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Growing Pains: What They Are & How To Prevent Them

Any parent wants to see their child playing, laughing and enjoying their childhood to the fullest. Unfortunately, between 20% and 40% of all children will experience growing pains at some point between the ages of three and twelve. These random pangs of muscular discomfort usually occur in the late afternoon, or evening, and have been known to cause enough pain to wake children from sleep. Growing pains seem to be linked to growth spurts and a child’s level of physical activity. Some studies have shown that children often experience these pains after a day of playing and doing sports. 

They usually appear in the front of the thighs, in the child’s calves, or behind their knees. Since these pains come at night, and are most often gone by the morning, many parents assume their children are pretending. Growing pains are real, and the intensity of pain varies from child to child. While there is no known cure (but home remedies aplenty) for these niggling young-person pains, prevention is almost always better than a cure. If children are getting enough of the below three essential nutrients, growing pains won’t have to negatively affect their young lives:

Growing Pains - what are they

Magnesium Sulphate

This is a core mineral that plays a role in the structural formation of bones. It boosts bone mass in early childhood, and is essential for the maintenance of joints. Magnesium transports calcium and potassium across cell membranes, supporting the overall health of cells. The scary thing is that, without enough magnesium, cells actually start dying. This is made even worse when you find out that the majority of children have magnesium-deficient diets. This mineral also has a calming effect, aiding moodiness and assisting with irritability.

Vitamin K2

We know that calcium is vital for the growth of bones, teeth and nails. However, calcium can only do its job properly if it has vitamin K2 (together with vitamin D3) to assist with absorption. This vitamin, like magnesium, is difficult to consume in the recommended quantities. It’s not found in many South African diets, which means it needs to be conscientiously prioritised in meals, or taken as a natural meal supplement in tablet or powder form. Vitamin K2 is critical for the repair of bones and joints after days of high activity, especially in children.


This naturally-occurring substance is found in nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. It is made up of 34% sulphur, which happens to be the 4th most common mineral in the human body. When there is a deficiency of sulphur, a child’s immune response can suffer, also leading to weak joints, fatigue, and slow growth. MSM has been tested and proven to improve a variety of conditions, including muscular discomfort, joint pains, inflammation, and oxidative stress.

Going Pains

Immune Boosting Nutrient Synergy

The Penpharm Growing Pains range is a carefully selected blend of the above substances crucial to development in early life. To further support active young lives, and build strong immune systems, each Growing Pains capsule contains vitamin D3 (see vitamin K above), vitamin B6 for serotonin production, and calcium sulphate. Each ingredient is a player on the team tasked with helping your child through growing pains. They work together, each fulfilling a function to do with immunity strengthening, or muscle, bone and joint recovery. It is this synergy of these healthy elements that makes the Growing Pains nutritional supplement so effective in the fight against growth-related discomfort among children. To aid with night-time discomfort, Growing Pains capsules come in an evening variety – which contains chamomile to help young ones get a good night’s rest.

The Penpharm Snap-Cap Growing Pains capsules come in packs of 30 snap-caps, which are great tasting and can be easily snapped open to decant the contents into cold drinks or foods. This range of Growing Pains supplements can be found at all major pharmacies, including Dis-Chem, Pick n Pay Pharmacies, Clicks Pharmacies, and MediRite.

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