A lot of children get aches and pains as they are growing and frequently they may be easily classed growing pains when they may not be or they may be something quite serious. Simply because a growing child has pains while growing does not necessarily mean that they're really a ‘growing pain’.
The real syndrome of “growing pains” often happens about the ages of 4 to 5, but could happen up to age of about 12. It frequently happens behind the knee and is commonly reduced by mild massage. The symptoms only occur during the night and don't occur in the daytime. If the discomfort happen during the day, then it's not growing pains. The disorder is generally self-limiting and treatment is not usually needed. It can happens to up to 15-30% of kids, so is very common.
Even though the problem of a typical growing pains is benign, there are several possibly very serious but uncommon conditions including infections and bone cancers that can produce identical signs and symptoms, so that is the reason why every growing pain should be taken seriously and thoroughly looked into. There are occasionally horror stories in the news media of kids whom had pains overlooked as growing pains, and then have one of these very rare problems with serious consequences.
When the symptoms are causing distress and difficulties with sleeping then some treatment solutions are indicated. Most of the treatment is aimed at not dismissing the symptoms as merely ‘growing pains’ and taking it seriously. The child and parents should understand the self-limiting character of the symptoms. Generally just rubbing the painful area and sending the child back to bed is helpful. A hot pack could also be put on the location to persuade the child back to bed and sleep. Stretching out of the calf muscles when it is bedtime can sometimes help. NSAID’s or anti-inflammatory medicines can be used at night if the symptoms are waking up the kid from sleep.