Aches and Pains Bothering My 7 Yr Old Girl

Updated on August 01, 2014
A.P. asks from Lake Placid, NY
8 answers

My 7 yr old girl has been complaining about aches and pains all over her body - knees, elbows, ankles, cheek bones since 1.5 months. If she had kept her legs flexed for long,she cannot straighten her legs or get up instantly,without pain.My elder daughter who is 11 yr old now has gone through growing pains but this is nothing like it We took my 7 yr old to the primary care doctor but he could not find anything abnormal and her blood work( her calcium, potassium, vit D, hemoglobin etc) also came normal. Then he asked us to see a neurologist. The neurologist also could not find any neurological abnormality but gave an old antihistamine (Cyproheptad) saying this would increase her body's threshold level of bearing pain. But we are concerned about actual cause of pain not a remedy of a symptom. Keeping fingers crossed for correct diagnosis which is not anything serious. Please let me know if anyone has gone through the same and found anything on this.
Thanks in advance for replying.

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So What Happened?

Thanks all for the prompt and informative responses. At my end I am not giving her the medicine cause I remembered the neurologist telling me not to ask her about her aches and pains, which we anyways never did. And she was also trying to find whether my daughter was making it up to avoid school, so good point Diane , I do think now that the neurologist thought that my daughter was making it all up.
Secondly , I saw an orthopedi to discuss whether it can be juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and he said these craking and momentary pains happen all along the life of kids, some have more noticable one and some less. As for the pain in her knees while flexing it, needs to be diagnosed starting with X-rays ( which I will move forward to next) but still he did not think it was anything serious than normal stretching of muscles and ligaments while growing.
I would be taking her for a second opinion because the first pediatrician was not even convinced that I get her checked by an orthopedic also.I suspect her to be allergic to something that causes her stomach aches also everyday and maybe I get the right direction where I need to get her diagnosed.
Lastly , for lyme disease, as far as I read about it , it needed a bug bite which would turn in appearance like a ring worm infection. So would look for more symptoms for suspecting it. Still , I am a nerd and thanks again for all the replies.

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answers from New York on

Did they do a lyme test? My bil had aches and pains which he chalked up to getting older. Nope by the time he was diagnosed it was advanced lyme and he had to be on iv atx.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Columbia on

My coworker's daughter has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and your daughter's symptoms sound very similar. I suggest a consult with a pediatric rheumatologist.

Read more here:

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answers from Santa Fe on

My first thought was juvenile rheumatoid arthritis...because this is what my nephew has. But it could be so many things. Two of my friends who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia describe it feeling like this. Both of them feel fine now that they have changed their diet (they both eat no processed foods, no preservatives, no sugar, no wheat. One of them follows the "msg myth" webpage guidelines for what not to eat.) It could be Lyme disease. It could be an allergy. Please go see more doctors...regular and naturopathic. Let us know what you find out. Your poor daughter.

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answers from Washington DC on

ADDED: Oh, my, yes it could be Lyme disease which causes a lot of joint pain -- please demand that she be tested for Lyme now, and if it's negative but you get no other diagnosis soon, have her tested again. I know someone who had it but the first test was negative and it turned up a few months later. Good catch, 2kidmama, in your post. Lyme is nothing to mess with. In a child it can be knocked out if you get it diagnosed early and they give a lot of the right antibiotics, so please, A., get her tested to rule it out or treat it ASAP. Then you can move on to other possible diagnoses. Please update us!

Wow. It sounds as if the neurologist threw a medication at her just to placate you, not to actually help her. Didn't the neurologist make any further recommendations about seeing anyone else?

Masking her pain (in the guise of "increasing her body's threshold to bear pain"?!) sounds questionable; if you mask the pain, she will not be able to tell you fully what she feels, and other doctors will not get an accurate idea of what's really going on. I think you know this, too, because you wisely say you are concerned about the cause here, not just the symptom of pain. Smart of you, mom.

