Growing Pains: A Concern in Adolescence

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Addressing Growing Pains for Adolescents

A Guide to Understanding and Relief During Growth Spurts


Growing pains are a prevalent concern among adolescents in Australia. Often dismissed as a normal part of growing up, these pains can actually be addressed effectively with proper care.

Growing pains, first identified in 1823 by French physician Marcel Duchamp, are the leading cause of musculoskeletal pain in early childhood. Despite extensive research, their exact cause remains elusive. Over the years, numerous theories have emerged to explain this common condition. (Pavone et al 2019)

Identifying Growing Pains

Growing pains typically occur during rapid bone growth phases in adolescence. They often arise from inadequate muscle lengthening, leading to increased musculoskeletal tension and discomfort.

growing pains
Growing Pains

The Role of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists play a crucial role in assessing and treating growing pains. They use tailored techniques to improve muscle flexibility and reduce tension. Treatment varies depending on each child’s unique needs.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Adolescents can manage growing pains with lifestyle changes like regular stretching, maintaining good posture, and a balanced diet.

Anticipating Positive Outcomes

Most growing pains alleviate within days to weeks with appropriate treatment. Untreated pains, however, can persist much longer.

What to Do?

Parents should consult a physiotherapist if their child experiences persistent or severe growing pains. Treatment plans are personalised, focusing on exercises and stretches suitable for each individual.


Understanding and addressing growing pains involves recognising their causes, seeking tailored physiotherapy care, and making lifestyle adjustments. This approach helps adolescents and their parents navigate this developmental phase more comfortably.

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