Leg pain is a common problem among adolescent children. It is usually temporary and goes away with adequate rest. But if your child complains about leg pain often, following conditions should be considered:
Vitamin D deficiency
Vitamin D or Calciferol deficiency is a very common deficiency seen in adolescent children. Vitamin D helps in absorption of calcium into bones. Without Calciferol, bones become brittle and weak. In extreme cases bones bend and cause deformity, this condition is known as rickets. Sunlight is the most abundant source of this vitamin, other than this; supplements may be required to reduce deformity.
Calcium is the main component of bone and may become deficient in kids who don’t like milk products or are allergic to them. Sometimes there is congenital deficiency of calcium and is very difficult to manage. Child suffers fractures and often complains of pain. Other than pain, swelling in leg and limping while walking can be observed. You should take your child to a specialist bone doctor, if your child often complaints of such pain.
Protein deficiency and improper calorie intake may cause muscles to shrink also known as muscle atrophy. Child becomes weak with protruding belly and has some amount of mental retardation. He or she may complain of pain and giddiness after some amount of physical activity. Protein rich diet and regular physical activity can help in increasing muscle mass.
Osgood Schlatter disease
Osgood Schlatter or tibial apophisitis is a condition in which ligament below the knee is inflamed and calcified which causes a painful bump below the knee. It makes physical activity difficult. Patient often complains of calf pain along with it. Stretching leg muscles along with proper medications can make the condition better.
Adequate physical activity and balanced diet should be the main line of treatment for these conditions. Avoid giving your kids junk food and encourage them to play outside during morning and early evening. Most importantly, don’t risk your child’s future with just home remedies. If the pain persists or comes back frequently, you should consider taking him or her to a orthopaedic doctor at the earliest.
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Dr Neha Bansal – Child Specialist