Joint hypermobility and growing pains in school children

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2008 Sep-Oct;26(5):962-6.


Objectives: To study the association between growing pains (GP) and joint hypermobility (HM ), children aged 3-9 were examined for the coexistence of HM and GP.

Methods: The study group consisted of 433 children (219 boys, 214 girls; age range 3-9 years) from one public school in Mumbai, India. In the assessment of HM, the Beighton criteria were used. Any child who met > or = 5/9 criteria was considered to have HM. Children were considered to have GP if they fulfilled the Petersons criteria, namely the pains were bilateral, intermittent non-articular pains involving the lower limbs; typically occurring during late afternoons or evenings with a normal physical examination and normal laboratory parameters whenever performed. The assessment of HM and GP were carried out independently. Children with bilateral knee hypermobility were also evaluated for the occurrence of GP.

Results: Of the 433 children, 177 (40.8%) were found to have HM and 122 (28.1%) GP; 75 (61.4%) of the 122 with GP had HM and 75 (42.3%) of the 177 with HM had GP. Using chi square statistical analysis, joint hypermobility and GP were found to be highly associated. Knee hypermobility also showed significant statistical association with GP.

Conclusion: This study suggests that there is a strong association between joint hypermobility and GP in schoolchildren. It is possible that joint hypermobility may play a part in the pathogenesis of GP. More studies are needed to establish the clinical significance of this association.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Joint Instability / complications*
  • Joint Instability / epidemiology*
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Pain / complications*
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence