4 Causes of Joint Pain in Children and Teenagers

Joint pain is a common occurrence in both adults and children. In most cases, you will realize that the causes of joint pain in adults can also be the cause of joint pain in kids.

However, because children are still in their developmental stage, their bones and joints are still developing, and this means there are other conditions can cause joint pain in children and teens, but not in adults.

Some of the causes of joint pain in children and teens include:

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)

JIA is an auto-immune condition that causes the swelling and inflammation of one or more joints.

Typically, JIA occurs before your 16th birthday, and it’s slightly more common in girls. It’s common in pre-school age children or teenagers.

The causes of JIA are still a mystery, and in fact, it’s what “idiopathic” means.

What we know is that JIA develops when your body’s immune system is defending itself against external threats. As a reuslt, this results in inflammation, which causes stiffness and pain.

Osgood-Schlatter disease

Osgood-Schlatter disease usually affects children and teenagers experiencing growth spurts.

It’s a common occurrence to teens and kids, particularly those who play sports in which they regularly run and jump.

In most cases, this condition is associated with a painful lump below the knee cap, and it causes pain and tenderness.

The good news is the condition usually resolves on its own, once the child’s bones stop growing.

Sinding-Larsen Johansson disease

Similar to Osgood-Schlatter disease, Sinding-Larsen Johansson disease is a condition that will affect teens during rapid growth. The pain on the latter, however, occurs at the front knee and is slightly higher than the pain is Osgood-Schlatter diseases.

Again, it happens in kids between the age of 10-15 and is more common in teens who play sports requiring a lot of running or jumping.

Growing Pains

Despite their name, growing pains are not as a result of growing, but rather they are simple aches resulting from children running, jumping and climbing while playing, during the day.

Growing pains may also be related to other factors such as restless leg syndrome, fatigue, low pain tolerance, and vitamin D deficiency.

Growing pains are usually manifested in the thigh and calf muscles, and usually, occur during a child’s preschool and preteen years and they will disappear by their teen years.

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Fortunately, unlike the previous conditions of joint pain we have discussed, growing pains are harmless and not a sign of a serious condition.


Now you have a list of the common causes of joint pain in kids. While some of the pains will resolve naturally with time, always take a precaution once the pain extends for a long time or is severe; it might be an indicator of something more serious.

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