18 answers

Three Year Old Son with Pain in Right Leg

My 3 yr old son complains of pain in his right leg- either above his knee area or his calf. My husband says growing pains- bit I wonder since it's only in one leg? He has complained during the day of his leg hurting and tonight has cried off and on all night long. He seems to go back to sleep when I rub his leg- only to wake up an hour later.
When I have him get up to go to the bathroom (hoping walking it of will help) I can see that leg is stiff or something, allthough he hasn't complained while walking- just goes to the bathroom.

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I have been there. my daughter was about the same age, she would cry and say that we broke her. She would cry and just lay down all day.wouldnt even play outside. We would just give her some motrin and she would be fine. Good luck to you

Do some research on Juvenile Rhuematoid Arthritis. I used to sit on the board of directors for the Arthritis Foundation, it is much more common than most peoplle think. After reading about it, if you think he fits the description have him tested as soon as possible!

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WE never experienced any of that with our oldest. However our 4 yr old has and then even the middle / 6yrs old/ daughter woke up last month in the middle of the night with severe , crying and couldn't hardly walk issues in just one leg. My husband is a chiropractor and he adjusted her hips. He said growing pains as well. She jumped off the table walked back up stairs. Then in the morning she got up and everything was fine until she stepped out of the shower and she began feeling twinges in her calf and upper thigh now and then by getting ready to leave for school, hurting she was again. I took her into the office and he adjusted her again and she was fine . Played at school all day. My husband is a chiropractic and we
live this type of lifestyle , so naturally this is our choice; However, I know TOO that he has several children as patients whose parents have become convinced of the benefits of this train of thought on children's health. The kids feel so much better and find so much benefit from chiropractic care than they do from the other alternatives of heavy overused medicines that no longer work for them. It is an incrediblly successful preventive & complimentary help to colds and flus, and ear infections and allergies, and anything under the sun. It isn't a treatment wildly experienced and definitely not the norm, but should never be discounted. All my close friends are convinced that their kids even beg to go now , so this would be MY suggestion. I would never go through life with a colicy baby without chiropractic. We have had mothers even over to our home office late at night because it just works! Making sure kids get enough rest and enough water is crucial as well.

It can't hurt!

1 mom found this helpful

I have been there. my daughter was about the same age, she would cry and say that we broke her. She would cry and just lay down all day.wouldnt even play outside. We would just give her some motrin and she would be fine. Good luck to you

My son had osgood-schlatter disease when he was about 12, he went through a growth spurt and the muscles couldn't keep up with the bone growth so they felt stretched. Its usually in older kids, but I would think it could happen at any age when they grow rapidly.
The best advice for any muscle pain is to stretch the muscle, we had a coach that said if you go to bed with your muscles stretched and relaxed that's the way you will wake up. Since he's 3 a few leg stretches before bed would probably help, the doctor also recommended this for my son's knee pain. If it happens to be Charley horses banana's always help.

I have 5 children, and the two oldest have had about the same thing. DR's look at you like your crazy, I know, I am sorry.
I have found that 1) a good vitamin helps, it could be a lack of potassium or 2)It could be anxiety.. I had "racing achy legs" when I was younger, and so when my boys started having these symptoms, I had them talk about what was bothering them, it honestly could be stress related.. as in high anxiety levels. Does he get upset easily?
Good luck, just remember be persistent with his pediatrician.. have him check everything, even a blood screen could help. Don't get overly worried , just insist on a white/red count blood count, it is how most families first find out about the chances for juvenile cancer, and with a blood screen first, that would rule out that sort of thing. Good luck

Has he complained of a sore throat lately? My oldest complained one Monday and when we picked her up from school on that Friday she complained her leg hurt, not her throat. She started running a fever the next day, and by that night it was 104. We took her to the ER and found out she had strep that got in her blood stream and settled in her lymph nodes in her hip which caused her leg to hurt. Penicyllan (sp) and several hundred dollars later, causes us to now have her checked when she complains of a sore throat. Just a thought. Good luck and God Bless.

My son wakes up every so often with these pains... he will be 6 next week.
Thursday night when I was putting him to bed, he said his right leg hurt down by his ankle. I thought he bumped (right before he started complaining he bumped into his bed)it so I told him it would be fine in a few minutes thinking he would forget about it...
At 12:45 he showed up in my bed crying, so I turned on the light to look at his leg and there was nothing...so I gave him some children's tylenol and let him sleep with me and hubby and I rubbed his leg until he went to sleep..he slept better and didn't cry anymore, but it was kind of a fitful sleep...lots of tossing and turning.
This has happened a few times and I'm thinking I want to take him to the Dr., peace of mind...my mom died from cancer a couple of years ago and I think I would rather be safe than sorry...

