It is quite common for growing children to face leg pain at some point in their lives. Sports injuries and malnutrition are the most common causes. Pain in the legs needs to be taken seriously as it may bring on other complicated medical problems such as paralysis. The information provided below will certainly help you in protecting the sound health of your child.
Causes of Leg Pain in Children
- Damage to bones, muscles and joints and injuries due to falling or twisting are the foremost causes of leg pain in children.
- Another very common but innocuous cause of leg ache in children is referred to as "growing pains", though it is not related to growth spurts in any way and its exact cause is unknown. It affects children in the ages of three to twelve years, and may occur intermittently. The pain usually begins late evening or night, and can keep a child from falling asleep. But it can be easily treated with simple home remedies.
- Muscle spasm, herniated disc, injury in the back, and inflammation of sciatic nerve due to arthritis can cause leg pain that can further radiate down to lower portions of the legs. In most cases, sciatica affects only one limb.
- Fracturing of the leg bone is another reason for mild to severe leg pain. It is generally symptomized as a pain that arises in the nerve endings present in the lining of the bone. The surrounding muscles develop spasms that further intensifies the pain.
- Traumas may cause bleeding in tissues and joints. The swelling due to the presence of blood increases pressure in that particular region of the leg causing severe pain.
- Occurrence of sprain, i.e. stretching of ligament fibers and strain, i.e. stretching of muscles and tendons are other common causes of pain in children's legs. Sometimes, a ruptured Achilles tendon can cause shooting pain in the feet and calves.
- The formation of a blood clot in the arteries responsible for blood supply to the legs which can be caused by any sort of physical blow results in poor circulation of blood. This can cause children to suffer from leg pain at night, day, or any other time.
- Poor circulation in legs due to constricted blood vessels causes legs to pain while walking. This is because while walking, the legs require more oxygen for the muscles. Since sufficient amount of blood is not available to the legs, pain in the legs arises.
- Aching legs may also be caused by peripheral neuropathy. It is described as the inflammation of those nerves that are not associated with the spinal cord. This can be triggered by nerve irritation.
- Chronic medical illnesses such as cancer, vitamin and mineral (potassium and calcium) deficiencies can affect nerves controlling the movement of legs.
- Other causes include inflammation of hip joints, physical stress causing damage to growth plates, deep vein thrombosis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and rheumatoid fever.
Home Treatments for Leg Pain in Children
- Massage your kid's legs with warm olive oil every night. This will provide him/her comfort from leg pain.
- Ask your child to perform exercises for sciatica if sciatic nerve problem is the reason behind his/her leg pain.
- Take mustard oil and camphor in the ratio of 20:1. Mix them well by heating. Massage your child's leg with this mixture. It is very effective for treating severe leg pain that may be associated with fever.
- Ibuprofen and acetaminophen will give temporary relief to children if they have pain in the legs. This is taken when the pain is not constant and has occurred suddenly. This will ease both lower and upper leg pain. Refer to the dosage instructions before administering any of these drugs.
- Soak your kid's legs in warm water mixed with a little amount of salt for 15-20 minutes daily. It will bring comfort within a week's time.
- Make your child wear appropriate footwear, especially when he/she is playing, or going to have a long day of walking or standing.
- Standing in a position in which the body's weight is unequally distributed on both the legs can give rise to leg pain. Check out your kid's posture when he stands.
By trying out the above-listed home treatments for leg pain, your child should start feeling better in a couple of weeks. Encourage your children to exercise regularly and to have nutritious meals so their bodies receive the right amount of vitamins and minerals which are so crucial in the growing-up years. If the pain does not subside or recurs over time, you need to consult a pediatrician to find out the underlying causes and begin medical treatment, if necessary.