Children often report pain that we attribute to their growth. These supposed “growing pains” are most likely to flare up in the calves, knees, and thighs.

However, we mustn’t overlook these reported pains. The reality is that there is a chance that your child is experiencing leg pain that may require treatment.

More Than Growing Pains: Types of Leg Pain in Children

To better understand what your child may be experiencing, let’s take a look at the types of leg pain children may experience.

Read on to learn more and visit your child’s doctor if they experience severe or prolonged pain in their legs.

Muscle Cramps

One common cause of leg pain stems from muscle cramps. Typically, these pains are quick, although they can be severe. Muscle cramps are most common in physically active children, and dehydration can frequently increase the chances of experiencing muscle cramps.

Muscle Strains

Over-using muscles can lead to strains that can create pain for anywhere from a few hours to one week. Children who experience muscle strains should avoid putting too much pressure on the affected area until the strain heals itself. If the pain persists after a few days, visiting a doctor is recommended.

Leg Pains Caused by Low Calcium Levels

Some leg pain is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C or Vitamin D. These pains are usually centralized in the leg bones, although some children may also feel pain in their ribs. Children who consume a dairy-free diet may be more at risk, and Vitamin C supplements are recommended.

Bone or Joint Pain or Stiffness

If your child appears to be experiencing pain or stiffness in the bones or joints, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. Pinpointing the source is the first step in preventing potential joint degeneration, which cannot be reversed once it sets in. In children, joint pain and stiffness can be a sign of septic arthritis, which requires immediate emergency treatment.

Other Types of Leg Pain in Children

In some cases, leg pain in children is a symptom of another issue. For example, viral infections can cause temporary leg pain to clear up after the infection is treated. Osgood Schlatter Disease will also cause pain and even swelling of the tibia but typically clears up in about one or two years.

Pay Attention to the Types of Leg Pain Your Child Experiences

We often assume that children who experience leg pain are going through “growing pains.” However, certain types of leg pain can be treated and require medical attention. If your child reports experiencing leg pain, consult your doctor to find out more about the cause and whether treatment is recommended.

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Alicia Trautwein is an Autism advocate, writer, motivational speaker, and dedicated mom of four. Alicia’s desire to advocate for Autism comes from her own autism diagnosis and that of her three children, niece, and brother. Her life’s mission is to educate on autism acceptance and change the world for future generations of autistic individuals.

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