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Daughter Who Says She Hurts All the Time

My daughter will be 5 in July. For over a year now she's been complaining of pain in her legs. She will wake up at 5 am crying that her legs hurt and she starts throwing herself around. She kicks them and rubs them. She tries walking it off. Nothing helps until it just subsides. At first, when she wouldn't really talk to me about it, I thought she was having nightmares. Finally about 8 months ago she told me she was writhing around in bed because her legs hurt. She says her legs hurt all the time, sometimes is just worse than other times. But it's constant and it feels like someone is squeezing her legs. I thought it was growing pains. That's what the pediatrician said. About 7 months ago she started complaining of a stomach ache every day. She says her stomach hurts all the time, just like her legs, and sometimes it's worse than other times. Took her to the doctor again. Ran some urine and blood tests, which all came back normal for whatever they were testing her for. Doctor says the legs are growing pains and the stomach is just nervous stomach (my daughter is a little anxious and worries a lot). In the last couple of months my daughter has started complaining that her whole body hurts- legs, stomach, arms, sometimes even her head. She has some really bad moments when she's crying and kicking her legs and throwing her arms about or rolled into a ball. Otherwise, it doesn't seem to slow her down, which made me question the veracity of her claim that she hurts all the time. Her response was, "Mommy I do hurt all the time, but if I just stopped doing stuff when I hurt then I'd never be doing anything because I hurt all the time."

I have noticed that at least with her legs when they are hurting her a lot they are also very cold (which is weird for her because she's always hot). We try to cover her up and use heating pads. She says it might make it hurt less, but it doesn't go away. Same with pain relieves like Tylenol or Motrin. The doctor said give her more calcium and potassium, which I've done, but it doesn't seem to make a difference either. I am at the point where I think it's more than just growing pains or nervous stomach, but I have no idea what it is or how to help her. And it's so heartbreaking to me to look her in the eye when she's telling me she hurts all over and I have no way of helping her to feel better. Any suggestions will be tried and much appreciated. Thank you.

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Hello B..
I would recommend calcium supplements for your daughters. Our food is lacking in nutrition horribly. My legs ache and ache all the time til I was faithfully taking a good (not Wal-mart) brand of calcium complex. Shaklee or Enzymatic is what I take now FAITHFULLY. I have had no further pains in my legs.
Also, have you googled in her symptoms just to see what would ocme up? Knowledge is power and it can't hurt just to do some googling around to see what you find.
I wish you the very best.
W. from Indiana

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Hello B.. My name is A. & I have just finished reading all of the responses that you have received.

First off, I want to say that I am not a doctor, but I am a mother & that I, personally, have many physical ailments. I was a nanny for 5 years & also a pre-school teacher. I have done LOTS of research for my own conditions.

All of that being said....first off...I urge you to listen to your intuition. Second, please be sure to tell your daughter that you DO believe her & that you are willing to listen to her & that you want & are trying to help her.

Letting her know that you believe her is a HUGE thing for her. Just because she is active (which I am proud of he for) & dones't "look" like she is in pain....does NOT mean that she doesn't hurt or that she is making it all up for attention or something of the sort. I can tell you from experience...one of the most hurtful, painfull things is for those you love best not to believe you or say comments that make you think that they believe you to be lying or acting. It really is important that she knows that you are in her corner & that you are willing to listen & try to help her. It is also important that you be honest with her & tell her when you do not know how to "fix" the problem. As long as you are trying....that is enough for her. We do not always have the answer...but seeking the answer & knowing that you are trying to help her...really will mean the world to her.

OK...next. The previous posters have all given you some GREAT advice!!! I am glad that so many people have taken the time to try to help you & your daughter.

I agree with many of the other posters that you should certainly seek another opinion (or 2 or 3)! Many of the posters mentioned Juv. RA, Fibromyalgia, RLS (Restless Leg Synd.) & various other diseases, syndromes & issues. I believe that all of these issues hold some merit & should be looked into very seriously. You need to find a doctor that is willing to listen to you & your daughter & more so, one that is willing & WANTS to work with you. There are many doctors out there that feel that they don't have lots of extra time to devote to just one patient. You need to find the doctor that wants to devote the extra time that it will take to help your daughter.

I personally have Fibromyalgia, spinal injuries, degenerating dics, Myofacial Pain Disorder, Costochondritis, migraines, tenosynovitis, IBS (irrital bowel syndrome), problems with my knees & ankles & more!!!

I will tell you that Fibro. (FMS) is the reason for many of my "problems". The FMS also causes me to have "knots" in my legs, for the to crap & swell, to be ice cold, turn purple, strange little sections on the tops of my feet swell up, etc. All kinds of strange things happen to your body when you have FMS. Other than taking meds to treat the FMS, people stretch & excercise alot, some eat diets that are gluten free, taking large doses of acidopholis tabs...eating yogurt with live cultures, some take passion flower & a few other "natural herbs", many people do hydrotherapy, people get massage treatments, reflexology, use heating pads (a GREAT alternative is to make & use a rice pack), cold packs, take hot showers, warm baths & soak....there are TONS of things that can be done for FMS without taking meds. All of these things are done just for the Fibro.!!!

My reason for mentiong all of the above is to show you that there are many alternatives to strong narcotics & other meds to treat different diseaes & syndromes. Don't get me wrong....NONE of these treatments take ALL of the pain away & there are times when taking pain meds & other meds ARE THE BEST CHOICE. You have a choice. You have options.

Whatever is going on with your daughter is real & needs to be "figured out". The sooner that someone figures out what is going on with her, the sooner a treatment plan can be devised, the sooner your little girl & your family can go on with your lives. This might be an issue for her for the rest of her life, it may not. You won't know until you find out all of the facts.

Your daughter is a very strong & tough little girl!!! I commend her highly. There are so many people that just give up & lay down & choose NOT to get back up. She, at such a young age, has made the choice to live her life to the best of her ability.

I hurt daily. All of the time. Everywhere. No amount of pain meds, alternative treatments, hot baths, great massages, etc. changes that. I hurt. Period. Everywhere. All the time. Sitting, standing, laying, moving, still....I hurt. But....I choose to move. I choose to be part of my family. I choose to go outside & play bubbles with my toddler. I choose to sew & be a functioning part of my household. There are many days where I dread & hate the pain that I know is about to course through my body the moment I put my feet on the floor & attempt to stand up & put my weight on them, first thing in the morning as I get out of bed. (this usually happens daily) There are many days where I CAN'T drive, can barely walk, can't open the bottle of juice that I want to give to my daughter, can't open the door to get into the bathroom, much less try to chase my 2 year old, change her diapers, give her food, clean my house, run errands, change my clothes, sew for the business that I am trying to start, play with my daughter, open her cup to give her something to drink, do the laundry, take a shower....but I keep going. Why? Because I choose to. I want to live my life while I have it.

I wish you all the best & I am proud of your daughter for choosing to live her life.

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings & opinions. I hope that something that I have said was helpful.

I wish you all the best.

be well. -A..

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As a nurse that has done pediatrics in the past, this doesn't sound like it's just growing pains or restless legs. I would definitely get a second opinion. You might get a referral to a rheumatologist or an immunologist that can do more specialized lab tests. I would take your daughter seriously... counseling certainly won't hurt. I know some of the others have said that it might help her deal with her pain. Since her symptoms are getting worse instead of better, I think it's time for them to quit blowing it off. Trust that gut-instinct that God gives Mom's. It's not normal for kids to hurt like that all the time. The stomach pain could be nerves, but not the rest of it. Be assertive! Good luck.

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Hi B.,

One of the things the child pyschologists say in the newspaper when people write in is not to talk about kids' problems to other people in front of them, because somehow it makes them think they can't get past these problems and makes them feel helpless. So even though you are personally taking this seriously and are very worried, don't talk too much about it in front of or with her, just listen and hug her and say it's going to be okay when she says it hurts. Find a good specialist and talk to her or him first without your daughter in the room, and tell the doctor why. That way he or she can do the exam and order tests without talking about it too much and scaring her to death.

Try to spend extra time with her when she is feeling good, so that she doesn't think in terms of you only paying attention when she hurts. (She wouldn't mean to come to that conclusion, but sometimes kids just think strange things.) The other thing you might consider is taking her to a therapist for play therapy. Her nervous stomach may be the stress of her legs hurting and play therapy might help relieve the stress and help her with the stomach problem. The play therapist might also recommend her to see a physical therapist after assessing her for a while - working on the large muscles with a PT might help her loosen those muscles and help the pain. PT's for children and play therapists don't act like doctors, and they're fun for the kids, but work one-on-one so she won't be as nervous as she would be with a large class of kids.

My thoughts are with you in figuring this stressful problem out. I hope some of these ideas might work for you.
All my best, D.

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When she has leg pain, you say her legs get very cold? When this happens do her legs change color as well? Her pain may very well be growing pains and anxiety as your pediatrician suggests and I'm sure not here to diagnose your daughters troubles, but I can tell you, that my daughter who is now 20, has neuropathic pain in her right leg (since she was 8) which was finally diagnosed as being RSD (reflex sympathetic dystrophy) about 5 years ago after many years of trips to the ER because she was in such great pain, and going through multiple doctors who could find absolutely nothing wrong with her or her leg. In RSD, what apparently happens is the nerve endings go all wacky and my daughter feels pain for no obvious reason or without anything causing the pain. Some days she looks perfectly fine and other days aren't so good. When my daughter's RSD is acting up, she has excruciating pain (and as you said would be lying in the floor screaming) then her leg gets very cold, turns purplish, then goes sort of numb and doesn't work so well. RSD is very difficult to diagnose and some physicians don't believe it actually exists. My daughter was diagnosed by a pediatric neuro-ortho surgeon at Cardinal Glennon Hospital in St. Louis, MO.. ONLY after she actually had an episode during a visit at his office.

Let me tell you, the years of pain without being diagnosed led my daughter to think that nobody believed her, which evolved into a whole other set of problems. Chronic pain is hard enough for adults to deal with but it is devastating to a child.

I've got a son who is 10, who has suffered from growing pains (muscle spasms just before/during a growth spurt) and it is nothing like my older daughters RSD pain.

My best advice to you, is that you know your child better than anyone. If you truly believe that this is more than growing pains, then have her checked by a pediatric neurologist... growing pains doesn't generally cause limbs to change color and/or temperature. I hope and pray that this isn't the cause of your daughter's problems. It can occur without any warning and usually stems from a nerve/soft tissue injury which may not be apparent on how it happened. My daughter was run over by an ATV when she was 8, breaking her right leg and subsequently causing the nerve damage, but I've been told that it can happen from something as simple as a fall or sprain.

If you want to ask any questions about RSD etc. or anything else for that matter, just email me privately.

