Complications on the legs after the flu in children

It is unlikely that you can find a mother in the whole world who would not worry about the health of her child. And even the most harmless colds, which children and adults often suffer from, make her worry and systematically observe his behavior. Contrary to doctors’ recommendations not to panic, mothers are worried and worried in their own way.

Joint pain in children

And when a baby, for no apparent reason, begins to complain of pain in the legs, the feeling of anxiety intensifies significantly, especially when the baby has just recovered from an acute viral disease. And this is only because not everyone is familiar with the reasons that can cause pain in the legs. Naturally, no article can replace a pediatrician who, after an examination, will determine the true reason why your legs hurt. But still, we will try to reveal the main points.

Growing pains

The most common cause of leg pain is growing pains. As a rule, they are observed in children 3-9 years old and are characterized by the following symptoms:

• absence of fever, • absence of bruises, edema, swelling, • increased pain in the evening and at night, • frequent changes in the location of pain, • disappearance of pain during massage.

If most of these symptoms are familiar to you, then you can calm down. Growing pains are a normal phenomenon, but they occur differently for everyone - from their complete absence to severe pain. If a child’s legs hurt with such symptoms, then a warm bath, a light massage, or a warm compress will help. For severe pain, Diclofenac or Butadione ointment is recommended, and at night a tablet of Paracetamol, Ibuprofen or Nurofen.

Causes of ear complications

When the ears are blocked after a cold, a person experiences severe discomfort. Nature has endowed man with sense organs for his comfortable living in the world. Many people not only use their hearing organs for everyday life, for them it is a tool that provides work in their profession (teacher, singer). It is very important to take care of your ears and prevent the development of inflammatory processes in them.

Why can ears be blocked after an acute respiratory viral infection? There may be several reasons for this, including influenza, tonsillitis, colds, and fungal diseases, for which the person did not treat.

How hearing loss can develop:

  • a viral infection enters the body;
  • the mucous membrane cannot protect a person, it weakens and ceases to be a barrier to pathogens of other diseases;
  • Bacterial infections (most often pneumococci, streptococci) can develop on the inner surface of the hearing organs;
  • a little later, they rise higher and penetrate the middle ear area;
  • otitis develops.

Sometimes the cause of ear congestion during ARVI is improper removal of mucus from the nose, when, during blowing the nose, the pressure in the Eustachian tube increases, which leads to temporary hearing loss.

The cardiovascular system

Children and adults can experience leg pain due to pathology of the cardiovascular system. The fact is that in this case there is a lack of blood supply to the lower extremities and the legs become weak. As long as the child sits, the legs do not hurt. But as soon as he runs or gets involved in active play, they immediately begin to bother the baby. In this situation, when you feel the pulse, you can verify that it is weaker in the legs than in the arms. Sometimes the pain can only manifest itself at night and is accompanied by a headache and discomfort in the chest area. If such symptoms are present, the child should be shown to a pediatrician, who, after tests, ECG and ultrasound, will refer him to a cardiologist.

Signs of complications on the legs

In adults, complications on the legs may manifest themselves with the following characteristic signs:

  1. Development of unpleasant crunching and coldness in the joints.
  2. Swelling of the knees and pain when walking. Swelling may also be observed.
  3. Burning in the joints, which is especially pronounced in the morning, after the night. At the same time, discomfort will be clearly noticeable both when walking and at rest.
  4. The affected joints feel hot to the touch. Redness may also occur.
  5. The motor function of the joints is greatly impaired.

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In addition, it is important to say that a viral cold usually affects both knee joints of a person at once. In this condition, the patient sometimes cannot walk at all without feeling very severe pain.

Joint pain after fever

It is worth noting that frequent hypothermia, acute viral infections, influenza and even hereditary factors have a destructive effect on the joints. They can trigger the development of rheumatoid arthritis, in which a pathological reaction occurs in the joint, which is accompanied by an inflammatory process. In turn, it destroys joint tissue and provokes the accumulation of salts.

