News Release

Are children’s growing pains tied to migraines?

Peer-Reviewed Publication


New research published in Headache reveals that, in children and adolescents, pain in the lower limbs—what are often called “growing pains” by clinicians and are commonly attributed to rapid growth—may indicate the presence or risk of migraines.

The study included 100 children and adolescents born to mothers with migraines seen at a headache clinic, with half of the youth experiencing growing pains.

“In families of children with growing pains, there is an increased prevalence of other pain syndromes, especially migraine among parents,” the authors wrote. “On the other hand, children with migraine have a higher prevalence of growing pains, suggesting a common pathogenesis; therefore, we hypothesized that growing pains in children are a precursor or comorbidity with migraine.”

After 5 years of follow-up, 78 patients completed the study, of which 42 were from the group that experienced growing pains and 36 were from the control group. Headaches occurred in 76% of participants who had growing pains and in 22% of controls. Growing pains persisted in 14% of participants who had growing pains at the start of the study and appeared in 39% of participants who were previously asymptomatic.

“Pain in the lower limbs of children and adolescents... may reflect a precursor or comorbidity with migraine,” the authors concluded.

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Additional Information
The information contained in this release is protected by copyright. Please include journal attribution in all coverage. For more information or to obtain a PDF of any study, please contact: Sara Henning-Stout,

About the Journal
Headache publishes original articles on all aspects of head and face pain including communications on clinical and basic research, diagnosis and management, epidemiology, genetics, and pathophysiology of primary and secondary headaches, cranial neuralgias, and pains referred to the head and face. Monthly issues feature case reports, short communications, review articles, letters to the editor, and news items regarding AHS plus medicolegal and socioeconomic aspects of head pain. This is the official journal of the American Headache Society.

About Wiley
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