Researchers have discovered that young children who experience growing pains have a significant amount of a larger body weight than children on whom no pain was reported.
The study conducted by the University of South Australia has found one in three children suffer from growing pains, which they have linked for the first time to obesity. Angela Evans, a researcher explained that the study of around 750
children between 4 to 6 years of age has shown that the problem was more widespread than many believed.
Dr Evans said, "As many as 37 per cent of young children are affected by growing pains to the point that some are seeing a health professional or taking pain medication, so the community impact of this condition is clear." She also explained that till now there was very little known about the growing pains like the recurring leg pain and aches that typically affect young children usually starting late in the day or night.
It was explained that the pain could be intense and usually occurring in spates, sometimes several times a week, then not at all for a month, making it difficult to monitor. The researchers also found in their study that taller children or those with flat feet are not more prone to suffer from growing pain as generally thought, and also the concept that the more physically active children were prone to this condition was also quite untrue.
The research did show though that the usual children who suffered were about 5% heavier than those reporting no pain. Dr Evans explained, "The finding that children with growing pains have significantly greater body weight requires further exploration given the concerns of childhood obesity." Expressing her concern over the action of the parents on not treating the condition effectively, she said, "Unfortunately, the one intervention which has been shown to be scientifically supported, muscle stretching, is not generally used by parents, nor advised by health care professionals."
She concluded that this research, which could lead to the cause of growing pain, would help children and their parents to manage the condition in a better way and reduce the number of visits to the health care professionals.