Growing pains are defined as generalised muscle pains, that occur mainly in the legs at night time. The pain does not occur in the joints.
The pains typically occur intermittently, affecting both legs equally in the muscles of the anterior thigh, calf and posterior knee.
The causes of growing pains still remain unclear. However there appears to be some link between increased body weight, lower pain thresholds and reduced bone strength.
There are concerns about the long term effects on children who suffer from growing pains thus the importance of managing the problem.
Treatment involves use of a pain diary and stretching program. Foot wear changes are commonly advised if there are abnormal or unusual foot and leg function. Heat, Panadol and massage are also recommended.
I would strongly recommend seeing a health professional so other diagnosis can be eliminated. Particular if the pain is only in one limb, joint related or unrelenting.