Best wishes and hugs to your little girl,


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She could have something like Fibromyalgia where your muscles hurt all over OR she could have RLS (restless leg syndrome) Her stomach could be from enduring the pain. She probably runs around during the day because after a while your body gets use to the pain and she can tolerate it as long as she is busy. I would call a childrens hospital and ask them what kind of dr that she would need to go to with her symptoms. Have someone run an MRI on her entire body to see what is going on. I would definitely go to a specialist and would go somewhere like (I am in Tn so we have a place like Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. In Memphis they have St. Joseph Childrens Hospital.) So I know that somewhere around Charlotte NC where you are, they certainly have something like that. I would get on the computer or in the phone book and look and start calling the help line or start with calling information and asking what kind of dr that you should see out first. If you need a referral then go to your pediatrician and tell him that you don't have anything against him but you want need a referral to have it checked out and this is who you want to go to because you are positive it is more than growing pains now... tell him it is mother instinct and be adament and very FIRM about it when you talk to him. If he knows you are scared and serious, he will listen. Right now he doesn't realize that she is as serious as she is.
I do agree with the dr though that taking calcium can prevent leg cramps so if you haven't tried that, do try it.
But regardless, I would see help from a child specialist.
Good luck and I feel for you and now I will worry about her (even though I don't know her).

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check out this site...sounds a lot like what your daughter may be going through. This condition is usually seen in athletic girls average age of 12 but has a range of 5-12 years old...


Hope this helps

I would definitely get a second opinion as soon as possible, especially since it seems to be spreading. Good luck.

There are gut diseases (and vaccine reactions which cause or exacerbate gut sensitivities) that can cause some of the symptoms you describe. Wheat & gluten, dairy & soy, casein (dairy protein,) corn and corn products like fructose, corn syrup, peanut butter are some of the main offenders. I have no idea if this could be the case for your daughter. I do have a friend whose daughter is autistic and was diagnosed with Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis- she put her on a special gluten free diet that worked wonders.

You are the mommy and if you think there is a real problem beyond growing pains and nervous stomach, keep looking for the answers- get a second opinion. The inner mommy is rarely wrong!! You will might have to do your own research- find out what those tests were for, and spend some time reading about them. Google is wonderful. I hope you find answers that help soon!!!

I agree with the other replies. Get a second opinion. Anytime your kids wake up from a sound sleep with pain, you need to take it seriously.

I feel for you and your daughter because I also have daughter who also says she hurts nearly all the time. It started with stomach cramps and pains over nearly a year. Finally after many tests and nearly a year we switched doctors. Our new doctor suggested before we do a ton of tests and scans, we keep a log of how often she poops. He said the most common cause of stomach pain in little girls is what he called "busy little girl syndrome" meaning, they don't want to stop playing to use the restroom so they put it off and can't use it later causing stomach cramps. It worked for my daughter, she still has other pains but her stomach pains have mostly stopped. Every couple months she starts forgetting again and will have one or two cramps but when I start reminding her again they clear up like magic. I don't see this being the cause of her other pains, but it's simple to check and easy to fix if it's the cause of her stomach pain.

I suggest reading up on a condition called fibromyalgia (or FMS). It can be tough to diagnose because not all doctors "believe" in it. But for people that have it as adults, they describe conditions like you are describing as children too.

I have it. There are a lot of things people try for treatment but I've found the best things that work are moist heat and exercise. What it is is that for some reason the body doesn't repair muscle tears during sleep. For most people, the body releases chemicals at night that repair the small muscle tears that come from using your muscles during the day. The reason exercise can help a lot is that it tires you out so you sleep better and that "forces" your body to release those chemicals. Some treat it with medications as well, but I don't know if they would approve of that for kids and so many of the medicines have horrible side effects too.

Anyway, I wish you luck sorting it out and getting it diagnosed. It sounds to me a lot like FMS symptoms.

I am 24 years old and have had the same problem since I was a litte girl , around 4 or 5.When my mother would take me to the doctor as a child they would say the same thing , that its just growing pains , one doctor even said it ws due to the kind of shoes I would wear.We got the best walking shoe money could buy . Needless to say it didn't help.When I was about 11 and hit puberty it just stopped. I was a mother by 16 and once I had my son , it came back . I just managed it as best as I could . When I was 20years old I got out of bed one day and was in so much pain I could hardly breath. I was fortunate enough to find a state ran organization that sent me to a rumatalogist( I'm not sure if this is spelled correctly but it is a doctor that specializes in joint and muscle pain). They told me that I have fibromyalgia . It is more common in females over 30. But has been know to effect children and some men . My advise to you is to keep track of how often she hurts , when it hurts the most ,am or pm , what kind of food she eats on a regular basis.Some foods can make you hurt worse. Also, what makes it better or worse. I know she is just a child but im sure she could tell you . If she does basic stretches in the morning and at night it may also help . Stretching really helps me . I hope everything turns out alright for her and maybe some of this information can atleast limit the pain .

Best Wishes
T. C.

It sounds like a circulation issue, since her legs are cold. I would take her to the doctor if it has been going on for that long. For right now, maybe try making sure that when she is sleeping she is doing so in a position that lets her legs have good circulation. Hope this helps a little. Sorry I couldn't say more.

Hi B.
My daughter was complaining of her wrists, hands & knees so often I asked the peditrician about it who then referred us to an orthopedic Dr. Long story short she has JRA Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is a serious Autoimmune Disease but treatable especially when caught early. She is 11 but I would certainly after my own experience ask her pediatrician to look into that direction just to be sure! It may just be growing pains but as I said I am more on guard for this now!
Good luck with things!