Get him to a doctor immediately regardless of what your husband thinks. Not to alarm you, but I know of a family who had a son with pain in one leg, and it turned out to be cancer. Wouldn't you rather have a professional check him out now and say it's growing pains rather than find out later it's something more serious??

I am not sure what to do about the pain, however I was always told that if you have a strange pain or cramping sensation. Never rub it, it could be a blood clot that you could set loose and it may travel, which could be very dangerous and even deadly. Sorry if I scared you but maybe your doctor will tell you to use some child asprin to thin the blood and ease the pain in case of a blood clot.
Hope the best of circumstances.

my daughter use to have the same problem it seemed that it would always happen when she had be playing hard she still does it once in a while i think that tylenol will help. now she says that her feet hurt instead of her legs.

Could be growing pains but not typical at this age. Could he have tight muscles in it? Does he favor it first when he does something? To settle your mind, why not take him in and have it checked(the hubby doesn't have to know).

Good luck,

Two of my girls get that pain a lot. I also think it's growing pains, mostly because it comes in phases. It lasts a couple of nights, and then doesn't come back for a couple months. I usually give them some children's motrin for the pain so they can sleep, and I also massage the leg, until they feel more comfortable. Good luck.

When I was younger I had these. They are horrible to have, but with a little ben gay, a heating pad and some Motrin, they seemed to get better. I had them almost every night when I was little. The doctor recommended calcium pills when I was 10, and I was diagnosed with tendonitis. The only thing they did for me was the calcium pills. I still occasionally have them, but they are not as bad, and I know how to manage them. My 6 year old son has started having them now. They are much less frequent than mine were, but I use the same muscle cream and meds for him and that helps him immensely. It is hard to see your child in pain, but if you can try the muscle run and some motrin you may see a much happier, well rested child. I hope this helps.

I'm sorry to hear that your son is in pain. I am not a health care provider, but I am a mom of a boy who grew 6 inches each year for 3 years - 18 inches in all! This was between the ages of 4 and 7, not usually the years that boys grow so fast, but it obviously does happen.
I would find him in the bathroom floor in the middle of the night with pain in his hip. If I remember correctly, I do think one bother him more than an other.

So, it could be growing pains, but maybe not! Pain is an indicator that something is not as it should be. If it the pain last very much longer, a couple of days, I would take him the dr.

My son fell from a modest height at school on to his arm. I wanted to take him to the dr and my husband told me I was babying him. Well, it turned out to be broken!

Go with your gut, you'll feel better and that counts too!

Do some research on Juvenile Rhuematoid Arthritis. I used to sit on the board of directors for the Arthritis Foundation, it is much more common than most peoplle think. After reading about it, if you think he fits the description have him tested as soon as possible!

It might be muscle cramps. They can go along with the growing pains. If rubbing it helps, that is the first thing that I would try to rule out. Make sure he is getting plenty of fluids. Lack of Calcium and Potassium in the diet can also cause leg cramps. It is so hard to know what is going on when they are so young. My 3 year old just broke her foot and it took me probably 30 mins to figure out what part of her body it was that was actually hurting. At first she told me it was the opposite hip! Try some things at home first and if it doesn't get any better soon, it doesn't hurt to take him to the doctor to be looked at.

It sounds a lot like my sons "growing pains". He is 5 1/2 now and has occasionally gotten them the past several years. His are usually at night, in one leg (calf area) and cries horribly about them. They seem to run several nights in a row and then finally goes away and doesn't return for 2-5 months. The only thing that ever helps him is to rub the cramp AND give him tylenol. If I don't give him the tylenol right away he will sleep for maybe 10 or 15 minutes and then wake back up crying and it will go on all night. After we give him the tylenol we just have to comfort him , by rubbing it, until it has time to kick in and work.
I'm guessing that is what is going on with your son but if you have any doubts or are concerned then call your doctor and see what he says.


My suggestion as a mom of 5 and grandma of 7 is if you think it warrents a trip to the doctor, do it! If dad doesn't think it is necessary, tell him "it is for MY peace of mind"! Hopefully it is nothing, but kids fall and sometimes we think nothing of it and yet a bone can be fractured and need medical attention!

Hopefully he is fine! Take care.

If you have the health insurance - it wouldn't hurt to see you pediatrician. Especially if it is making him cry. I would have it checked out.

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