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Växtvärk

Bortsett från att begreppet nog är allra vanligast i överförd bemärkelse, så verkar den egentliga betydelsen vara missvisande. För växtvärk har, såvitt man kunnat finna, ingen koppling till växande.

Växtvärk förekommer hos barn och kännetecknas av ganska intensiv värk i båda benen nattetid, vanligast i underbenen. Den går över på några timmar. Orsaken är okänd och växtvärk försvinner efter puberteten.

Landstingen i Västmanland och Kalmar, resp.

The causes of growing pains are unknown.

Wikipedia

No firm evidence shows that the growth of bones causes pain.

KidsHealth

Årsaken er fortsatt ukjent. Muligens dreier det seg om en form for muskelverk. På tross av navnet, så ser det ikke ut til at periodene med voksesmerter samsvarer med kroppens vekstspurt - som jo kommer i puberteten. Mange teorier og antakelser er lansert som forklaring på vokseverk, men de er ikke blitt forskningsmessig bekreftet.

Pasienthåndboka (Norge)

Här är ett av helt få exempel jag hittat, på att man funderat på om växtvärk verkligen skulle kunna vara just det. Men det återstår alltså att bevisa. Konsensus är att växtvärk inte är värk som beror på växande. (Åtminstone vad människor beträffar - för begreppet är ju, som sagt, idag avgjort mest använt som liknelse, på företag, organisationer och annat där det verkligen är tillväxten som ger problem.)

The authors show that at least 90% of bone elongation occurs during recumbency and almost no growth occurs during standing or locomotion. The authors hypothesize that growth may also occur in children during rest or sleep, thus supporting the concept of nocturnal growth and perhaps a relationship to growing pains.

Noonan et al (2004)

Här en kort men innehållsrik historik och beskrivning i kombination. Bara en sån detalj, som att den har med det medicinska namnet på företeelsen.

In 1923 the French physician Duchamp described children with limb pains that he felt were related to growth abnormalities. Unexplained limb pain was thought to be disease related until work during the twentieth century separated children with benign limb pain from those with disease. In 1951 a study of British schoolchildren finally gave conditions to the label of benign pains. The criteria were presence of intermittent limb pains for at least three months, absence of joint involvement, and the occurrence of painful episodes in the late evening or during sleep.

"Growing pains" are called idiopathic limb pains of childhood by the medical community. To be more accurate, I believe the name should be benign idiopathic limb pain of childhood. This designation actually describes the condition in its entirety. This moniker means we do not know what causes the extremity pain, but we do know that it is nothing to worry about. One thing that is almost for sure, these pains are NOT related to growth. In fact they occur most frequently in the years when growth is at its slowest rate in children.

Dr. Harry Pellman

Å andra sidan fanns begreppet långt före 1923:

It is true that when boys are growing stronger their growth is frequently visited by what are called "growing pains," but these are popularly supposed to be due to the stretching out of the bones by fits and starts, which would necessarily be a painful thing to experience, quite equal to being forcibly lengthened out on the rack under the curious and intelligent ministrations of inquisitors.

New York Times (1892)

Att även flickor kunde drabbas var dock väl känt:

Sometimes through a trifling fall, sometimes without any explanation whatever, a girl from six to nine years old will limp in the latter part of the day - not in the morning. When she stoops in the afternoon she does it carefully so as not to bend her back - something unnatural. The ever-present busybody explains, "Growing pains."

New York Times (1897)

Liksom, om man skall tro följande skribent, samveten:

[Om Tom Smiths samvete] I have known him from childhood. He was thirteen inches high, and rather sluggish, when he was two years old - as nearly all of us are at that age. He is thirty-seven feet high now, and the stateliest figure in America. His legs are still racked with growing-pains, but he has a good time, nevertheless.

Mark Twain (1877)

Referenser:
Landstinget Västmanland: Växtvärk - samma som nedanstående
Landstinget Kalmar: Växtvärk - samma som ovanstående
Wikipedia (eng.): Growing pains
KidsHealth: Growing Pains
Pasienthåndboka: Vokseverk
Noonan et al, "Growing Pains: Are They Due to Increased Growth During Recumbency as Documented in a Lamb Model?", Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics, November/December 2004
Dr. Harry Pellman, "Growing Pains - limb pain is not related to growth", Pediatrics for Parents, juni 1998
"Hair, Brownness, and Strength", New York Times, 4 december 1892 (om ett säreget medicinskt fall)
"Deformities in Childhood", New York Times, 14 mars 1897
Mark Twain, The Carnival of Crime in Connecticut (1877)

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