I would contact the local children's medical center. You may have to travel for it but they may be able to shed some light on the problem. Pediatricians, as wonderful as they are, are trained to treat the whole child rather than find problems. I would search for a pediatric neurologist if this were my child. She will probably have to undergo multiple tests but this doesn't sound like growing pains. Nowadays, so few children actually experience growing pains so that seems to me like the MD is blowing off your daughter. If she's really in pain, then you need to find the problem. Your pediatrician won't go the distance with the cost of medical care these days. They will blow it off until it's too late. You are your child's only advocate so stand your ground and get what you want done. Insist on seeing a neurologist and go from there. Good luck!

please take your daughter seriously. I am an RN and I have two grown sons and 7 grandkids, and also a foster parent. There may be a cause that is being overlooked. Take her to another doctor, and don't stop until they find the cause. Children are very resilent, and tolerate a lot of pain. Just because she is playing a lot doesn't mean the pain has stopped. My oldest son would be playing as if nothing was wrong when his doctor would tell me he was very ill. children are too presious and the most wonderful gift GOD has given us. Please listen to your little girl. K.

Hi! I too have a daugther complaining of these problems. the only thing is my daugther is just 2yrs old. She has also in the recent months added a new pain to her list, her ears now hurt too. She is having problems with her weight gain and there are days were whe doesn't eat at all. After several rounds of blood work, we are going again for more! They have tested her for arthritis, thyroid problems, as well as just an overall run down of her cell counts and etc. The last test we had done, we are repeating because the results showed to messed up (it was for her thyroid and arthritis again). She is also scheduled for an MRI, just to make sure there is not something wrong elsewhere that the doctor is missing.

Anyway, my thoughts to you are, don't give up!! Keep trying to figure out what is wrong with this child. If your doctor doesn't want to go further with the problem take her to a doctor that will! When she complains, go to the doctor, maybe that will get them to realize that there is something wrong. That is what I did! A child can only complain so much, they are to young at this point of making up such stories. If the pain is waking her at night, there is no way she is not hurting! Growing pains can only last so long, she can not be having growing pains all the time!

I wish you luck and I will keep you posted on the results with mine, maybe that will give you some ideals on what to ask the doctor to do. Will be praying for you guys.

You might want to seek a second opinion about your daughter just to be on the safe side. you can also try doing stretches, after a warm bath, with her before bed. Is she in sports, gymnastics, karate, etc? Might help get her mind off what ever is bothering her.

Not sure if this will help or not, but I used to have horrible leg pain. I'd writhe around in bed... felt like my legs were on fire or my toenails were being crushed. My legs also looked a little funny. They always hurt, but sometimes more than others. My mom exhausted google/WebMD searches and finally found something called Reflex Sympathetic Distrophy (RSD) and the doctors finally tested for it. RSD is a nerve disorder. The doctors couldn't figure anything else out, so they finally started treating me for that and it worked. It's not a common illness/disease, but it's out there. Maybe you can ask your doctor about that for your daughter. I was treated and did physical therapy for a couple of months. 12 years later, I have occasional pains in my legs, but it's rare and WAY NOT severe comparitively.
Hope that helps.

I had growing pains. I don't remember getting them that early, but, that was SO long ago. I remember mine mostly around early teens.
What it feels like is an ache. Like an arthritis ache. Not pain like you are injured. And mine was mainly in the legs and hurt most at night. If she is tall, that could be it, if she's not, the doctor needs to keep digging.
If she continues to be in pain, have doctors run EVERY blood test you can!!!!! It could be so many things, you don't want to leave any stoned unturned.

I have no real advice. My son does have growing pains in his leg sometimes but never as severe as you are talking about. I would say if yur doctor want take this seriously then get a 2nd opinion. If she is in that much pain that often then it seems like their is a problem. I mean growing pains should not wake them up at night. Anyway, i hope ou can find out what is wrong.

trust your instincts on this one. Take her for a second or third opinion. This doesn't sound right to me at all. Good luck.

I also went thru this with my son 25 years ago. The doctors told me it was growing pains but when it got so bad that he was missing a half day of school I took him to a bone specialist they were afaid he had a bone condition called "plesperthesis" (don't know if that was the correct spelling or not been 25 years) but with lots of prayer and sleepless nights all testing came back good. we thanked God for it. after testing all doctors said its just growing pains will grow out of it. The mornings were the worst his legs would be so stiff and uin so much pain that I starting putting him in a warm tub of water and massaging them, that seemed to help so he could go on to school, (finally he did grow out of it) but took another spell in his early teens. So hang in there it will get better. I had the same problem with my daughter three years later at age 5 but not as bad. I'll be praying for your child.

Get a second opinion. Your pediatrician might be right and it's just growing pains, but also may have missed something. Doctors are very rarely offended if you get a second opinion and if they are, you might want to think about another doctor anyway.
God Bless!

I have read some of the most recent advice and have to say that my middle child had HORRIBLE growing pains for a few years when he was around that age. He is now 10. He would wake up screaming from his legs hurting from the tops of his feet up to the backs of his thighs. I took him to the doc, they said give him Tylenol or Motrin before bed, and try Aspercreme (very little odor) on his legs, but use it sparingly since he is a child. It helped, but never made it go completely away, as that is for muscular aches, not bones, which are what is growing and causing the pains. We tried the extra potassium, etc... and they never got better that way. He just eventually stopped having them. Like some folks said, I had them and they never caused ME that much pain (screaming, writhing on floor), but they sure did that to my boy!

