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Sore legs - real or just faking?

(29 Posts)
Wallace Tue 25-Jan-05 12:00:20

Dd (3.5) seems to hate walking. When we start walking anywhere she grabs her legs and goes "Owwww" and starts to complain that her legs hurt and she can't walk. I try not to pick her up, and make her walk but she limps along complaining about the pain. Other times I just pick her up! Is she doing this because she can't be bothered walking (and knows she will probably be carried) or is she actually in pain? She isn't always like this and will sometimes run about of her own accord.
Very occasionally she wakes up in the night screaming that her leg hurts and it takes quite a lot to calm her - she doesn't want to even be touched let alone cuddled. Calpol usually does the trick! This doesn't happen often though - maybe only every few months, but when it does happen it goes on for some nights.

So is she really in pain, or is she just a good actress?

dejags Tue 25-Jan-05 12:15:14

good question Wallace!

DS is exactly the same - if he is even slightly under the weather (with any sort of illness), he will go on and on about his legs being sore. He was really ill a few weeks ago and point blank refused to walk anywhere (even from his bed to the lounge).

He has been heard saying "my legs are telling me that they are too tired to go any further"...

I am also not sure if it's attention seeking or real pain - will be interested to read other replies.

CountessDracula Tue 25-Jan-05 12:16:11

Flat feet? I used to get terribly sore feet as mine are as flat at pancakes. You can get insoles etc to help. See a foot doc.

NameChangingMancMidlander Tue 25-Jan-05 12:18:03

FWIW, I used to get real pains up my shins, sharp aching sensation. I was told it was 'growing pains' had them for years, mainly from around 9 - 14 years old

Merlin Tue 25-Jan-05 12:18:06

How weird - my DS aged 4 is the same. He seems to go through phases when over a period of a few days he just complains that his legs ache or are sore. Then he says nothing else about it for a week or 2 or longer. I've just put it down to either growing pains, or attention seeking! Funny how his legs are suddenly fine for running away from me when it's time for a wash!!!

Blu Tue 25-Jan-05 12:28:18

DS has a terrifying range of serious leg afflictions which are brought on when walking in a straight line, along a pavement, with somewhere we need to get to soon. His legs 'won't work properley', have been 'broken in pieces' or 'are very very poorly and I have to go to bed for 11 hours'. They collapse under him, he has to lie on his back on the pavement to allevaite the agony, and all manner of humiliations.

Your poor DD may be suffering from the same affliction - but if you are anxious you could ask your hv? The night-time stuff sounds a bit like night-terrors rather than a nightmare - where they seem to be awake but aren't. DS gets this - it's really upsetting, and we have learned that the less we intervene, the quicker it dies down. It happens more when he is over-tired, a bit stressed, or a bit feverish.

piffle Tue 25-Jan-05 12:31:19

my ds used to get quite severe growing pains, noticeably behind his knees
we found calpol helped as you did, but then moved to also rubbing the area and usign vaporub for heat and for kids it smells quite "poorly medical mummys looking after me" so might make a good placebo if you think she is trying it on a bit.
We did gets ours explained by a physio, due to ds being very tall his bones grew very wuickly and the muscles/tissues ligaments whatever didn't grow quite as fast.Although Dh suspects she made it up to make me feel better

Blu Tue 25-Jan-05 12:32:21

NCMM - I was a teenage athlete, and used to get those pains which were called shin soreness.
We were told that when you excercise a lot the tiny tendons which hold each muscle into the bine, pull away slightly. I suppose that might happen in growth spurts. (But could also be out of date or an old wives tale.)
I used to rub Radian B on it and it allevaited the pain. I think Ibruprufen Gel would have the same effect.

Tissy Tue 25-Jan-05 13:07:32

"Benign legs pains of childhood"- fairly common, I'm afraid, particularly the waking at night screaming!

It used to be called "growing pains" and is probably due to muscles being a bit tight following a bony growth spurt.

As long as it is intermittent, it shouldn't be a sign of anything serious. Try not to make too big a deal of it (Ithink your current approach is the right one!).

LOL at Blu's boy!!

lunavix Tue 25-Jan-05 13:09:41

I really don't want to sound awful here, but sometimes you should take them seriously.

A friend's ds (4 years old) always walked funny and complained his leg hurt and they and friends mostly took the mick... and it was something terribly serious

For all I know your dd could be faking I'm just saying everyone thought he was... and he wasn't.

Tissy Tue 25-Jan-05 13:12:54

The difference is, though, that Wallace's dd seems to have times when she is fine. Yes, if the problem is all the time, without let-up it should be looked into.

charleypops Tue 25-Jan-05 13:32:49

LOL Blu - your little boy sounds hilarious!!

I remember I used to get pain which I'd describe as "toothache in my legs" when I was little and was told it was growing pains.

