Chronic leg pains since childhood, worse with cold weather.

Edited , 38 users are following.

I've gone to several doctors, found countless forums, and have tried various treatments, but I haven't found a single definite answer or diagnosis for my leg pains. I'm sure anyone who has them can relate to these characteristics, randomly occurring, no fixed amount of time, worsens with cold weather, relieved with heat or massaging, occurres in alternating legs and areas of the legs but especially in the thighs, not related to physical activity, makes walking painful, seems to be worse later in the day, and can come daily or have weeks in between.

The actual pain is best described as growing pains, but I haven't grown a signle centimeter in years. As a child I'd yell and cry from the pain, even now it is hard not to. The doctors look at me like I'm crazy since they haven't found anything wrong with my bones, and therapists don't know what to help me with since the pain isn't related to my posture or an injury. Special shoe soles haven't helped and I've had some doctors tell me I have flat feet while others say I'm fine. I've gotten some medication but it hasn't worked.

The forums all have tons or people like me, without answers, and so I please ask if anyone has any solution to the pains post it here.

I can't apply heat when I'm out of the house, and so the pain has interfered with my social life. I'm still in school, but if these pains continue I'm afraid they will interfere with my professional life. I don't want to sound mean, I know I'm not alone and that others of you have the same problem, but I post this for answers only. I've read of some who have gone as far as having surgeries, taken strong narcotics, and still ending up with the pains. Can anyone help?

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47 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi RPTP

    You do not mention if you have had any blood tests for your leg pain.

    Perhaps you could ask your doc for an ESR blood test for inflammation.

    The Erythrocite Sedimentation Rate will tell your doc you have inflammation

    going on in your body if the sedimentation rate is high.

    Go back to your doc and asked for an ESR test if you have not had one.

    Best wishes for a speedy diagnosis and an end to your pain...

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    • Posted


      i have this problem since childhood and now i am in my 30s. i have suffered a lot but never had any treatment in my life due to parents thinking that it will be ok. I am in a customer service job now and can't tolerate my pain any more. My legs are lean and upper body part is ok. I eat i lot but never got any fat on my lower body. I feel really bad now when people say anything for my legs. If you have any idea please help me.

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  • Posted

    Hello RPTP,

    If your pains have been since childhood, then I'm pretty sure you've had the obvious investigations performed, eg MRI, CAT. Although now retired, my nursing days are always in my mind, & the 2 diseases that jump out at me are Perthes Disase & Raynauds Disease. Have either of these been tested for?

    Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I have had a similiar ( sounding ) problem since childhood. Is it mainly in the lower legs ? I was diadnosed with shin splints. They began to go away in my late 20 's. Although , anytime I am on feet too long I will have a flare up. The best remedy I found is a combination of ice 9 on shins , and heat on calfs. Also putting legs up as much as possible. Sleep on a slight incline at night. Best way is to elevate the end of your bed with a cement block or bricks ( so entire body is elevated about 25% with feet upward ) Also , a great help is to wear compression tights during the day. Either knee high or thigh high. Hope this helps. No matter what pain is from . compression tights/socks might help , as well as getting  a leg massage.

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  • Posted

    Hi RPTP,

    I have chronic pain very almost identical to yours,

    but in the fronts of my ankles.

    I used Urgent Care in June when I became fed up of irritating GPs

    telling me I simply have flat feet, unsympathetic physios telling me

    my feet are fine apart from muscle weakness, people at school being

    less than helpful about my pain too. The doctor I met was very

    sympathetic and gave me MST 5mg (low dose = conversion from

    Co-dydramol and because I requested tablets instead of Oramorph).

    Unfortunately, although the MST were somewhat helpful, my school

    doctor refused to prescribe any strong opioids. She suggested that

    I would be better off with Diclofenac and Paracetamol with codeine

    as a rescue drug. I go to boarding school so I can't easily see other doctors.

    When I went to Malta over the summer, I saw a private GP who was

    BRILLIANT. He gave me Celebrex (allergic to Naproxen and Ibuprofen)

    and Tramadol. The Celebrex worked slightly, and the Tramadol

    was better than morphine, better than anything else I've tried.

    My supplies have since run out, putting me back to square one.

    I would like to try Versatis (topical anaesthetic patches),

    Cymbalta (works like Tramadol without opioid effect),

    Acupan (non-opioid strong analgesic),

    and Mobic (only COX-2 inhibitor recommended for teens)

    as they could be effective based on the other drugs.

    I find cold very painful, especially in combination with

    high-impact activities, but heat packs and compression

    stockings alleviate this better than co-codamol and

    co-dydramol. Crushed Dihydrocodeine tablets in a Voltarol

    base as a topical opioid have been effective, but I haven't

    been able to obtain much of either to do so.

    Nortriptyline at high doses at night were beneficial, but always

    made me feel hung-over and tired the next day, and again the

    difficulties of obtaining them prevents me from continuing them.

