Growing Pains – The Onset of Fibromyalgia?

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Fibromyalgia is a very vague disorder that has not been understood completely by the doctors yet. New study has shown that growing pains in children may be the cause of fibromyalgia. Many fibromyalgia sufferers start experiencing fibromyalgia symptoms since childhood. It may take years to get to final and accurate diagnosis.

Simple conditions are easy to diagnose in the children that are making them sick like sore throat etc.  But some kids complain about some vague symptoms like fatigue and achiness. These symptoms may lead to fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose in children but it is much more common in adults.

Following are some symptoms that should not be neglected in children as they may lead to fibromyalgia.

1. Muscle cramps

Some kids may experience extreme muscle cramp in lower legs. They may also experience feeling of pulled muscles in soles of their feet. Their hips may lock up or pop.

2. Back pain

Some kids experience extreme back ache at night that they even can’t move or get up. Their whole back hurts so much that they curl themselves in fetal position. Due to extreme pain they experience blackouts and they can’t even call for help. They just get tired of always feeling sick and irritated.

3. Fatigue

Kids experience extreme pain which runs through their bones and whole body. Their threshold for pain decreases. They become sensitive to pain that nearly bothers the normal individuals. Their legs hurts so much that it feels like bruises all over their legs and their hands hurt randomly. They can’t play like normal kids.

4. Unusual sensitivity

Kids may experience unusual sensitivity to different clothing materials. Weather changes may affect them badly. They even find difficulty sitting cross-legged on the floor. Playing outside with the kids is also hard for them.

5. Sleep issues

Sleeping comfortably seems impossible for these kids. They can’t even bear the weight of one leg over the other. They feel like their head was too heavy for their neck. When they can’t get enough sleep during the night, they feel more exhausted for the rest of the day.

These growing pains make your kids less confident. They can’t move in society with their normal age fellows. These pains make them miss their school an average of three days each month. They become socially isolated as they can have trouble making friends. The main reason why teenage fibromyalgia is so frustrating is that one symptom of fibromyalgia may augment the other symptom like for example pain makes difficult for them to sleep. Lack of sleep makes them exhausted. This exhaustion further makes difficult for them to sleep. And the cycle continues.

 

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Coping strategies

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most effective coping strategy to deal with teenage fibromyalgia. They make children to learn what triggers their pain and how to handle the pain. Muscle relaxation and stress relaxation techniques also help them a lot in treating their depression and muscle pain. Exercise is the most important part of their fibromyalgia treatment plan.  A physical therapist can guide kids and teach them best exercises for them. They teach them safe exercises so they do not injure themselves. Muscle tenderness and pain can be relieved by physical therapy and massage.

Lifestyle and home remedies

You can help ease your child’s discomfort with these home remedies:

  • Rub your child’s legs. 
  • Use a heating pad. 
  • Try a pain reliever. Give your child acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) or ibuprofen (Advil, Children’s Motrin, others). 
  • Stretching exercises. 

Also few of our community members enlisted this as a early signs of fibromyalgia they grew up with.

1. Had server leg pains in the night always told it were growing pains as did my sister we both have fibromyalgia to the point of needing a wheelchair also other immune problems as an adult. Another member added to it that Yes me too..as a child, I would cry all night that my legs hurt..I would take a hot bath..Dr said it was growing pains.

2. As I child, I had terrible leg pain and the doctors called the growing pains and gave me big “horse pills”. None of my 6 siblings suffered with this. Also, I could never sleep like others and began having extreme insomnia at age 14.

3. My first symptom was very severe pains down the front of both legs, from the knees down. It started age 15. I also had very heavy painful periods. I had growing pains in my legs from the age of 5. I suffered from sunstroke & migraines from an early age

4. Horrible leg aches. My sister and I at times would roll on the bed in pain. We were told it was growing pain. I’m only 5’. My sister though as far as I know doesn’t have fibromyalgia. But I do. I was also sick often. Nonstop sinus infections, horrible headaches, diagnosed with TMJ at 15 and signs of ibs too. I too was very clumsy and getting hurt often. I was told I was a hypochondriac. I was often having to wear a brace on my wrist, ankle or even my knee.

Sensitivity to sounds too. Fireworks were unbearable. It was like an electric shock going through. Physically painful! My dad would get so angry that he had to take me home. Everyone thought I was scared and didn’t understand when I said the booming hurt me. Again I was told I was a hypochondriac or just wanted attention.  I’ve had horrible sleep patterns all my life. Even as a baby. I also had colic and read somewhere colic maybe nerve related.

5. Bad ‘growing pains’, horrible stomach, and sensitivity to sounds/textures (had to put bandaids on the seams of my socks, cut out all tags in my shirts and pants, hated turtle necks, getting my hair done hurt, etc). I had bad ear infections as a child and needed tubes but don’t think that was related.

6. A lot of ear infections, had tubes put in ears and horrible achy hips and legs…. was always told it was growing pains. Always had weak hip flexors as well. 

Click Here to Read 25 Signs You Grew Up With Fibromyalgia.

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References:

  • 25 Signs You Grew Up With Fibromyalgia by M.H Shahid via Fibromyalgia Resources
  • 21 Symptoms Kids With Fibromyalgia Had That Were Brushed Off as ‘Growing Pains’ by Paige Wyant via The Mighty
  • 21 Symptoms Kids With Fibromyalgia Had That Were Brushed Off as ‘Growing Pains’ via Living With Fibromyalgia
  • Growing Pain via Mayo Clinic

 

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