7 soothing tips for surviving growing pains
If your legs have been throbbing like crazy lately, then you might be wondering why nobody ever told you that getting older would be *this* painful. Well, girl, we’re guessing you’ve got a not-so-fun case of growing pains.
Growing pains are, in a word, mysterious. Here one day and gone the next, they can either knock you off your feet—or disappear entirely. Wondering what you can do to help yourself when the hurt sticks around? Here are seven ways to ease your aching thighs, calves and knees.
1. Massage your muscles.
You don’t need to be a professional masseuse to know your way around a quick calf massage. Using your fingers and the palms of your hands, gently work your problem area(s). Alternate between rubbing in a circular motion and kneading every sore muscle.
2. Hug a heating pad.
You’ll want this situation to get a li'l heated. According to the Mayo Clinic, “heat can help soothe sore muscles.” Before bedtime, adjust your heating pad so that it’s at a comfy setting. Use the pad wherever those growing pains are giving you grief, and keep it turned on until you’re ready to call it a night.
3. Wear a warm cloth.
Heating pads aren’t always handy, so a warm cloth will make for a super substitute. Bring on the heat by tossing a small cloth into a bowl and adding hot water. Once the cloth’s warm and wet, place it into a plastic bag, close the seal and feel those soothing vibes.
4. Snag some sleep.
Sometimes, all you need is some shut-eye. WebMD says that growing pains can be intense enough to keep you up at night. Instead of letting your legs shorten your sleep time for the day, take a nap to reclaim any lost rest. Our bodies grow and repair themselves while we catch zzz’s, so closing your eyes will open you up to relief.
Another way to get yourself to sleep more soundly is stretching. The Mayo Clinic writes that “stretching the muscles in the legs during the day may help prevent pain at night.” Growing pains tend to make your bod feel tight and totally unwilling to take a break. When you stretch or perform light yoga moves, you loosen the kinks and encourage yourself to relax.
6. Ease into exercise.
Relaxation gets your bod in gear, but it’s not the only answer! The American Academy of Pediatrics believes that participating in “a variety of sports and activities” gives each of your body parts an equal opportunity to be worked out. Because a lot of growing pains result from overworked muscles, switching up your exercises will help you steer clear of serious strains.
7. Ask permission to pick a pain reliever.
When all else fails and you’re still seeking relief, it might be time to turn to medicine. Ibuprofen (that’s Advil) and acetaminophen (that’s Tylenol) are designed to put pain in its place. Explain the situation to your parents, and ask them if they feel comfortable with you taking something to squash your growing pains.
Growing pains got you down? How do you handle the hurt?
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