From time to time boys and girls may come on until several hours later may feel pain in their hips, thighs, or legs. that time, the child may have forgotten that these pains come and go, sometimes about straining himself or herself during the day and sometimes while in bed at night. People used to think that these pains were caused as the child’s muscle and bones were growing. That is why they were called “growing pains.” But nobody thinks that anymore. Doctors say that no pain at all comes from the natural growing of muscles or joints or tendons or bones. Instead, they think that these aches and pains result from muscle strain or muscle spasm.

Do you know what a strain is? Well, it is an over stretching of a muscle or tendon due to strenuous exercise. If someone twists his joints very hard,, or falls when running fast, he or she might easily strain a muscle or tendon. But the pain from the strain might not come on until several hours later. By that time, the child may have forgotten about straining himself or herself.

Do you know what a muscle spasm is? Well, when a muscle has been over worked from hard play and exercise, or has been strained, it may contract very strongly and not be able to relax. In other words, it tightens and can’t loosen itself. This is called a spasm, and if it keeps up for very long, it can be extremely painful. Some people call muscle spasm “muscle cramps.”

Growing pains are not so severe that we have to do much about them. Perhaps we should be a little more careful how we play and run, but certainly, we shouldn’t stop our play activities just because we get pains once in a while. If the pains are severe, lying in a nice hot tub for twenty minutes to a half hour usually relives the problem.

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