Muscle Aches in Children: Care Instructions

Skip to the navigation

Your Care Instructions

Muscle aches have many possible causes. Some common ones are overuse, tension, and injuries such as a strained muscle. An infection such as influenza (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 examination 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 or nurse call line 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 area for 10 to 20 minutes at a time to ease pain. Put a thin cloth between the ice and your child's skin.
  • 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 or nurse call line 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 or nurse call line if your child has any problems.

Where can you learn more?

Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

Enter Z589 in the search box to learn more about "Muscle Aches in Children: Care Instructions."

Current as of: October 14, 2016