Although some people with BJHS have little or no trouble, in others, pain can be a recurring or, in some, even a constant problem. This renders them prone to the effects of injury and over-use resulting in acute (short-term) pain on prolonged and unaccustomed exercise. More chronic day-in day-out pain is also seen and may require a variety of measures, which can vary from one person to another in order to control it.
About seven to ten per cent of the population of school-age children has been found to have loose joints and occasional pain in the joints and muscles, especially after exercise or at night. Most children with HMS complain of joint pains in the evening or sometime after exercise. These mostly occur in the knees, ankles or non specifically in the legs. Sometimes the joints may appear to be swollen. Swelling should be treated as with any injury: RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation). Young children generally do not like ice, but it can be used with older children. If the joint pain persists, a doctor should be consulted.
Children with HMS often wake up in the night complaining of pain in the legs. For the majority, symptoms will improve as they grow older as their supporting muscles and ligaments get tighter and this is why this used to be called 'growing pains' which we now feel does not exist.