In children, pain in the extremities of the body is common because they are growing. In fact, many times there is no more cause behind these discomforts, which are typical of childhood and adolescence. However, sometimes, there are some diseases that can be behind the pain, this being the first warning sign that something is not right in the body of the young person.
In, we explain the causes of leg pain in children so that you know why it happens and, above all, you know when to go to the doctor quickly for diagnosis and treatment.
Leg pain in children from growth
Although there are children who do not notice them, or at least do not feel them with an intensity to worry about, having pains in the legs during the stage of growth and development is very common, even in the knees and other bones and joints of the body.
Normally, this pain is noticeable at night and does not imply that the child has any illness. In fact, in many cases no medical treatment is usually necessary because, in addition, the pain does not occur continuously, but disappears the next day or in a few days.
However, sometimes, depending on the resistance to pain of the person, the doctor may prescribe some medication to reduce discomfort, which is sometimes intense and is accompanied by punctures or pangs. Taking medicine is usually justified in those cases in which this pain makes it difficult for the person to sleep.
Anyway, these pains, whenever they disappear, can also be a sign of the physical activity they do, either because they are very active children or because they perform some sport frequently, among which children usually practice sports that help growth, such as basketball or swimming. In these cases, they are still muscle aches like anyone else with physical activity can have, that is, what we commonly call having stiffness.
Diseases that cause leg pain in children
Apart from growth, there are other possible causes of leg and knee pain in children. When leg pain, which can also affect the knees, is accompanied by one or more symptoms, there may most likely be a disease behind it. Among the most common diseases that give leg pain in children and also in preteens and adolescents are the following:
- Juvenile arthritis: although this disease is always thought to affect only older people, it also has a special incidence in young people. Juvenile arthritis is recognized by joint pain, as well as by inflammation of the ankles and difficulty walking, even limping.
- Lyme disease: this disease transmitted by the bite of ticks can also be behind the pain of the joints of the legs, also causing other symptoms such as rashes, fever, malaise or tiredness, among others.
- Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia manifests itself in children with pain in one part of the body alone, which can be the legs. In fact, it is common to have restless legs while sleeping, have difficulty reconciling the floor, apart from noticing anxiety, depression and fatigue, among other symptoms.
- Lupus: this pathology manifests itself through pain and inflammation of joints such as knees or feet. The child may in turn feel more tired, have a fever for a long time and lose weight without there being an apparent cause that explains the loss of kilos.
- Scleroderma: pain is one of its main symptoms as well as skin lesions or their thickening, itching, swelling and depigmentation or hyperpigmentation of the dermis, among others. Learn more about what scleroderma is and its symptoms in this other article.
Psychological causes of leg pain in children
Sometimes leg pain in a child is explained by psychological causes, corresponding mainly to emotional factors. And there are situations that can generate anxiety, insecurity or fears that the young person does not channel well from the emotional point of view, which leads to that restlessness being transformed into pain in some part of his body.
Emotional pain becomes physical pain and musculoskeletal problems, which are concentrated in several points or specific areas of the body that children may have weaker or more sensitive such as the legs.
Normally, this type of pain disappears as the situation relaxes, the problem has been solved or the child is helped to overcome it with psychological support.
When to see a doctor for leg pain in children
When leg pain appears in children, you should always consult with the doctor to make an evaluation and make a diagnosis in order to check if these discomforts are part of normal development or are a first sign of disease.
Anyway, the visit to the doctor should be much more urgent when leg pain in children is accompanied by another series of symptoms:
- Continuous and intense pain, which does not subside in a maximum of 48 hours.
- Swelling of one or both legs.
- Excessive sensitivity in the joints.
- You have a fever.
- A rash appears.
- Can't walk well, limps, or has a weakness to stand up and move.
- Decay, feeling of anguish and anxiety.
- Weight loss.
- The pain gets worse in the morning or always occurs in the evening.
These symptoms make it possible to suspect that there is some disease behind leg pain, some of which are chronic or have some severity, as we have already mentioned before.
These are the main causes of leg pain in children that can explain their symptoms and to pay attention to. From we always recommend that you consult with the doctor to put the most appropriate treatment or live the pain with tranquility if it only responds to its growth and vital development.