D.F. asks from Appling, GA on April 21, 2008
For years now my 5 1/2 year old son has woken up with leg/foot pains at night. When he was younger he would wake up screaming and crying, now he cries and wimpers about his leg (it can be either one but mostly the left). I took him to his Dr. many times over the years and he has even had x rays of his feet and nothing. To relieve our fears she gave a referral to a specialist but my son is currently on peachcare and I havn't found a pediactric pediatrist who takes it. She believes it is Plantar Faccitius (sp) and "growing pains" which we really can do nothing about. I have lots of people tell me about their kids "growing pains" and even their own as children. I have noticed that they occour more often when he is having a growth spurt (I can tell because he eats like a horse!). Anyways to the point, 3 questions: has anyone here experienced this and what did you do to help besides the normal Ibuprofin/Tylenol? And has anyone been told that this could be more serious? My husband (who is a serious overreactor) thinks something is wrong and I should find another Dr. I and both my kids LOVE our Peditrician and I think she knows what she is doing and he will grow out of it but everytime he has one of these episodes my husband gets mad and says I am not doing enough. Am I?
Ok, let me see if I can remember all the questions: The pain he has is in either leg but never both at the same time. Sometimed the foot and sometimes the leg. There is never any outward sign, no swelling, heat, rash or brusing. He actually has trouble pointing to the exact spot. I have massaged his leg which I think comforts him but does not help. It is fairly quickly relieved by ibuprofin and does not return for the rest of the night. He so far has not had any really fast growth spurts where he has shot up fast. As for the calcium thing, I never though of that. He drinks soy milk but usually only 1 cup a day and takes a multivitimin but this only has 200mg of calcium in it. I went to the store yesterday and got some calcium suppliments (I did some research and at his age he should be getting 800 mg a day) and some muscle rub that is ok for kids. I will let you know how this works. Thanks ladies!
H.C. answers from Atlanta on April 23, 2008
My 3 1/2 yr old son has also been complaining of a "Foot Ache" or waking up in the middle of the night complaining of pain. We usually use Ibuprofen to stop the pain. We talked to my Mother in law, (who is the mother of 5 boys and 2 girls)and she said to try giving him a banana before bed - it worked for her boys. So we have tried that and it has seemed to work. I think it is the potassium in the banana that helps.
Mom of 2, one here on earth and one Angel in Heaven
S.G. answers from Macon on April 22, 2008
I remember when I was a kid. I had an awful pain in my hip. I thought I was dying. Remember I was a kid. And my parents took me to the ER and thats all they said it was too. Just growing pains. I always wondered how they could be so painful but i was always the tallest girl in my class until high school so it makes sense.
A.D. answers from Atlanta on April 22, 2008
My seven year old has gone through the same thing just about his entire life. In fact, there have been times that he preferred crawling to walking just because it eased the pain. Needless to say, we were concerned as well. They did end up being growing pains, which he still continues to have. Before, we just treated with motrin (it seems to be more effective for the pain than tylenol does). When they are worse, though, we give him tylenol and then rub the areas that are most painful with some Deep Heating Rub (made by Mentholatim), which helps give relief a little faster and is safe to use on children.
D.H. answers from Atlanta on April 21, 2008
Repeat after me, "There is no such thing as growing pains!" Growing doesn't have to be painful! What your child is needing is calcium! Do not get it from milk (milk is not good for you).
This happen/happens to my son and to a friend of mine. I do herbs, my friend doesn't, but she was at a loss as well and I told her that her son needed calcium from a good source. I told her about Kid-E-Calc, which is an extract....my son won't take the extract, but I got him some calcium tablets. Anyway, to her amazement, his pain subsided and when they were lax in taking it, his pain came back. He just needs calcium. My 2nd son is currently 9 and by the way is our only cow milk drinker and lacks in calcium. (I've been restricting his milk and his leg pains are nearly non-existent.) Taking his calcium tablets keep the pain away...he forgets to take it sometimes and does fine for a while and when the pain starts and he is crying due to the pain, I ask him if he took his calcium...knowing the answer is no already. He resumes taking it.
So, yes my son went through this for quite some time before I figured this out.
Just another note...teething pain for babies is also due to lack of calcium. My kids never had such trouble with it, but I've had some friends whose kids did and all they did was rub some Kid-E-Calc on the babies gums and they were relieved.
You can get some form of calcium at all health food stores and even Wal Mart. If you are wanting the extracts, you'll need to go to a local health food store (which is not GNC). If you want to order online the very one that I'm talking about, you can find it at www.herbsfirst.com or at www.worldhealthdepot.com. Just a note though...Kid-E-Calc only comes in a vinegar base. I'm sure you can find another brand that isn't.
