Can Essential Oils Help With Growing Pains?
No parent wants to see their child uncomfortable or in pain, which is why growing pains are no fun for both kids and adults. If you’re looking for an at-home remedy for growing pains, you may be wondering if aromatherapy can help, and our experts are on the case. After all, growing up is painful enough.
In today’s blog, our experts discuss facts about growing pains (they may not be pains caused by growing after all!), which essential oils they recommend reaching for (these oils put the kibosh on aches and pain) and other helpful wellness tips for you child (like other natural ways to quash growing pains). Read on to learn more.
What Are Growing Pains?
Most commonly experienced between the ages of 3-5 and 8-12, growing pains most often occur when a child is growing. However, there is no evidence that growing causes pain. Rather, doctors believe that growing pains are likely linked to restless leg syndrome (RLS) or muscle pain from daily play and activities. It’s also believed that children who experience growing pains may have a low pain tolerance.
Growing pains tend to strike in the late afternoon or at night and may feel like:
Aching and throbbing in both legs
Pain in the calves, thighs and behind the knees
Urge to move legs
It’s important to note that growing pains most often occur in both legs, not just one. If the pain is persistent, occurs in the morning or is coupled with other symptoms such as swelling or redness, it’s recommended that you consult with your child’s doctor.
Can Essential Oils Help With Growing Pains?
Whether the cause is sore muscles or restless legs, growing pains may be easily combated with a few helpful essential oils. Here are a few of our top picks.
Gentle yet effective, numerous studies have shown that Lavender helps to powerfully reduce pain. One randomized controlled trial, for example, combined acupressure massage with Lavender oil on subjects with chronic back pain. The study concluded that Lavender oil massage was an effective treatment for back pain.
A separate trial studied the effect that Lavender oil hand massages had on participants with chronic pain, and again, the Lavender massage was found to reduce chronic pain.
Lavender oil can be paired with other essential oils for pain, or diluted to 1% and massaged onto your child’s legs at night for premium relief.
Commonly used for its ability to reduce spasms and tension, as well as improve sleep quality, Sweet Marjoram is a must-have if your child is experiencing growing pains. A 2014 trial studied the effects of a cream containing Sweet Marjoram, Black Pepper and Lavender essential oils on subjects with neck pain. Significant improvement in pain and neck motion was the result.
High-quality Sweet Marjoram essential oil contains a high amount of terpinen-4-ol and linalool. These, as well as other natural components, work together in synergy to create an effective natural aid to pain and discomfort.
Combine 2 drops Sweet Marjoram, 2 drops Black Pepper and 2 drops Lavender in 2 tablespoons of unscented lotion to mimic the above recipe. Massage onto your child’s legs before bedtime.
Aches & Pains
Want something pre-blended and expertly formulated to combat pain of all shapes and sizes? Aches & Pains combines Lavender, Sweet Marjoram as well as other essential oils that have been proven to ease discomfort quickly and effectively.
What You Need
1 oz Soy Wax
1 oz Shea Butter
18 drops Aches & Pains
In a double boiler, melt Soy Wax and Shea Butter over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once fully melted, remove from heat and add Coconut Oil and Aches & Pains. Stir until combined. Quickly pour the mixture into the silicone molds (should yield two or three bars). Refrigerate until the mixture has fully hardened and place the lotion bar in a tin for storage. Apply to your little ones tired and sore muscles.
Essential Oils For Restless Leg Syndrome
Because growing pains may be linked to restless leg syndrome (RLS), let’s take a look at RLS causes and treatments.
RLS is most often related to iron or magnesium deficiencies and out-of-balance dopamine production. Limited studies and anecdotal evidence point to some essential oils having the ability to diminish urges associated with restless legs.
With this in mind, the most practical oils to help assist RLS are those with antispasmodic and sedative properties, as they may help curb spasms and prevent the body and mind from overacting. Not sure where to start? Look no further than this essential blend:
8 drops Lavender (Any)
6 drops Chamomile- Roman
4 drops Clary Sage
3 drops Sweet Marjoram
3 drops Patchouli (Any)
4 oz Carrier Oil
Massage onto legs before bed. Alternatively, combine 1 tbsp of this essential oil blend with ⅓ cup of Epsom salt. Add to your child’s bath before bedtime or after a day of play.
Natural Wellness For Growing Kids
Along with using essential oils, doctors recommend the following for treating growing pains.
When in doubt, stretch it out! Having your child stretch their legs often can help prevent and aid muscle tension and pain. Simple yet effective leg stretches include bending over to touch the floor and reaching for their toes while sitting on the floor with their legs straight out.
Heat is an age-old remedy for sore muscles and pain. Use a heating pad on your child’s legs or have them take a warm bath before bed to ward off discomfort.
If you suspect your child has RLS, you may want to have their doctor check them for iron deficiency. Whether or not they are iron deficient, incorporating more minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium into their diet through fresh fruits and vegetables can help prevent growing pains and keep their growth and development in check.
Cut Sugar And Caffeine
Caffeine and sugar may worsen growing pains, so it’s best to cut them before bed.
OK For Kids
Searching for another natural remedy for your little ones? Our OK For Kids collection offers everyday solutions for both children and adults. Expertly formulated with children’s safety and needs in mind, each blend has been wowing users since its inception. With kid-friendly, yet sophisticated aromas and therapeutic benefits that are effective and safe for people of all ages, you can’t go wrong with OK For Kids.
What a Pain! Kids and Growing Pains. https://kidshealth.org/en/kids/growing-pains.html
The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/prt/2016/8158693/
The Effectiveness of Essential Oils for Patients with Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Study. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/acm.2013.0453
Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) in Children and Adolescents. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/14309-restless-legs-syndrome-rls-in-children-and-adolescents