As a parent, you want your children to be happy and healthy. Therefore, when they complain about pain, you probably want to know where it is, what caused it, and how to get rid of it. These are some things you should know about muscle pain in children.
What Are Muscle Pains in Children?
As they grow, your children may experience cramping or achy muscles. They may also experience joint pain. If the pain is severe, it can even wake your children up in the middle of the night.
Some children are only three or four years old when they experience this pain. However, many children experience some form of discomfort between the ages of eight and 12.
Causes of Muscle Pains in Children
Kids can experience throbbing or aching muscles, called growing pains, at night or in the evening, but they don’t typically affect the child during the day. It may come in the form of throbbing or aching in the muscles in both legs.
If your children play sports or are significantly active, they have a higher chance of experiencing growth pains. Research suggests that this pain may result from the activities they participate in during the day rather than during growth spurts, as previously thought.
However, if your child experiences pain in only one leg, limps as a result of the pain or has a fever, or has joint pain in addition to muscle pain, consider seeking medical advice because they could have a more severe condition, such as lupus, Lyme disease, idiopathic arthritis, and leukemia. Each disease has additional symptoms, such as fatigue, joint swelling, rash, fever, hair loss, bleeding, or pulmonary issues.
What Are Growing Pains?
Growing pains are often found in the legs. Although these pains do not indicate underlying diseases and are not considered harmful, they can be painful for your child. The muscles can become sore as your child goes through major growth spurts, such as during the preteen and preschool years.
These pains can be short-term, lasting from one hour to overnight, and your kids can experience long periods, months even, of no pain. Although they differ for every child, they often involve aching pain or cramps deep within the muscle.
Treatments for Muscle Pain in Children
The good news is that you can aid in treating your child’s muscle pain. For example, massage their legs or warm them with a heating pad or warm cloth. However, do not allow your children to go to bed with heating pads because they can be burned during the night.
Although you should never give your children Aspirin due to its link to Reye’s syndrome, you can ask your doctor about over-the-counter medications and their dosages.
Encourage your children to cut back on the activities that make them sore. Resting the muscles encourages healing. Once their pain goes away, they can resume the activity gradually.
Prevention Methods for Muscle Pain in Children
To prevent muscle pain, consider teaching your children how to stretch their muscles before and after physical activities. This may be especially beneficial in the evening before your children go to bed.
Discuss their pain and activity levels with the doctor during your children’s yearly physicals. These professionals should order several tests, including blood or imaging tests. Upon confirmation of growing pains, ask about treatment options.
Attend your children’s future appointments and follow the doctor’s instructions. Maintaining the treatments your physician suggests can not only treat your children's pain but also prevent future pain.
As your children grow and become more active, they may experience growing pains. Fortunately, you can help them mitigate or eliminate these pains. As you consult with your family doctor, ask about alternative treatments, such as over-the-counter remedies, that can help your children.