Leg Pains In Children
There are a number of causes of leg pain in children. These range from overuse syndromes, to fractures and other injuries, to more worrisome problems like tumors and infections.
Most of the causes of leg pain in children, however, are benign. There are some red flags to watch out for though. They include:
- Night pain consistently in only one leg
- Worsening pain
- Self-limitation of activities
These red flags require immediate evaluation and you should consult your pediatrician right away.
In the rest of this article, you’ll learn about some common causes of leg pain in kids as well as the red flags that indicate your child might need further evaluation by a specialist.
What Is Leg Pain
Leg pain is any type of pain or discomfort in the leg, from the hip joint to the heels. Leg pain is a fairly common complaint. Your legs are made up of joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels all of which are subject to injury, infection or other conditions that can cause leg pain.
Leg pain may last briefly or be constant, and affect your entire leg or only a particular area. Your pain may feel achy, piercing or . Pain-like sensations often described as pins-and-needles, prickling, or burning sensations are called paresthesias. Leg pain may be simply irritating and uncomfortable, or so debilitating that you cannot put weight on your leg or walk.
Leg pain can arise from a variety of conditions ranging from accidental trauma to . In the absence of trauma or other symptoms, leg pain is commonly caused by a , also called a charley horse. In some cases, leg pain can originate in another part of the body such as the back. This type of leg pain is called referred leg pain. If you are experiencing other symptoms along with your leg pain, be sure to tell your health care provider. This information will help your doctor determine a diagnosis.
Leg pain that originates in the lumbar area and travels down the buttocks, accompanied by loss of bladder or bowel control, is a sign of a . This serious condition should be evaluated as soon as possible in an emergency medical setting. If your leg pain is persistent or causes you concern, contact a medical professional.
Talk To Your Physician
Getting total relief from cases of leg pains may not happen with just home remedies. If you experience recurring pains even after trying the home remedies, see your physician.
Now that you know all you need to know about leg and ankle pains, it should be easier for you to point out the exact cause of your aches and follow up with the practical steps listed above to help relieve them.
Always remember to stay hydrated, wear proper shoes, and regularly visit your massage therapist.
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Conditions Associated With Pains And Ankle Pains At Night
If your leg pains are recurring and more intense, it could result from some underlying disease conditions.
Asides from lifestyle factors, cramps, inflammation, or blood clots, you could experience leg pain as symptoms of other disease conditions.
When left untreated, could escalate into more severe or unmanageable conditions.
How Are Knee Problems Diagnosed
In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, other tests for knee problems may include:
X-ray. This test uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to make images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to make detailed images of organs and structures within the body can often determine damage or disease in a surrounding ligament or muscle.
Computed tomography scan . This test uses X-rays and computer technology to make horizontal, or axial, images of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.
Arthroscopy. A minimally-invasive diagnostic and treatment procedure used for conditions of a joint. This procedure uses a small, lighted, optic tube , which is inserted into the joint through a small incision in the joint. Images of the inside of the joint are projected onto a screen used to evaluate any degenerative or arthritic changes in the joint to detect bone diseases and tumors to determine the cause of bone pain and inflammation.
Radionuclide bone scan. A nuclear imaging technique that uses a very small amount of radioactive material, which is injected into the patient’s bloodstream to be detected by a scanner. This test shows blood flow to the bone and cell activity within the bone.
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Are You Looking For Relief From Neck Pain
Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical neck pain relief and recovery therapies. We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. We start by assessing the body as a whole. Oftentimes the cause of pain or an injury extends far beyond just the body part or muscle hurting. Without taking a comprehensive look at your entire self, we would be doing you a disservice in fully helping you heal and preventing future limitations. We then move on to fixing your areas of limitation. Not all diagnoses are created equal. One person with neck pain may have completely different limitations than the next person. Your recovery program needs to be specific to what YOUR body needs and not just the typical exercise program that you can find online. Just because your pain decreases or you can walk longer doesnt mean that it is enough to get you functioning at the level you want to be. While this often signifies the end of care at your typical PT clinic we dont stop providing guidance until we help you successfully meet every goal you set for yourself with us on day one. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!
