Myalgia, Pediatric

Myalgia is a medical term for muscle pain. It is a symptom of many things. Nearly every child has this at sometime while growing up. The most common cause for muscle pain is overuse or straining the muscles. Injuries and muscle bruises also cause muscle pain. Muscle pain without a history of injury can also be caused by a virus. It often comes along with the flu. Myalgia not caused by muscle strain can be present in a large number of infectious diseases.

SYMPTOMS

The symptoms of myalgia are simply muscle pains. Most of the time this is short lived and the pain goes away without treatment.

DIAGNOSIS

Myalgia is diagnosed by your caregiver by taking your child's history. This means you tell him when your child's problems began, what the problems are, and what has been happening. If this has not been a long term problem, your caregiver may want to watch for a while to see what will happen. If it has been long term, they may want to do additional testing.

TREATMENT

The treatment depends on what the underlying cause of the muscle pain is. Often anti-inflammatory medications will help.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • If the pain is coming from overuse, slowing down activities will help.

  • Myalgia from overuse of a muscle can be treated with alternating hot and cold packs on the muscle affected or with cold for the first couple days.

  • Apply ice to the sore area for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times per day, while awake for the first 2 days of muscle soreness, or as directed. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a towel between the bag of ice and your child's skin.

  • Only give your child over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Regular gentle exercise may help if your child is usually not active.

  • Teaching your child to stretch before strenuous exercise can help lower the risk of myalgia. It is normal when beginning an exercise or workout program n to feel some muscle pain after exercising. Muscles that have not been used often will be sore at first. If your child's pain is extreme, this may mean injury to a muscle.

SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your child has an increase in muscle pain that is not relieved with medication.

  • Your child begins to run a temperature.

  • Your child develops nausea and vomiting.

  • Your child develops a stiff and painful neck.

  • Your child develops a rash.

  • Your child develops muscle pain after a tick bite.

  • Your child has continued muscle aches and pains after they are in better condition.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

Any of your child's problems are getting worse and medications are not helping.