So stop the antihistamine and get her to another doctor. I'm not sure why the initial primary care doctor sent you to a neurologist so swiftly. Was the "primary care" doctor actually a pediatrician or a general practitioner who sees all ages for all complaints? I would get her to a pediatrician now if that doctor wasn't one; if this is growing pains (which could be manifesting differently in her than in her sister) then the pediatrician would have seen much more of that than a GP would have.

Generalized pain can have MANY causes which makes it so hard to track what's going on. This could be: Allergies including food allergies or sensitivities (some allergies do cause joint pain); rheumatoid arthritis, which kids can have; or a host of other things. But you won't know the cause if the doc just masks the pain. I would see a pediatrician and not leave there until he or she had set you up with a pediatric allergist and a test for arthritis (unless the doctor is firmly convinced it's actually growing pains AND has given you something to do for it). Take care that the doctor does not view you as "just another panicky mommy determined to find a diagnosis for nothing." Unfortunately that does happen, and you have to present yourself as very calm, informed and firm. Most doctors are fine, but some are dismissive of a parent who comes to them saying, "We saw a doctor already but I want more things looked into."

Please update us here. I feel for your daughter! This is very likely to be something with a simple explanation, but you are right to be assertive about finding a cause and not just focusing on the symptoms.

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answers from Washington DC on

I would push for them to test her for lyme, but also consider getting a referral to pediatric orthopedist. My DD has flat feet and it manifested in pains all up her legs, knees, and sometimes back pain, as her body shifted and struggled to cope with her lack of arches. It makes such a difference to have orthotics in her shoes. Your DD's condition sounds different, but it may also help to have another POV vs just "well, here's an antihistamine". Because, IMO, covering up the symptom doesn't remove the cause.



answers from San Francisco on

I agree with a lyme test.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Our gymnastics/tumbling coach told me that there comes a time when the tendon's and ligaments just aren't growing as fast as the bones. So they are constantly getting stretched out where they attach to the bones.

Those ends are inflamed and painful. An anti-inflammatory med, if you can find one that's for kids, should let you know if this is what's going on.

A pediatrician can assess a child for this but if they aren't up to date with meds and stuff you might see about a referal to a pediatric orthopedic doc.

When I'm having tendinitis cold hurts. It's like a thousand muscle cramps all at once all over.

If it's inflammation in the areas where these attach to the bone then cold might feel awesome and make her pain go down.

Heat can increase inflammation but relax the muscles so they aren't pulling on stuff so much too. Taking a pain med like Tylenol can help but if it's from inflammation she needs to take Motrin to help.

Please google it and see if you can find the name of what I'm talking about.

When the coach said it the words reminded me of orth blah blah blah itis. It's a long word or two longer medical words that sound something like that.

But the ONLY resolution for it is growth. Her tendons and ligaments stretching out and growing.

Some things she can do are heat, the stretches, then exercising them, then cold to reduce the swelling/inflammation.

Physical therapy taught me a LOT about getting the pain under management.


answers from Boston on

I find the neurologist's answer someone confusing. I'm not sure why increasing the pain threshold is beneficial. Sometimes giving temporary relief and breaking the cycle of pain can be helpful, and if a medication also helps with anxiety or increased sleep, that can be beneficial. Do you think he thought she was making this up?

Sounds like most of her pain is in her joints - I'm not sure what you mean by cheekbones but maybe she has a touch of TMJ? So perhaps you are pursuing a diagnosis in this area? I work with a woman whose daughter had restless leg syndrome (as did the mom) and so I've seen firsthand a hold with a lot of pain and no relief. Like you, they didn't want to just throw medication at a problem to eliminate pain and not the problem. They did find relief without actually ever getting to an in-depth medical cycle of appointments and tests. It's now been several years with no recurrence.

I am glad you aren't just wanting to throw pain meds at a problem - you're right, it's not solving the problem, just treating the symptom. That's oak in the short run but it's not a good long term solution.

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