Muscle aches have many possible causes. Some common ones are overuse, tension, and injuries such as a strained muscle. An infection such as the flu can cause muscle aches. Or the aches may be caused by some medicines. Muscle aches may also be a symptom of a health problem. Myalgia is the medical term for muscle aches.
Your child's doctor will do a physical exam and ask questions to try to find what is causing your child's pain. Your child may also have tests such as blood tests or imaging tests like X-rays. These can help find or rule out serious problems.
The doctor has checked your child carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
How can you care for your child at home?
- Have your child rest the area that hurts. Your child may need to stop or reduce the activity that causes symptoms and then return to it slowly.
- Put ice or a cold pack on the sore area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Try to do this every 1 to 2 hours for the next 3 days (when your child is awake). Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.
- After 2 or 3 days, you can try applying heat to the area that hurts. Apply heat for 10 to 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. You might also try switching between ice and heat.
- Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- If the doctor gave your child a prescription medicine for pain, give it as prescribed.
- If your child is not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if your child can take an over-the-counter medicine.
When should you call for help?
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- Your child's pain gets worse.
- Your child has new symptoms, such as a fever, swelling, or a rash.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor if your child has any problems.
Current as of: November 9, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine