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Night waking with foot & leg pain...

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Schlomo78 | 10:18 Thu 01st Apr 2010 | Parenting
15 Answers
I just wondered if anyone else has experienced the same thing as me.
My 3 1/2 year old has been waking in the night for a little over 7 months now, complaining of foot/ankle/leg/knee pain. It's only one thing at any given time, and sometimes he will go weeks without it happening, then a flurry of (exhausting) nights where he wakes up to 3 times a night moaning, sometimes screaming with pain and unable to get back to sleep until the afflicted area is rubbed and he falls asleep, or Mr Calpol is called.
Dismissed by my G.P (as usual - about to change Drs) and told 'Growing pains' are absolutely nothing but a myth, I've yet to find an explanation for it. Several theories bandied about on the web - including over activity (muscle strain), cramps, foot problems (doubtful as no trouble getting him to walk anywhere-app that's one of the symptoms) and several rare, but worrying diseases/afflictions.

I'm worried there is an underlying cause, but everyone over the age of about 40 tells me it's growing pains. I'm inclined to believe them, even though they 'don't exist', as they seem to occur during a period of increased appetite, which generally indicates he is about to have a growth spurt. He's also a large boy (height wise) Also, if it was just muscle strain then surely he would get it throughout the year, and not just every few weeks, although I've just started doing some light stretches that I found on a kids site that are supposed to alleviate these non existential growing pains, so that we might both actually get a proper nights sleep...any thoughts, you knowledgeable ABers, or anyone had any similar experiences?
Cheers! Schlomo :)

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Perthes Disease of the hip needs excluding.

Ask for a hip X-Ray.
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Thanks Sqad, I'll look it up.
:)
Went through exactly the same with my daughter and the diagnosis was - yep - growing pains!! - there is such a thing - she is still getting them yet and she is 7 and growing fast - I still remeber getting them when I was her age - hope things settle down soon x
If they occur during times of increased appetite and get better when rubbed could it be cramp caused by dehydration?
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Hmm...never thought of that to be honest...he always has a fully wet nappy overnight, but thinking about it he does tend to lay off the liquids when he's eating more. Might explain the irritability, although I do believe that's genetic :)
Thanks for that, I think i'll try to get some more into him during the day - he only wees about twice a day lately, up to bedtime wee and wash, thinking about it, which doesn't seem very much at all.
Thanks :) Appreciate it!
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Sorry Footiefan, just seen your post! I actually read something about the whole mythical growing pains being genetic, so that's interesting. I think my son's Dad may have had them too. What did you used to do with your daughter when she was crying? I have to rub my son's feet for a while - which seems to be painful to him too, but less painful than the pain :| )and then he'll go back to sleep. Some nights though he will scream, and I have to resort to Calpol. Was there anything you found that helped her?
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BTW, I'm not saying they're mythical,(!) only the majority of the medical profession.
I used to rub her legs all over and found that Neurofen worked better than Calpol - good luck!! x
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Thanks! :)
My daughter who is now almost 6 has had pains like this for several years now exactly as you describe. I took her to GP and was told it was definitely growing pains and she said that its usually around the knee where the pain is but children don't often pin point the exact area. She actually prescribed 6 bottles of Nurofen and told me to give it to her every night! I didn't do this but just give it to her when it flares up.
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That's interesting Tigwig, my G.P categorically denies they exist, I wonder if they were trained differently, or if mine was trained more recently under the doctrine that they don't exist.
My son's alternate between the knees and feet, and occasionally the lower legs. It MUST just be a kid thing, I've read over stuff on other forums about it and it seems to be quite common. The Nurofen thing is kind of worrying! I'm like you, I don't like to just dish it out willy nilly, but sometimes I just have to give him it otherwise he'd be up all night.
I've spoken to his Dad, as there's a school of thought that it's genetic, and he said he definitely had them when he was a kid, although I remember nothing like it...I wish it'd stop though!
I had this as a child and still get it!! ( Decades on! ) I now know it happens usually if I have been standing on wet grass or walking on wet pavements without a good layer of " padding" between my foot and the wet.So, when watching the grandchildren on sports fields,eg I have thick socks and fleecelined boots or shoes. Certainly helps. Is your child out playing and getting wet/cold feet - as they do!- because maybe you could make sure the feet get warmed up on coming in. Probably no help,but .....
When I was a nipper I used to wake up after a short time asleep with dreadful ankle pains, that made me sob for ages. Quite distressing for my parents I'm sure.

I was x rayed a couple of times, but no cause found.

Unfortunately Mr. Calpol hadn't been invented (I'm 50) and aspirin didn't help much.

Growing pains was decide upon as the cause, and eventually I grew out of it.

If growing pains don't exist then what was it, because believe me I didn't imagine it?!
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I reckon I'm going to have to go against the Drs opinions, as everything else I've been hearing appears to just be growing pains. It seems to be really common, yet hardly anyone's been diagnosed (then or later on) as it having been anything else.

His have disappeared again, for now, but I've no doubt they'll be back again in a few weeks, or more hopefully, a few months. I'm under no illusions that they'll stop, as they've been happening a while. It does annoys me when the (vast majority) of the medical profession totally dismiss something just because they have no obvious explanation for it! Yet there is no other explanation, either! Thanks to you all for your input and experiences, it's put my mind a bit more at ease. :)
I can remember having these as a child and very occasisionally if I am really, really tired I get a similar pain - I also used to suffer badly from migrains as a child but rarely do now, wonder if it is linked?

Neither of my two seem to have suffered with either of these and they are both really tall - my 9 year old is almost 5 foot tall.

I think the dehydration could be a factor as well.

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