Leg pain in children can be a nightmare in the evening and at night. But don’t be afraid! This may indicate that the tiny pup is growing. What are the characteristics of growing pain, what causes children leg pain? If you’re ready, here we go!
What causes leg pain in children?
Periosteum, which means bone membrane, is more and thicker in children. It has a lot of nerves in it. Therefore, during growth, younger children experience more pain in their legs than older children.
Orthopedics and Traumatology Specialist that leg pain can be felt more intensely because the periosteum becomes thinner during periods of high growth rate in children.
However, in order to be able to say that the pain is caused by growth, it must appear in the childhood age group and begin as recurrent pain in both lower legs. The duration of the pain should also be less than 72 hours. Otherwise, you need to contact your pediatrician to investigate the source of the pain.
When does leg pain occur in children?
In which parts of the body does growing pain occur , let’s first say this. Growing pains are usually in the legs, behind the knees, thighs and calves; It is seen less frequently in the arms. Growing pains often occur in the legs, around the knees, and hips, as long bones grow more and the longest bones are found in the legs.
Foot pain in children is also a common growing pain. These pains of unknown cause usually appear in the 3-12 age period. In particular, a 5-year-old child’s leg pain is likely to be caused by growing pain. Growing pains can last from a few minutes to several hours. There’s no need to fret , as waking leg pain is a common symptom of growing pains. Since growth is a rhythmic condition, pain can be felt at different times and these pains may not occur in every child. It is commonly seen after intense physical activity.
Growing pains do not differ in terms of boys and girls. According to recent studies, the incidence in children between the ages of 4-6 is 38.3%. Growing pain is also common in adolescents due to active height growth.
What are the characteristics of growing pains?
Orthopedics and Traumatology Specialist that growing pains are known for their ability to pass in a short time and defines the symptoms of height increase pain as follows:
- Growing pains are migratory. A child who has pain in the left knee 1 day before, may also experience right unilateral leg pain the next day. Pain may radiate to both legs.
- Growing pains are temporary. The child may have leg pain during the night. He may wake up from sleep and ask to rub the leg area with massage. Although he has enough pain to take painkillers, he may not have pain when he wakes up in the morning. And then there may be no pain in the same area.
- Growing pains are innocent. Massaging the painful area and showing compassion to the child may help.
- Growing pains are not regular. Although weeks or months have passed, the child may have pain again unexpectedly.
- Growing pains can be frightening. It can be frightening for families when a child who spends pleasant hours playing games wakes up with pain from his sleep, but there is nothing to worry about.
- The cause of growing pains cannot be determined exactly. Although the medical world has been researching this issue for years, the cause of growing pains has not been fully resolved yet.
Will there be leg pain when growing taller?
Yes. Since the pains that occur during height increase are classified under growing pains, leg pain occurs while increasing height.
How does the child’s leg pain go away?
In general, children are given passive exercises for leg pain, and the comfort of the child can be ensured by methods such as massage. However, States that massage or muscle stretching exercises cannot be recommended as a scientific treatment method, since there is a pain condition that occurs with the lengthening of the bone. Massages or exercises help the child fall asleep and relax. Growing pain usually gets better on its own.
Let’s tell what is good for leg pain in children. Apart from massage, ointments are recommended for the area of pain locally. Creams that do not have harmful side effects given by the doctor can be applied to children in growing pain.
What should a child with growing pain pay attention to?
There is no need for any restrictions after the doctor confirms whether the pain experienced by the child is a growing pain or not. The child can continue any activity he wants. However, if the doctor has recommended some painkillers, they can be used.
How to distinguish growing pain from other diseases?
Leg pains in children may indicate tumors of bone and hematological diseases. It can also be considered as an important finding in the diagnosis of rheumatic joint and joint inflammation diseases. The following in order to distinguish leg pain in a healthy way:
- In order to understand that the pain is caused by growth, it should be questioned whether the child has experienced any trauma. The pain must not be caused by a fall, injury or accident.
- Growing pains do not occur in a specific bone area. It is generally felt in the legs and leg muscles. It does not cause limitation in the range of motion of any joint.
- In growing pains, redness and swelling are not seen in the area where the pain is. There is no disease process with symptoms such as redness, swelling, tenderness and loss of function.
- It is important to investigate the source of the true disease, especially in cases of reflected pain in the hips and lower back. The waist and hip area should be carefully examined, laboratory tests should be performed if necessary, and x-rays should be taken.
When should you take your child to the doctor?
- If your child’s growing pains are more severe than these,
- If you have fever along with leg pain,
- If the pain is getting worse,
- If you have a rash on your body,
- If there are symptoms such as weakness and weight loss, you should contact an orthopedic specialist and learn the real source of these pains.
Which doctor should I go to for leg pain in children?
You may wonder what part your child’s leg pain goes into. He is entering the department of leg pain, orthopedics and traumatology. Therefore, you can take your child with a sore leg to an orthopedic specialist.