Has it ever happened with your child, that he/she seems perfectly fine in the morning, and all of a sudden start complaining of leg pain at night? It must be a sign of growing leg pain at night in your child. Growing pains are cramping, muscle pains that can occur in preschoolers or in preteens (what are some best fruits for teens?). It is usually caused by overuse of muscles. This can be because of childhood activities, such as running around or playing games, or dancing in birthday parties for too long. Adults may also experience this pain due to some muscle soreness followed by workouts. In some kids these pains get accompanied by stomach pain and headaches. It might be related to stress and anxiety.
What is growing pain or leg pain at night?
Growing leg pain at night is an ache or throb in the legs usually in the front of the thighs, the calves or behind the knees. It affects both the legs and occurs at night, and may disturb the child’s sleep. Data suggests that almost two out of five children get growing knee and joint pains in young age just around the time of their growth spurts. A specific cause for growing pains is unknown. Kids are growing rapidly and their muscles, tendons and ligaments are also growing. One theory suggests that the body parts might not be growing at the same rate as the body, thereby causing a protest and leading to pain or ache.
Other common reasons for knee joint pain in young age can be running, jumping and playing throughout the day, or psychological issues, or vitamin D deficiency, or restless leg syndrome or arthritis.
How can you help your child?
You can comfort your child from knee joint pain in young age by using simple procedures such as massaging gently, applying heating pads, making him/her do some stretching exercises, giving warm bath before bed time and pain- relief medicines if it becomes necessary.
Diet rich in vitamin D, Vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium (some easy food sources), phosphorus and protein will in general take care of bone and muscle health and help in preventing leg pain at night, knee joint pain in young age or even from arthritis pain in young age. (What are some common vitamin D and calcium food sources?)
How to know if it is something more serious?
Keep a close watch on your kid and if you see any other symptoms mentioned below, then it might be a cause for concern.
- Pain continues for a longer period of time
- Ache in the joints
- Unusual rashes
- Less active than usual
Arthritis pain at young age
Arthritis is mostly associated with older people but kids also might be suffering from it. Kid’s arthritis is called juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Arthritis is commonly confused with growing pains in kids and that is why it is important to understand the difference between the two conditions.
Arthritis is a disease that causes swelling, stiffness and pain in a person’s joints thereby affecting the proper working of joints and causing pain in the joints like knees, hips, ankle, shoulders, elbows and knuckles etc.
Cause for arthritis pain in young age is not known but it is mostly associated with genes which are passed on from parents to their children having a family history of arthritis.
Nutrients and Food sources to prevent knee joint pain in young age
Getting enough protein is important for holding on to muscle mass and function. Chickpea, lentils, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, Quinoa, nuts and seeds have high amounts of protein which helps in building the muscles of the body. Thus, it is a key nutrient to prevent knee and joint pain in young age. (Is whey protein good for kids?)
Calcium is the mineral everyone needs throughout his/her life to maintain bone health. Bone formation and repair are at its peak during early years. This is the time kids need calcium the most. Other antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K , which protect cells from free radical damage (what are they?) and are high in bone preserving calcium. It is the most essential nutrient to restrict arthritis pain at young age.
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients for kids. It helps to absorb calcium and phosphorus from the foods. Including vitamin D in diet helps to solve problem associated with bone and muscles. Vitamin D can also helps to reduce the intensity of growing leg pains among kids.
Our body doesn’t make vitamin B12 and doesn’t store it for a long time too. So, its necessary to get it from foods sources. Vitamin B12 helps body to produce red blood cells which supplies oxygen to the muscles and helps in muscle growth. Vitamin B12 not only cure leg pain but also promotes overall growth (height)
Studies suggest that intake of omega 3 fatty acids results in reduction of knee joint pain in young age and functional improvement in patients with growing pain. Fatty fish, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts are some sources which can help to get the required amount of omega-3 a body needs. It can soothe muscle soreness, stiff muscles, and can improve range of motion. (Is consuming fat good for the body?)
Garlic is rich in both sulfur and selenium, which can help to relieve joint and muscle pain. It contains an anti inflammatory compound called diallyl disulfide, which helps to fight inflammation and even prevent cartilage damage caused from arthritis. (Easy immunity building foods for kids)
Results showed that raw ginger reduces muscle pain by 25%. It has muscle relaxant properties that can help relieve cramps and have a relaxing effect in muscle pain. Less than.1 teaspoon of ginger consumption a day can help with this ailment. (What is the ginger remedy for cold and cough?)
Olive oil seems particularly beneficial when consumed since it relieves swelling. When combined with fish oil (source of omega 3 fatty acid), the result can be even better. In one study, this combination significantly improved knee joint pain in young age, muscle pain, swelling and morning stiffness in people with arthritis issues. (How does this help with acne?)
Moringa contains essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium and vitamin K which help to maintain healthy bones and heal bone problems. It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties which help to reduce swelling and arthritis pain at young age in the muscles. (What are other benefits of Moringa and how to use it?)
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