Do you remember your childhood days, when leg aches might have seemed a commonplace occurrence? Chances are, they are mostly a thing of your past--but not necessarily. What causes a leg ache and, more importantly perhaps, how do you deal with a leg ache?
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You know you have a leg ache when a large portion of one of your legs begins to throb painfully. The dull achy pain isn't sharp--rather, it feels like it has "spread" over half of your leg or more. Unless medicated, a typical leg ache can last for hours and often must be "slept off" in order for it to go away.
A combination of things can cause a leg ache. For example, obesity makes leg aches far more common, as does smoking, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and diabetes. The real culprit, however, is your own leg veins. When you are exercising, your leg requires oxygen--and if your leg isn't getting enough of it (and especially if the veins become narrow--a condition called claudication), your muscles will begin to feel the pain.
The best way to get rid of leg aches is rest. Keep that leg away from anything resembling exercise and allow the oxygen to flow back into it freely. Of course, once you've rested, exercise might be just what you need if you're overweight. Giving up smoking and laying off that high-cholesterol, fatty food wouldn't hurt, either.
One thing to consider about leg aches in small children is growing pains. Sometimes this can result in a throbbing, dull pain. This pain can be in the arms, but usually occurs in the legs and is often identified as a "leg ache." Though different from the exercise-induced variety, these leg aches are very real and can be quiet uncomfortable for children. Rest and a light massage is the best remedy.
The truth is, when it comes to "leg aches" in children, the growing pains idea is just speculation. There's absolutely no undeniable evidence that the aches are due to enlarging bones or anything of the sort. If the pain is very common, take your child to a doctor. The same goes for yourself if you are experiencing regular leg aches.