I really hope this helps. It has helped us out tremendously! I used to think there was something wrong and that (I have a vivid imagination.) he was developing cancer or something....but so glad that it was just a simple remedy. I hope he lives pain free soon.
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L.W. answers from Atlanta on April 21, 2008
D., I agree with Donna H. When I read your post it was the first thing I thought of! She is dead on!! We don't do cow milk at all and my boys (7 & 4) rarely have the problem! However, there have been a few times when my oldest, when going thru a growth spurt, would complain of leg & other strange pains. It usually happens a few days after I've run out of our calcium supplements and haven't made it to the store yet!
Understand that most of what I'm about to tell you, and Donna H. has said, your Dr. probably won't know much if anything about and if you tell her she may tell you we are nuts! I was first told about this by a friend of mine who is a chiropractor w/4 kids! She highly recommends a good calcium supplement for all kids and in higher doses for those who eat dairy.
When they were babies and going thru the pain of teething issues I used a liquid calcium from a company called Life Time. They make it in strawberry, blueberry, & pina colada flavors so you can find one that your kid will like. You can get it at most good health food stores. When I didn't live near a good locally owned health food store I could always get it at Vitamin World. Now we use Animal Parade Vanilla Sundae flavored chewables but as my boys get older I am thinking I am going to need to get one with more calcium to meet their growth needs.
If he's in pain when you start the supplements you will probably have to give him more than the "recommended" dose to start with and as you notice the symptoms decrease or disappear you can cut back. Unless his pain comes back, then play with it until you find the dose that works best for him.
In the mean time, my chiro friend says that she will give her kids childrens tylenol for pain when it's so severe they can't sleep, etc. until the calcium kicks in. She agrees that as a mom you can't just sit there and watch your child suffer when you have something that will make it better!
Hope this helps! L.
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T.D. answers from Atlanta on April 22, 2008
I had this growing up, my husband had it, and my son now has it. I have a very bad memory of my dad saying it was "all in my head". Anyway, I used to put a heating pad on it when I was young; and my husband's parents used rubbing alcohol. We use both with my son. I have always wondered if it had to do with circulation and/or sleep devrivation, because when I was young; if I went to a sleepover and didn't get much sleep; my legs would always hurt the next day.
My son's leg (or legs) usually hurts late in the day so I always tell him he needs sleep. Once he goes to bed and wakes up the next morning, they feel ok. I've never thought of the calcium thing - my son drinks alot of milk; but I never drank milk coming up. And we both have it? Makes me wonder.
My husband and I still have it from time to time. Usually when we are very tired or have been doing too much.
The heating pad really does help. Just wrap it around the leg and tie the strings.
C.H. answers from Augusta on April 21, 2008
It IS in fact growing pains. My husband and his mother use to tell me how she had to rub rubbing alcohol on his legs and message it in to relieve his pains.She said his come from running so much as a child that his legs would start to throb and ache in the middle of the night.Try using some rubbing alcohol.
I.M. answers from Macon on April 22, 2008
Hi D.; When our daughter was 5 yrears old and in kindergarten she had this exact problem (she's 54 now!). We
took her to all kinds of drs and they could find nothing, like you said, except growing pains. When one dr questioned her about her daily activities she mentioned that the teacher
insisted the children sit on the floor in a circle with their
legs folded under them!! He wrote a note to excuse her from this and it was much improved but did not go away until she
was about 8 yrs old and then disappeared. Good luck. I.
L.C. answers from Atlanta on April 22, 2008
I had growing pains when I was young and my parents took me to a specialist. It turned out I had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I've grown out of it (I'm 40 yo) but very, very rarely feel the aches in my legs (typically when it's going to rain. Maybe you should find out if it's juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
J.V. answers from Atlanta on April 22, 2008
I can actually still remember having "growing pains" myself. I just remember how bad they would ache and hurt for hours and days on end. My mom would help them by just massaging my legs, warm baths, using heat (not HOT) packs when they were really bad and stretching helped a bit. Fortunately, the doctor was right and I just had to outgrow it, but that answer didn't help me when I was hurting. Hopefully Tylenol or one of the things that helped me will help your son. My heart goes out to him esp. when he's so young and doesn't understand. Best of luck with some remedies that help him!!
C.R. answers from Atlanta on April 26, 2008
I wonder if he drinks enough water? Epsom salts in a warm bath will help the leg cramps (lack of magnesium). And there is a "Pain Free" book by Pete Egoscue that could teach exercises for the plantar idea. Also, www.healthline.cc may be a source of help for you. C. from Georgia