Chronic Degenerative Meniscal Tear
If you’ve experienced swelling, joint pain, and a sensation that your knee is sticking or locking, the problem could be a chronic degenerative meniscal tear.
A meniscus is a rubbery cartilage cushion in your knee that helps to pad the joint. Each of your knees has two of them. “Sometimes these structures are torn during an injury, but in degenerative cases, the cartilage just becomes frayed and worn over time, resulting in a breakdown or tearing of the tissue,” says Dr. Breslow. When a meniscus is frayed, ragged edges or loose pieces may get stuck in the joint when it’s moving, causing a sensation that your knee is locking up. If this is happening, be sure to see your doctor.
How to treat it: Surgery is no longer the first-line treatment for this condition, says Dr. Breslow. “It used to be that most people got referred for an arthroscopic procedure to remove the torn meniscus or repair it,” she says. “But now research is showing that, in many cases, the condition can be treated non-operatively just as effectively.”
Clinicians are now more likely to recommend treating the condition with physical therapy. As is the case with patellofemoral pain syndrome, building up the muscles around the joint and in other parts of the body can ease pain, without the risk of complications. However, you may need surgery if a piece of the meniscus is interfering with the motion of the joint.
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What Causes Pain From Knee To Ankle
Leg pain can affect people in any areas. It can appear as pain from knees to ankles, in the foot, in the knee, behind the knee, in the ankle, down the back of your leg, etc. In most cases, those who have pain from their knee to ankle have lower leg pain. Even though your legs are affected the most by your daily activities, you shouldnt be in pain. Pain in your lower legs may be due to issues with nerves, blood clots, or a number of other potential problems.
So What Can I Do About It
Stretch, stretch, stretch! Often times one of the major factors contributing to overuse injuries is inflexible muscles. Athletes need to pay particular attention to stretching the muscles surrounding the knees and hips specifically, hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, piriformis, and calf muscles. Hold each stretch steadily for 30 seconds and repeat each 3 to 4 times.
There are also some basic strengthening exercises that can help decrease anterior knee pain:
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It Could Be Tibialis Anterior Muscle Strain
If youre experiencing pain anywhere from the bottom half of your leg down to your big toe, its not only frustrating, but concerning, too.
Many people with pain in this area assume they have shin splints, but did you know that shin splints is often used as an umbrella term for any pain, strain, and inflammation involving muscles around the shin?
This means that there could be a number of specific conditions causing the pain youre experiencing, including tibialis anterior muscle strain.
If youre seeking medical care for your symptoms, find a physiotherapy clinic near you and book an assessment for shin pain today.
Is It Ok To Walk With Shin Splints
You dont need to stop running completely with shin splints, as long as you stop when the pain starts. Instead, just cut back on how much you run. Run about half as often as you did before, and walk more instead. Wear compression socks or compression wraps, or apply kinesiology tape to prevent pain while running.
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Pelvis And Hip Related Causes Of Leg Pain
Pain from the joints and/or muscles of the pelvis and hip may be referred into the legs. Common causes include:
- Piriformis syndrome: Spasm of the piriformis muscle in the pelvis impinging the sciatic nerve.
Read about Hip Osteoarthritis on Arthritis-health.com
- Trochanteric bursitis: Inflammation of a fluid-filled sac on the side of the hip.
Read about Hip Bursitis on Arthritis-health.com
Pelvic bone fractures or other hip joint problems due to trauma, overuse, or degeneration may also cause leg pain.
What Are Some Common Knee Problems
Many knee problems are a result of the aging process and continual wear and stress on the knee joint . Other knee problems are a result of an injury or a sudden movement that strains the knee. Common knee problems include the following:
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Lower Leg Pain Caused By Veins And Nerve Issues
1. Blood Clot
When blood thickens in veins, it can develop a clot. This typically happens in the thigh or lower leg, commonly leading to pain from knee to ankle. There is a higher risk if you are overweight, on certain medicines, or inactive for a long car ride or flight.
2. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are caused by weakness in the vein walls or valves and can lead to a dull ache, particularly after standing.
3. Lower-Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease
This occurs if your legs arteries get damaged and harden. The legs begin to miss needed blood flow, leading to pain or cramps when walking or climbing stairs.
