Arthritis & Rheumatism, Volume 60,
October 2009 Abstract Supplement

The 2009 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting
Philadelphia October 16-21, 2009.

Is the Outcome of Childhood Growing Pains Associated with Changes in the Pain Threshold?

Chapnick1,  Gil, Hashkes2,  Philip J., Jaber3,  Lutfi, Nemet1,  Dan, Uziel1,  Yosef

Meir Medical center, Kfar Saba, Israel,
Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH,
Child Health Center, Taibe, Israel


We found previously that the pain threshold in growing pains (GP) is significantly lower compared to healthy controls. We examined the long-term outcome of our GP cohort and tested whether it correlates with changes in the pain threshold.


We studied 35 (20 male, 15 female, mean age 13.4 ± 2.7 years) from 44 subjects in the original cohort, 5.0 ± 0.2 years after the original measurement, compared to 38 similar gender and age pain-free controls (20 males, 18 females, mean age 13.6 ± 2.7). Current GP status was assessed by parental questionnaires. Pain thresholds were measured with a Fisher-type dolorimeter applied to tender points associated with fibromyalgia.


Seventeen (49%) subjects still reported pain compatible with GP. In fourteen (83%) the pain was milder and less frequent. No subjects developed other pain syndromes, including fibromyalgia. Pain thresholds of the tender points were similar in the GP group and the healthy controls (4.7 ± 1.1 kg/cm2 in GP vs. 4.9 ± 1.1 in controls). The 17 patients with continued GP had significantly lower pain thresholds than both the control group (4.23 ± 0.72 Vs. 4.9 ± 1.1 p<.01) and the patients whose GP resolved (4.23 ± 0.72 Vs 5.09±1.25 p<.01).


In most subjects GP has resolved or improved after 5 years. Pain threshold remained low only in patients still suffering from GP. This finding reconfirms our hypothesis that GP may represent a variant of a noninflammatory pain syndrome in young children.

To cite this abstract, please use the following information:
Chapnick, Gil, Hashkes, Philip J., Jaber, Lutfi, Nemet, Dan, Uziel, Yosef; Is the Outcome of Childhood Growing Pains Associated with Changes in the Pain Threshold? [abstract]. Arthritis Rheum 2009;60 Suppl 10 :1545
DOI: 10.1002/art.26619

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