But since you mentioned the stomachaches and other symptoms, I would definitely have her checked by someone else. If she is trying to avoid school (my 12 yo started having stomach pain, and headaches, and whatever else would get him out of school when he had a teacher he didn't like several years ago), it could be anxiety or something counseling could help. If it is actual physical pain, I would think along the MS and Juvenile Rheumatism lines and have EVERYTHING checked out!

I have had my own symptoms dismissed before as "being normal", and ended up having a serious issue that should have been dealt with long before I went for help! Trust your instincts!

I will be praying for her and for your whole family. Let us know how things turn out!

Dear B.,

You could have been writing your question about me when I was five years old. I am now 51 and have grandbabies.

I use to cry because my legs ached and my mother was told that it was growing pains. I hurt everyday, if I played actively or sat wrong, etc.

One day when I was seven years old, I figured out that if I sat in a very very warm bath and kept adding hot water as warm as I could stand it, that the pain would go away. I was seven years old. That is how I dealt with it until I was grown. The hot bath water made it quit hurting.

When I got grown, I fell and the doctor said I cracked my tail bone and that I might have to have surgery. I thanked him and went to a chiopractor. He adjusted my back and instantly, the pain left my feet and legs. It was coming from my sciatic nerve and down my legs.

I am now 51 and have pain when I exercise a lot or walk a lot, but the hot baths still work and if I can't get it to quit hurting, I visit the chiopractor.

My stomach starting hurting at 10 and the doctors told my mom that it was just a nervous stomach. I hurt for a year and I cried every time I got real hungry or after I ate. When I was 11 a new doctor told my mom that he didn't have eyes in his fingers, but if she would let me go into the hospital for tests he would find out what was wrong. Three days later, he xrayed my stomach. I had a large deuodnal ulcer (in my intestines) and my stomach was twisted halfway backwards. He put me on a bland died for 10 months and the ulcer healed. It reappeared at 15 and once again the bland diet worked. Now they have medicine that heals it a lot quicker.

Last thing, I started having seizures at 15 and the doctor said I was hyperventilating and to breath in a paper sack for a few seconds and I would be ok. They turned into seizures of 4 or 5 a day and by the time I was 22 they were grandmal seizures. Finally a new doctor, xrayed my head and I have hydrocepahus (water in my brain about the size of an orange). I had a shunt put in and the seizures left. I still don't have seizures and don't have to take medicine for them.

My point, keep believing in you little girl and remember you are her only advocate. I was told my a later doctor that there is no such thing as growing pains. That that is a catch all when the doctor doesn't know what it is. Growth shouldn't hurt.

Buy some Maalox (it tastes minty and not too good). Be sure to read the label to see if your little girl is old enough to take it. Then give her some when her tummy hurts and see if it stops. Mine would stop hurting instantly.

Try the hot bath when her legs hurt. Just let her sit in the tub and play quietly and keep the water as warm as she can stand it. If it works, you may want to see a chiopractor. I use to think they were nuts, but that nut sure has made my legs feel great. Also, when your little girl is hurting, turn her over on the floor on her tummy and rub her lower back. Then press firmly at the bottom of her back above her cheeks (for lack of a better word). See if it is sore to her. Sometimes when I am really hurting I get my husband to press and hold these two spots on my back and the pain stops instantly. (If your back numbered 1-10 from the left bottom side to the right bottom side, you will find the tender spots at around 3 and seven). Hope this makes sence.

I wish you and you little girl well.

K. A.

Not to be a voice of doom and gloom, but have they tested her for cancer? I know a little boy in our area who complained that his legs hurt and he ended up having Leukemia. HOPEFULLY that's not the case at all!!!!

I would definately take her somewhere else for a second opinion. I worked for a Medical Malpractice law firm and there have been several times that doctors either misdiagnosed a problem or over looked it. Doctors are not perfect by any means. If your insurance requires a referral from her Pediatrician, I would simply explain to him that you have to follow your gut on this and it's in the best interest of your daughter. If he is a good pediatrician then he will understand. Good luck and hope you don't find out that it is anything to be worried about.

Dear Mrs. B. P,
I'll tell you what I would do, I would seek help from another
doctor, a specialist if you could fine one. I would continue
looking for help because what one doctor won't fine another
might. I have known people who have not seek help from someone
else and have lived to regret it. I don't mean to alarm you,
just to be safe instead of sorry. When my children were small
if I didn't agree with one doctor I would fine someone else.
Another thing to think about, and again I don't mean to alarm
you, is if this could be emotional. I think you should ask the doctor if he thinks it could be emotional. I would be going insane if that was happening to my child. I don't think any child should be going thew something like that. Some times it takes seeing different doctors before you fine the problem. I pray it's just a phase she's going thew, but I'm sorry to say I have never known anyone so young with this problem. My grandson has what they call growing pain but he is 12 years old he's in the preteen years and his pain is in his legs. My daugther also takes him for physical therapy because he also does not position his feet straight he throws
them to the side. Maybe there is nothing wrong which I pray there isn't but it's better looking into it then to see your child suffering, at least you'll fine some kind of pease of mine.


