Osteopaths help to improve your child’s symptoms and overall health and well-being.

Growing Pains in Children

Is Osteopathic Treatment Gentle For Children?

At Better Health Osteopathy, we use very gentle techniques to treat the pain and dysfunction that your child may be experiencing.

Our Osteopaths will create a specific treatment plan tailored specifically to the needs of each child. Techniques used may include soft tissue massage and very gentle joint mobilisation.

Our treatments not only help relieve growing pain symptoms but also uncover any underlying causes that can add to and exacerbate the condition.

At What Age Do Growing Pains Stop?

Growing pains typically stop after a child reaches the age of 12. After this age, growing pains tend to ease in most children as periods of rapid growth have slowed down, and there is much less strain on their bones and muscles. However, they can still occur in adolescence. The good news is that growing pain episodes can be managed with the help of an experienced Osteopath.

6 Tips For Managing Growing Pains in Children

  1. Encourage your child to get plenty of rest and adequate sleep.6 Tips for Managing growing pains
  2. Ask your Osteopath for gentle stretching exercises (see below) tailored to children’s needs to increase blood flow and flexibility while reducing muscle tension in their legs.
  3. If painful, massage your child’s tight leg muscles, which may give some symptomatic relief in the middle of the night.
  4. Make sure that your child has comfortable shoes which will help support the feet, ankle and leg muscles.
  5. Your child should remain active. However, physical activity may have to be reduced in a few cases.
  6. If growing pain symptoms become severe, seek professional help from your Osteopath, who can diagnose the source of pain and provide osteopathic treatments to help relieve the pain.

Recommended Stretches

  • Ask your child to lie on their tummy, then gently push and hold their heel to their low back. Get your child to lift their thigh off the floor to stretch it further. Hold the stretch for five seconds and repeat it five times.
  • Lying on their tummy, get your child to bend their leg to 90 degrees at the knee, then push the front of your child’s foot down to stretch out their calf muscles. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times.
  • Your child lies on their back, and you raise each leg up gently by the heel to stretch out the hamstrings. Hold for five seconds and repeat five times.
  • The stretching process should only take about five minutes to complete.Stretches for Growing Pains in Children


At Better Health Osteopathy, we recognise that growing pains can be a difficult time for children and their families, but with the help of an osteopath, relief is possible.  We can provide expert diagnosis and treatment plans tailored to each child, using a holistic approach to improve their growing pain symptoms and overall well-being. And you don’t have to wait for your child to “grow out of it”.

Whether your child is experiencing growing pains or is suffering from other injuries, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our team of Osteopaths are here to help your child!

Please feel free to contact our Osteopaths at Better Health Osteopathy or simply book your appointment online. Call 027 755 5700 or book online.

Better Health Osteopathy

Lorraine Herity is the Clinic Director of Better Health Osteopathy in Christchurch, New Zealand. She previously worked in Osteopathic clinics in London and Ireland, before moving to New Zealand. Lorraine trained at the British School of Osteopathy in London, where she gained her Master of Osteopathy (M.Ost). Lorraine is a dedicated and passionate Osteopath. Her main aim is to help her patients regain their health and to return her patients back to their everyday activities, in as quick a time as possible. Lorraine is also a clinic tutor on the Osteopathic Course in Ara and relishes the opportunity to teach the next generation of osteopaths.