ThomCat Tue 25-Jan-05 13:43:49

NameChangingMancMidlander has said exactly what i was going to say. I used to get really achy legs, and after a while of complaining about it a doctors appt was arranged and the verdict was 'growing pains'. To this day if I get tired and do too much, am run down my calves / shis etc ache,

sansouci Tue 25-Jan-05 13:44:34

DD (4.5) has been complaining of pains in her knees since she started walking. She wakes up in agony, crying, moaning... dr. said "growing pains" at first and told us to rub some warming muscle soothing cream on them, then prescribed magnesium tablets, which did nothing, and finally suggested a specialist who examined her carefully, took a blood sample and x-rays and could find nothing wrong. He gave us ibuprofen for the pain and asked us to come back for an MRI if there was no improvement. Well, there has been some improvement so we are hoping that it really just is "growing pains", whatever this may mean!

Wallace Tue 25-Jan-05 20:49:38

So my girl isn't the only little actress around! I think it probably is a bit of both - growing pains and manipulation, but I will take her to the GP anyway just to check.

Blu - about night terrors - I did think of this, but I'm sure I read somewhere that they only happen about an hour after the child has gone to sleep? Dd's tend to happen not long after I have gone to bed and when am at that lovely place between awake and asleep, and the last thing I feel like is getting up to soothe a fretful child

SofiaAmes Tue 25-Jan-05 22:21:20

I used to get growing pains in my arms and legs as a child and was always a bit upset because I never really thought my mother believed me.
My ds has completely dispensed with any fake excuses...he just tells me "mummy I'm lazy and don't want to walk." How do you argue with that!?

sansouci Wed 26-Jan-05 07:49:21

SofiaAmes, perhaps you should just say "sit, then, but you won't be able to do anything else. No telly, no books, no friends..." That might do the trick. When I was little, I used to get out of bed and tell my dad I couldn't sleep and he would simply reply, "well, stay awake then but get back into bed."

Wallace, you are so right... our DD deserves an academy award for her manipulative and thoroughly convincing dramatic behavior. This is at first what we suspected was going on but the agony was too obvious. Straight out of deep sleep. It hurt me to see it.

skerriesmum Wed 26-Jan-05 08:00:56

Take her to the doctor. I don't mean to frighten you, this is very rare, but my friend's five year old boy complained of pain in his legs and it turned out he had stage 4 cancer that had started in his adrenal glands and metastasised all over his body, it didn't hurt until it had spread to his legs. So don't ever assume a child is pretending. If she is, the doctor checking her out might stop it anyway.

bizzi Wed 26-Jan-05 09:26:17

That's a bit scary sm. Maybe worth considering and no doubt your awareness is overly heightened by your friends sons experience, but wouldn't we all become a bit hypochondric if we assumed the absolute worst in every situation?

Wallace my dd2 4.5, has complained of pain in her legs for years on and off and just recently her 'sore knees' wake her at night. While at the doctors for another reason last week, dd2 piped up about her sore knees, gp diagnosed nothing but prescribed calpol before bed each night. It's working so far! She sounds very similar to several others here.

binkie Wed 26-Jan-05 10:04:07

I do agree with those who say have the gp take a look, even if it does turn out to be only growing pains.

My ds (six in April, big for his age, typical size & shape for growing pains) has them, and generally so typically - back of lower thigh, just above knee + intermittent limp - I wasn't going to bother with the doctor. But we were seeing a doctor for something else over Xmas and she checked his hip, which apparently also hurt a bit - which could be an indication of perthes disease - basically where the top of femur grows too fast for its blood supply. So we are going to have him checked out.

ourdarling Wed 26-Jan-05 10:25:46

And l thought it was just our household! dd 4.6 on and off will make a drama about her legs when we are out for a walk. She has never complained about pain in the house even after playing a game of chase around the house. l sometimes say to her 'l'd better take you to the doctors, if you can not walk'. Sometimes l will pick her up for a little moment (too heavy now) and her face lights up with a big smile. If she spots a wall to walk along suddenly the pain has disappeared! What l do listen to is when on occasion she complains about pins & needles in her feet, then l think her feet might be growing and have her feet measured to check. So far her feet have grown a little after those complaints.

skerriesmum Wed 26-Jan-05 10:28:10

I live in Skerries I don't mean I'm a SCARY mum! Ha ha! I know that is the absolute worst case scenario and hardly typical but it's always worth getting things checked out.

Wallace Wed 26-Jan-05 10:36:01

You are right skerriesmum I will take her to the doc...just for peace of mind. Sometimes I am convinced she is faking it and other times I am almost sure that she really is in pain!

Sofia - judging by the mums here your mum probably didn't believe you I love your ds' reason for not wanting to walk - miles better than sore legs!

Blu Wed 26-Jan-05 10:38:58

I am feeling a bit guilty for having emphasised the drama-queen approach to being a pedestrian - as Tissy says, it was the fact that she is able to scamper freely when 'running around' that led me to give DS's histrionics as an example - but then I know what is real and what is drama from DS because he does get regular check-ups from an orthopeadic consultant for another condition. So if in doubt, get it checked!

Wallace Wed 26-Jan-05 20:49:57

She was fine today - I let her take her dolly's pushchair on the way to nursery and back, and whn we picked ds up from school, and she practically RAN most of the time, though she was quite tired on the way back from school. So am am pretty sure she is okay, but I will mention it next time she is at the doctors - she has had some health problems so I am probably more anxious than most!

Blu - did you see my question about night terrors further down the thread?

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