This may be way off base, but worth checking into. I had childhood arthritis when I was little, and would wake up in terrible pain. There were times when I hurt all over, but mostly it was in my legs. I would keep asking and searching until you find an answer, that's not just normal growing pains. Good luck and God bless!

the legs might be juvnile arthritis

I read several of your answers (not all) and wondered if anyone suggested seeing a chiropractor. I go to one (and have off and on for several years) who utilizes a method called 'SOT' (sacro-occipital technique) which is more about 'juices' flowing to, from and through nerves instead of popping and cracking bones. A reputable one should be able to tell you with an exam whether s/he might be able to help or not. I don't think it could hurt! I'd call around til I found one that I felt 'right' about.

I don't know about the stomach pain, head pain, etc. but the leg thing REALLY sounds like restless leg syndrome. I have suffered with it since I was about 6. When I was 6, I didn't know how to describe it (or even that such a condition existed) so I would just tell my mom that my legs and ankles hurt really bad and the only thing that would relieve them was constant movement and "popping" my ankles. There are a LOT of drugs that can make it even worse (i.e., Benadryl, sleeping aids, cough medicine, antihistamines, etc.). Maybe her RLS is even causing her to have the other pains because it is so frustrating to her and also causing her to lose precious sleep. I still have it to this day (in fact it is now worse than ever since I had my son) and it is a horribly misunderstood condition. People who have never had it will never understand how awful it can be. It really can take a toll on your overall wellbeing because you can't sleep and there are even times you can't sit in a chair for an extended period of time without having to succumb to the need to move your legs and/or "pop" your ankles. Riding on an airplane can be excruciating! Having said that, I agree with everyone here who said that you should take your daughter for a second opinion. Maybe it is arthritis or one of the other conditions mentioned. However, please ask your doctor about RLS too because there are only a couple of drugs that are approved to treat that and NOTHING else will help. Good luck - I truly feel for your little girl if she has RLS. I just thank God that there are now FDA approved drugs on the market that now treat it.


I had leg pain as a child and my daughter (now 6) has had them since she was about three. Warmth does help, and I got her a pair of funky (adult size) leg warmers that she wears from ankle to hip when she hurts. I told her confidently (whether I believed it or not) that they "would fix her right up", so the warmth and maybe a little mind over matter solved our problem. FYI... not a big deal in my life, but I have had restless leg syndrome since I was a teenager. The only thing that helps me now is LOTS of physical activity. If I haven't been running or worked out during the day, I thrash all night like there are bugs crawling up and down my lower body. Could be childhood "pain" is a precursor... but, I'm only guessing here.

please have her blood checked ASAP. i know its a finger poke, but my 3yr old has leukemia and its sounds like its a sign. please don't be alarmed, its probably not because the percentage is low for leukemia and its not likely, but it never hurts to check. i was just asking about his iron levels when we found out. good luck

Has she been checked for arthritis (gout). I would even test for food allergies. This does not sound like any growing pains of any children I have ever known. You might consider a different doctor for your childs testings. Be persistant!

You can do some testing of foods yourself, eliminate a type of food she eats or drinks everyday for 5-7 days and see how she feels, if no change, try another. The most common effectors are wheat and wheat products, Milk and milk products and corn. For some young people soy can also have effects. Food allergies can cause stomach problems and inflamation of joints and muscles.

I have a quick experience: When my grandson was 3 he kept getting sick, throwing up all the time and was always complaining of a stomach ache. This went on for a year, my daughter kept taking him to the doctor he kept telling her he is just a nervous child. I suggested to my daughter to change doctors and get some testing done. She did, after two visits with the new doctor, found out my grandson has Celiac disease, he can have no wheat in any form. His life is so much better now.

Please get her to a bone specialist right away! There was a 5th grade girl in our community several years ago, who constantly complained about her legs hurting. She had a tumor growing on the top of her leg that was causing the pain. Thankfully, she's fine now after the tumor was removed.

i think it is time to get a second opinion! if there is a children's hospital near you like the St. Jude, John Hopkins, A.I. Dupont, or Vanderbilt, take her there! but i would be scheduling her another appointment with a orthopedic pediatric specialist! it is important to get a second opinion if you do not believe that your doctor is not taking your concerns seriously. at age 5, she is old enough to know what her body is doing~ so i would defiantly get a second opinion with a specialist.

Are you a smoker, or is there a smoker in the house. I recently learned from experience, that low curculation can cause the legs to hurt like you are describing. If there is a smoker in the house, stop. Otherwise, check for other problems that might be slowing down her circulation.


First of all, I'd get a second opinion. Maybe it is just growing pains and anxiety, but it could be something like Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. I don't have any experience or real knowledge of that disease, but it's definitely worth checking out.

This is not normal. My daughter also kept complaining of pain and other strange things and eventually the doctors said everything was mental. I didn't know what to think, but at least I did not DISbelieve my daughter!

She has a host of physical issues and finally a doctor ran a slew of tests. She had osteoporosis from intestinal malabsorption issues, low thyroid, and more!

Pain is a sign something is wrong!

The leg cramps could most likely be growing pains. I have 3 girls myself, 8 years, 5 1/2 years and 4 years. So far, the older 2 have had the same thing. I remember getting them when I was little, too. When my girls have the leg cramps, I just rub them and give them children's Tylenol for the pain. I also give them a little bit of ice water to drink. (I don't know if that helps or not, but they like it!) She may be going through a growth spirt, growing faster than usual...which is perfectly normal. :) Don't worry, it will come and go, but it won't last forever! Just reassure her that she is growing and her bones are growing, too, so she will be big like Mommy! My kids liked this answer! I also think that the most pains occuer at night since the body is at rest, while during the day, she is constantly moving around and her body is getting exercise and her thoughts are on other things. (But this is my opinion!)

