Causes of leg pain in children

Causes of leg pain in children:

In children, pain in the extremities of the body is common because they are growing. Many times there is no other cause behind these discomforts, which are typical of childhood and adolescence. However, sometimes, some diseases can be behind the pain, this being the first warning sign that something is wrong in the young person’s body.

In, we explain the causes of leg pain in children so that you know why it happens and, above all, you know when to go to the doctor quickly for diagnosis and treatment.

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Possible Causes of leg pain in children

Leg pain in children due to growth

Although there are children who do not notice them or at least do not feel them with an intensity to worry about, having pain in the legs during the growth and development stage is very common, even in the knees and other bones and joints of the body.

Normally, this pain is noticeable at night and does not imply that the child has any disease. In fact, in many cases, no medical treatment is usually necessary because, besides, the pain does not occur continuously, but disappears the next day or in a few days.

However, sometimes, depending on the person’s resistance to pain, the doctor may prescribe some medicine to reduce the discomfort, which is sometimes intense and accompanied by pricks or throbbing. Taking medicine is usually justified in those cases in which this pain makes it difficult for the person to sleep.

Anyway, these pains, as long as they disappear, can also be a sign of the physical activity they do, either because they are very active children or because they play sports frequently, among which children usually play sports that help growth, such as basketball or swimming. In these cases, they are still muscle aches like those that any other person with physical activity can have, that is, what we commonly call having soreness.

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Diseases that cause leg pain in children

Diseases that cause leg pain in children
Diseases that cause leg pain in children

Besides growth, there are other possible causes of leg and knee pain in children. When leg pain, which can also affect the knees, is accompanied by one or more other symptoms, it is most likely that there may be a disease behind it. Among the most common diseases that cause leg pain in children and also in preteens and adolescents are the following:

Juvenile arthritis

Although this disease is always thought to affect only older people, it also has a special incidence in young people. Juvenile arthritis is recognized by pain in the joints, as well as by swollen ankles and difficulty walking, even limping.

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Lyme disease

This disease transmitted by tick bites can also be behind the pain in the joints of the legs, also causing other symptoms such as skin rashes, fever, general malaise, or fatigue, among others.

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Fibromyalgia manifests itself in children with pain in only one part of the body, which can be the legs. It is common to have restless legs while sleeping, have difficulty conciliating the floor, apart from noticing anxiety, depression, and fatigue, among other symptoms.


This pathology manifests itself through pain and inflammation of the joints such as the knees or feet. The child may in turn feel more tired, have a prolonged fever, and lose weight without an apparent cause that explains the loss of kilos.

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Pain is one of its main symptoms, as are skin lesions or its thickening, itching, swelling, and depigmentation or hyperpigmentation of the dermis.

Psychological causes of leg pain in children

Sometimes the pain in the legs in children is explained by psychological causes, corresponding mainly to emotional factors. And some situations can generate anxiety, insecurity, or fears that the young person does not channel well from the emotional point of view, which leads to that restlessness turning into a pain in some part of their body.

Emotional pain turns into physical pain and musculoskeletal problems, which are concentrated in various points or specific areas of the body that children may be weaker or more sensitive to, such as the legs.

Normally, this type of pain disappears as the situation relaxes, the problem has been solved or the child is helped to overcome it with psychological support.

When to see a doctor for leg pain in children

Diseases that cause leg pain in children Images

When leg pain appears in children, you always have to consult your doctor for an evaluation and a diagnosis to check if these discomforts are part of normal development or are the first sign of disease.

In any case, the visit to the doctor should be much more urgent when leg pain in children is accompanied by another series of symptoms :

  • Continuous and intense pain, which does not subside in a maximum of 48 hours.
  • Swelling of one or both legs.
  • Excessive tenderness in the joints.
  • He has a fever.
  • A rash appears.
  • He cannot walk well, limps, or has a weakness to stand and move.
  • Decay, a feeling of anguish, and anxiety.
  • Weight loss.
  • The pain is worse in the morning or always occurs at night.

These symptoms make it possible to suspect that there is some disease behind the leg pain, some of which are chronic or have a certain severity, as we have already commented before.

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The bottom line

These are the main causes of leg pain in children that can explain its symptoms and to which it is necessary to pay attention. From we always recommend that you consult with your doctor to give the most appropriate treatment or experience pain with peace of mind if it only responds to its growth and vital development.


This article is merely informative, at we do not have the power to prescribe any medical treatment or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.