4. Narrowed Spinal Canal and Sciatica
When the spinal canal narrows due to a herniated disc, arthritis of the spine, or another cause, it can lead to weakness, fatigue, numbness, tingling, or cramping, burning leg pain when you sit or stand. It may start in the hip and the back before extending down the leg.
5. Diabetic Neuropathy
This diabetes complication can be due to high blood sugar levels and leads to pain in both legs. It also features less sensation and numbness in lower legs.
When to See a Doctor
You should see your doctor for pain from knee to ankle if you have the following symptoms:
What Causes Leg Pain While Driving
Most people who report leg pain while driving will experience it in the form of a sharp, shooting pain that may throb through one or both legs. In some cases, the pain may be alleviated by taking the foot off the accelerator and using cruise control, but many drivers experience persistent discomfort the entire time they’re behind the wheel.
The most common cause of leg pain while driving is a condition known as sciatica. This condition occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs through the lower back and into the thigh area) becomes pinched or otherwise obstructed over time. This can result in persistent pain that shoots through the lower back and one legs, especially when the person is seated.
When seated in a vehicle, you are putting direct pressure on your sciatic nerve. While pressing the accelerator, you are applying even more force to that area of your lower back. This is a recipe for discomfort. As a result, you may find yourself looking for excuses to get out of driving. If you work a job that requires you to operate a vehicle, your work days may be very long and uncomfortable.
Sciatica can develop over time, especially among those who spend a lot of time seated behind the wheel it is not surprising, then, that this condition is so common among truck drivers. Still, it can happen to anyonewith other potential causes including bone and muscle abnormalities, spinal cord disorders, and even tumors within the pelvis.
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Are There Other Signs Or Symptoms
I left a very important point for last. Many medical conditions that are important to diagnose present with muscle pain and other symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms can be subtle. Also, it will not always be immediately apparent that they are related to the leg muscle pain. Examples of such symptoms include rash, fever, weight loss, nigh sweats, and neurological symptoms.
Treating And Avoiding Leg Pain While Driving
If you’re experiencing leg pain while driving, your best bet is to schedule an appointment with your doctor for further evaluation and diagnosis. The good news is that sciatica is treatable through chiropractic care and other non-invasive treatments, in most cases. CMP treatment can vary depending on the severity of your pain.
In the meantime, you may be able to find some relief from your leg pain while driving by adjusting the positioning of your seat while behind the wheel. Many drivers can find some relief from knee pain if they move their seats back until their legs are almost completely straight out in front of them.
For drivers suffering from sciatic nerve pain, investing in a quality lumbar support cushion that is specifically designed for use while driving may also provide relief. Of course, these are just ideas for temporary pain relief and should not be considered an alternative to seeking medical care and treatment from a doctor.
More than likely, your auto insurance will not cover expenses related to treating leg pain while driving unless your injuries were caused in an auto accident or other covered claim. Still, if you have medical insurance, some or all of your treatment may be covered so you can work towards getting the relief you need without paying too much out-of-pocket.
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What Causes Pfp Syndrome
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an overuse disorder. These happen when someone does the same movements that stress the knee over and over again.
In PFP syndrome, repeated bending and straightening the knee stresses the kneecap. It’s most common in athletes.
Some people with PFP syndrome have a kneecap that is out of line with the thighbone . The kneecap can get out of line, or wiggle as it moves along the thighbone, because of muscle weakness, trauma, or another problem. If this happens, the kneecap doesn’t glide smoothly over the thighbone when the knee bends and straightens. The kneecap gets injured and this causes the pain of PFP syndrome.
Pain And Other Symptoms
Coldness of the legs is a symptom and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms. One of the common accompanying symptoms is an ache or pain. Most of the time pain due to cold is described as a deep ache or cramping pain. Cold can also aggravate pain that may be pre-existing. For example, people with joint pain due to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis may experience worsening of the pain with coldness.
There may be other symptoms that accompany the cold sensation and pain. This may include paleness of the legs and sometimes even a bluish tinge, loss of hair, lacerations , open sores and skin rashes. There may also be loss of sensation such as the ability to perceive touch or temperature. Depending on the nature of the underlying condition there may also be weakness of the legs and even paralysis.