As for the stomach cramps, I'm not sure. I know that there has been a lot of "bugs" going around lately. )Just look at the food recals, too!) I try to keep Sierra Mist or Ginger Ale at home in case I need it. This (like Sprite) may help to settle her stomach. I also offer soup, crackers, popcorn...anything with salt in it. This will help her tummy ache, too.

I hope this helps, at least some. Please let me know if this helps, or if you have any other questions.

My name is L.. I am a mother of 3 girls, married for almost 11 years (in July) and currently work part-time, but am seaking a full-time job.

Good Luck. I hope your daughter feels better. :)


I suggest getting a second opinion from another doctor as soon as possible. Don't tell him/her what your regular pediatrician has said or done... just see what this second doctor has to say. If you still get no answers, go to a third doctor. If everybody you go to says everything seems normal, perhaps a child psychologist might help. Whether it's physical or not, SOMETHING is clearly going on, and of course you want to do everything you can to help your child. Best wishes to you and your daughter!


You have had some great responses here. I just want to say that the most important thing you can do is listen to, believe and support your child. As a child, I apparently had depression and I did have aches and pains in my body. My eyes always hurt in the sunlight, and the sun REALLY hurt my skin. Of course, my Mom, God bless her, never believed me, either because she had never heard of such a thing or she thought if she ignored it, then it didn't really exist. Perhaps this was because she grew up with two brothers who had MD, and watched 2 brothers die in infancy, I don't know. Mom's first child died before I was born, and had been injured either in childbirth or with the archaic testing they did way back then. My next sister had spinal meningitis at two that left her profoundly hard of hearing. Then I came alone. Anyway, I guess she wasn't going to deal with any more.

All of that said, BELIEVE your child and go to a thousand doctors, if that's what it takes, to find out what is going on. Let her know you love her.

Does your daughter have any problems walking or running? Ask your doctor to test for Muscular Dystrophy just to be on the safe side. I believe it is only a blood test these days. And there are new finding in research that are a blessing to MD patients. Thank God for Jerry Lewis!!!

My doctor does what he calls the "Executive Blood Draw" on new patients, no matter what records they have. Simply put, they take 2-3 tubes of blood and test for nearly everything known to mankind. That is how we found out I have chronic fatigue syndrome, something all my other doctors had missed for many years.

While you are waiting to find out what it is, try Aspercreme rub. It doesn't have the smell like Ben-Gay, etc., and it absorbs right into the skin. Maybe it will help the leg cramps. I know warmth should. Take her swimming in a heated pool. The warmth and the no-impact exercise will do wonders!

God bless you. I hope you will keep us posted on how she does.


Have you had your doctor test her for chemicals or allergies? Might want to have your water tested or think about pesticides or fertilizers around your yard or neighborhood. I used to be on antidepressants and they had a leg twitching effect on me. I couldn't sit through a movie or TV program. Are there antidepressants around your house she might accidently get into? Is she taking a multivitamin? I think there might be a link to certain health issues and deficiencies. Children sometimes don't eat right so a vitamin helps to ease worries there. Also be a strong and happy family. Positive attitudes and finishing goals go a long long way. Has she wanted to do something or make something but is never able to finish it or complete goals. Are promisises made but frequently broken? This needs patience and time to make sure your child has finished something everyday, but the great reward of something completed is a great feeling. When that thing is done, sit back and just smile and feel good about finishing that task or drawing or that trip to the park, whatever it is, with your child. Talk to her about what you did, how much fun you had and what you can look forward to doing tomorrow. Hopefully your little one will be feeling great very soon.
One last thing I forgot to mention. this is emarrassing, but we have to bite the bullet afor the sake of the child. If I remember correctly, I started to have sexual feelings around that age. Perhaps using a doll, you can discover if she has been violated or touched where she didn't want to be, or maybe she is becoming aware of feelings she hasn't felt before. These are pleasant feelings and if the family says that touching is dirty, she may get a mixed message. She might feel dirty or bad and this is not the case, of course. Pleasing oneself in private is ok, but getting touched by another at this age is bad. This may be difficult to discover and you amy want to seek out professional help if your talk to your child with a doll raises some concerns for you.
I hope I have helped to uncover some issues that can help you and your child. I have discussed many resolutions and hopefully one of them will work. God bless you. Starting a habit of prayer with your child is a good thing. My mom said prayers with me at bedtime and praying has really helped me to relax and get throught the tough times. I soon discovered I could talk to god anytime I wanted. Even walking down the hall in High School before a test I would pray for courage and clear headedness to remember all I had studied. God helps those who help themselves, so you are on the right track to seek help and answers. I have a feeling you will be doing well very soon!!!

I have fibromyalgia AND rheumatoid arthritis. I am 47 yrs old, and had mononucleosis for a very long time about 7 yrs ago which made both conditions flare unbelievably bad, but my point is, I sincerely believe I had at least the RA ALL MY LIFE but no one ever diagnosed it. I have lived with pain like your daughter metions, and went on with it and played or whatever anyway, because, watchagonnado? Besides lie there in pain all the time. So I just developed an incredible tolerance to pain! I had a root canal with only Ibuprofen. So my point is, make sure you get her tested for RA and even if it comes up negative, she still may have RA. Try prednisone if they will perscribe it and see if that helps. If it DOES, she probably DOES have RA unfortunately, and she, like me, will just have to live with it all her life. But new stuff and new tests are coming out all the time, so perhaps she will get a good DR and good treatment and can get some RELIEF!!! I hope so. Good Luck!

