Many children, usually from 3-10, complain of pain in their legs, specially at night. Parents tend to massage their legs and ‘who doesn’t like their legs massaged?
The children are otherwise absolutely healthy and running around during the day. They have no limp, no fever. joint swelling / redness etc. When we examine them, we find no bony tenderness, no signs of joint inflammation and the children are otherwise happy and healthy. We call them ‘Growing pains‘ or ‘recurrent nocturnal limb pain in children‘
After complete examination, we sometimes offer blood tests to rule out any bone or muscle problems, and sometimes x-ray or MRI /CT, if any specific abnormality is suspected in a particular area. Sometimes, in non-caucasian children, Vit D level is found to be low, which can be corrected by oral Vit D supplementation in high doses (on prescription).
if the investigations are normal, the child possibly can be given some painkillers like Paracetamol before bed, if they are waking in the middle of the might due to leg pains. Their legs can be massaged for short duration to put them back to sleep but can become a habit!
Medical advice should be sought of there is pain in only one leg, joint redness / swelling, fever, weight loss, limp etc. Some children with hyper-mobility can experience similar pains. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/growing-pains/Pages/Introduction.aspx