    Gabapentin and Pregabalin weren't effective at all, and did

    nothing but sedate me. Insoles just make my feet themselves

    even heavier and achy. Physiotherapy just makes my legs hurt


    I have had periods of weeks of severe pain, as well as weeks of

    none whatsoever. A child psychologist said that I was fine

    psychologically as far as she could see.

    My personal research favours peripheral neuropathy as the cause

    of my pain, but it is impossible to get any doctor to listen.

    If you don't mind taking weak opioids perhaps try Tramadol.

    Controls at school mean that I can't look after my own Tramadol,

    so it would be difficult for me to benefit from them.

    However, you may find them very helpful as I did.

    The non-opioid, Nefopam; the patches, Versatis;

    and the antidepressants, duloxetine and Nortriptyline, may also

    help your pain.

    All the best

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  • Posted

    Hi. This sounds exactly like what I have. But ever since I gave birth to my daughter 2 years ago, it's gotten worse. The pain has spread to my hip right above my thighs, my ankles and just just above my knees. Even though those are the main areas, the pain is all over my legs. I have had this since I was 5 and so had my older sister and now my little sister has it. My GP have no idea what it is.

    Have you figured it out yet? Or received any help or been given any answers?

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  • Posted

    I think I have similar to you, but I get it in my ankles, knees, upper thigh, wrists and upper forearm. Me and my little brother have both got this, but he only gets it in his legs. I've been to so many doctors about this and like you they just look at me as if I'm out of my mind and then tell me I'm fine. Had one who literally just looked at my knee and said there is nothing wrong, wouldn't even hear what I had to say, my mother was appalled. I've had this since I can remember and you know what, i always felt like I was the only one. So I just thought I'd give it a bit of a search to see what would come up and well, this did. But well, I guess they haven't yet come up with any thing for this, reading the comments saying how it may get worse getting older, well lucky me being only 17 ha. Mind you I always felt like it got better as I got older but I guess I was just getting used to it.

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    • Posted

      Hi cherry15549

      Have you and your brother had your calcium and vit D levels checked also if you are low in these you will get bone pain.....get the doc to check them via blood tests also check your magnesium and vit B12....low B12 can cause bone pain..... so get:-

      1. Calcium blood test

      2. Vit D blood test

      3. Magnesium blood test

      4. B12 blood tests......if you are deficient in any of them you can buy supplements or perhaps doc may prescribe them...if uour little brothers calcium is and vit D is low he could get ricketts...but get them checked asap and don't be fobbed off.. all patients are entitled to a second opinion wishes...

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    i see you've had lots of replies, although I haven't read through them. For what it's worth, has anyone mentioned Graves Disease? I'll have another think, but that's what jumped into my mind.

    Good luck!

    p.s. It's pronounced Graaves, not like the cemetery!!👍😄

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  • Posted

    Hello, I empathize with you regarding ongoing leg pain because I suffer with the same thing.

    Would you mind telling what year were you born?

    There is a reason I ask this question & I am happy to explain if you're interested.

    Best wishes

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    • Posted

      I too have suffered from this leg pain since childhood I'm now 50 and still have pain. I remember going to my parent's bedroom late at night crying because of this dreadful pain. My mom would give me a baby aspirin, rub Bengay and Wrap it with a Ace Elastic Bandage to keep it warm. Continue throughout years with this pain to the point at one time had me crawling because it was so severe. As an adult I'm still getting pain. Yes it does worsen with cold weather. So I know for a fact it's not growing pains. Need an answer!! Born in 67!!

      Please Help.... Anyone!!

      Hate Suffering!!

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  • Edited

    My daughter has suffered from inexplicable leg pain every night for a number of years. We have finally found the cause... turns out it was a food intolerance. If your body reacts negatively to a food, it can cause inflammation in muscles or joints. For her it was Dairy not Lactose, but Casein, which is still present in Lactose-free milk. We knew she was Lactose Intolerant, but did not realize that she was still being impacted by the milk she drank every day. The same reaction could be true of a Gluten allergy. Try an elimination diet. See if you notice a difference!

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    • Posted

      Oh my goodness! I have the exactly same problem as above mentioned and also I have found my solution through the foods I eat. I too am lactose intolerant which helped once found out with my digestion etc but my leg pains still continued. I have chicken skin on my arms also, and a friend of mine told me her doctor stated it was from lactose intolerance so one day I thought I should cut out dairy for good.

      I am now two weeks into my dairy free diet and I feel fantastic! I have not had joint/leg pain once since I converted and I have a new job which requires a-lot more walking (which I was dreading as I thought my leg pains would trigger this) and nothing! I too agree with @mhborden, maybe you should change you diet around and see what works best. As I too went to doctors & specialists and found no answers. I've been suffering from this pain since I was around 3 years old and now at 27 I have found my solution, no thanks to anyone but myself. I hope this helps as I know this may not work for you but theres no harm in trying smile Good luck. 

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