I would consider getting her into DUKE Medical. If they can't find out what the problem is,no one can. To get in quicker, you will need a doctors referral. I agree with you, it sounds like alot more going on than just growing pains.

If she is hurting that much, it is time to get another doctor. One that will listen.


all i know that it could be is growing pains.I have a 6 year old and she said that her legs where hurting and the doctor said they are growing pains.

Truly, I am one who thinks that docs don't always know everything. I think that docs know only what they learned in college and then learn as they go and your daughter may have something her doc has not experienced. I would take her to a specialist. If you are not sure who to go to you can always call her doc's office and ask for a referral. Tell them that you appreciate all that they have done but you don't want to wish you had done more if it turns out to be something. Ask for xrays, make sure nothing is in her legs! Too many weird health issues these days that ppl look back and say they wish they had searched further. Search online, google 'leg pain in children'...don't let it go.

W. M. M'boro, Tn

Get a referal to a specialist.
Dr. Sheib at UT
He specializes is muscles.

My daughter has fluid in her ankle. They have done an MRI, bone scan and lots of blood and uran work. It is a process he is wanting to take slowly. X-Rays showed nothing. If you are like most of us, we just do not like medication given to our kids. At least getting her to the right kind of doctor is the first step. Ask your medical doctor for a referal, and insurance will let you know what they will allow.
Good luck. You are in all our prayers.

It's time to take this precious child to another doctor. Growing pains don't cause a child to writhe in pain on the floor! My gracious. I would have her seen by a neurologist as this could be something serious...probably not, but you don't want to take a chance. I would not stop till something helped this child. You are her best advocate. Don't worry about looking over protective or hurting the feelings of your current doctor. Sometimes, they just don't know or they are wrong.

Let us know what you decide, she's in my prayers.

Be careful with the heating pads!! My sister (who is 38) recently fell asleep with a heading pad. She got 3rd degree burns on her leg and had to have a skin graft to fix it.

I have seen commercials for restless leg syndrome. Don't know anything about it but you could look into that. Maybe get a 2nd opinion. Good luck.

Be open to what your daughter is telling you. There could be emotional or physical causes to her pain. My first thought when reading your description of her really bad moments was that I would take her to the ER. In this area I would choose a hospital ER with specialized pediatric such as Duke. Keep advocating for your child and try doing some research on your own on the internet. Definately change pediatricians. I remember my mom telling me I was just having growing pains and I recall thinking at the time "growing pains, yeah right - this is just plain PAIN!!!" But I certainly don't remember it making me cry out or writhe on the floor or ball up. Keep looking for an answer, you'll find it!

I would get a referral to a nuerologist ASAP. Good luck, and let us know what happens.

I would go for a second opinion, and even check with a neurologist, because you want to be sure nothing is really causing the pain, but you should also know that if your daughter has an anxiety problem (which has a genetic basis, it's not like she's crazy) that can cause tons of unusual symptoms and make slight pain, like leg cramps from growing, seem much worse. It can absolutely cause the stomach pain. So if after she's checked out and you feel confident about the doctors who see her, you might talk to your doctor about how to help her deal with her anxiety.

Maybe you should seek a second opinion. My daughter suffered from growing pains in her legs as well, but not like htis. Since your husband travels a lot do think it could be somethnig emotional going on with her? May consult with a child therapist? I would defintely seek a second opinion from another peditrician. Good luck!
A little about me, I am a mother of two, 5 1/5 and 20 mth old and work in a hospital laboratory.

HI B.,

It sounds like your mother's intuition is trying to tell you something. I would highly suggest you get a different doctor to look at your daughter!

Good luck!

I am sure that they tested her for arthritis-- but I think a second opinion is the best answer-- and go to a specialist. If her legs were cold-- maybe she has poor circulation and her legs fall asleep and that is the pain. I am no doctor-- but if she were my child, I would go get a second opinion. Good luck.


My daughter (18 now) & my grandson (5 now) complained of their legs hurting mostly in the middle of the night, my grandson's mother didn't have the leg pains but did complain about her stomach. Don't doubt your children when they say something hurts! You might try keeping a journal of her daily activities (everything!) to see if there are any patterns or any times that are worse than others. You don't have to necessarily be over worried (it shows up in kids behavior), just don't dismiss it because a doctor says its normal. Try talking (very softly) to your daughter while she is "sound" asleep, ask her if she knows why her body hurts. Children are very smart and she may be able to shed some light on what's going on. If she does talk to you while she is sleeping, she probably won't remember in the morning. Bright Blessings!

I'm not sure that all of the aches are related, but the leg thing sounds like Restless Leg Syndrome. I think RLS is usually worse at night. Potassium usually helps with this (Bananas!).

I do not want to alarm you but take your daughter to a
MD that specializes in children's arthritis. She may have childhood Arthritis. They will do the test and hopefully find whatever is going on. I would also take her to a councellor to help her deal with the pain.
Sincerely, F.

I had the pain all over my body like this and my doctor had me tested for MS. have her thyroid and parathyroid checked too my calcium was super high and caused most of the pain i was having even causing my bones to become weak and break. good luck!

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