Let's look at the process of influenza and its features. Influenza is a viral disease that is one of the most severe. The peculiarity of influenza is that it manifests itself annually and in most cases affects children and people with weakened immune systems. As you know, the temperature during influenza often rises to 40 degrees, which requires an immediate response from medical personnel. But it is often observed that during the illness or after it, the child’s legs hurt.

Pain in the legs after a high fever is a kind of complication after an illness and may indicate muscle inflammation or myositis.

Infectious myositis can develop during influenza illness. In this case, the child complains of difficulty in moving due to pain in his legs. In addition, slight swelling of the muscle tissue can be observed.

This is a fairly serious signal that you should immediately pay attention to and tell your doctor in order to avoid more serious complications.

Another reason why a child’s legs hurt is rheumatoid arthritis, which affects joint tissue. Timely consultation with a doctor will prevent joint destruction, which can lead to disability. It is very important to promptly detect dangerous symptoms during the flu and prevent them from spreading to muscles and joints.

Any complications, including those described above, can be prevented if the infectious disease is treated promptly and correctly. If the flu is not completely cured, the inflammatory processes will worsen and cause a serious problem for life. Any inflammatory process can be eliminated with the help of antibiotic therapy, which is prescribed only by a doctor who monitors the well-being and condition of the patient, especially when it comes to children.

How is leg pain related to SARS?

Influenza is considered one of the most severe viral diseases ; it is especially dangerous for children, the elderly and patients with weakened immune systems. Most patients complain that their legs hurt during ARVI, often this is a sign of viral intoxication. In patients with problems with the musculoskeletal system, pain in the joints and spine worsens, which is why their legs hurt after an acute respiratory infection. It happens that an exacerbation begins 1-2 weeks after the illness, which is associated with immune restructuring and an allergic reaction to a viral and bacterial infection. Against this background, all chronic diseases worsen and the child’s legs hurt after an acute respiratory infection.

If you do not suffer from acute respiratory infections on your feet, but stick to bed rest, drink plenty of fluids and take anti-inflammatory drugs, then joint pain and aches usually go away within 2-3 days of illness.

When the active phase of the disease is left behind, the patient may again experience manifestations of mono or polyarthritis. A person complains of swelling in the joints, a feeling of stiffness, the leg in the joint area becomes hot and swollen.

Most often, after final recovery, complications from influenza do not develop in the joints. Rarely, complications occur in the joints after an acute respiratory infection in the form of bursitis and chronic synovitis associated with inflammation of the synovial membrane of the joint, as well as perichondritis (inflammation of cartilage tissue).

Joints can get sick after ARVI in children and adults

Thanks to the joints, we can move our arms and legs sideways and up and down. The joints are covered with cartilage tissue, which secretes a special fluid that lubricates the cartilage, which is responsible for ensuring that there is no friction and the bones do not destroy each other. A healthy person moves without thinking about the structure of his joints, which provide freedom of movement, but as soon as we get sick, we begin to feel every bone in our body.

Cartilage is composed of water, collagen and proteoglycan, which give it elasticity and the ability to soften shocks. Infections can destroy cartilage tissue; for example, arthritis caused by chlamydia or the herpes virus often occurs.

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Why do your legs hurt and how to deal with it?

During illness, especially with the flu, which is accompanied by a high temperature, the proper functioning of the blood circulation is disrupted as a result of antibiotics - chemicals entering the body. The body temperature rises, while the cells of the immune system protect themselves, while all other organs remain unprotected. The immune cell reaction travels through the lymphatic vessels and stops at the joints. A malfunction of the immune system provokes an attack on active cells. This process affects the joints, causing the child to have aches and pain when straightening and bending the leg. Therefore, at the first complaint of pain in the legs, you need to immediately inform the doctor, who will prescribe adequate treatment in a timely manner. And it doesn’t matter when the legs hurt - during an illness or after a high fever.
In any case, this is a serious signal that requires immediate professional intervention. A proper diet is considered to prevent this kind of complications. In addition, try to ensure that your child has an active lifestyle, balanced exercise, and proper and healthy sleep.


Treatment for complications after a viral cold is always selected individually for each individual patient, based on the severity of the condition, its form, the patient’s age and the presence of concomitant pathologies.

Typically, such therapy is long and complex. Its main task is to stop the process of inflammation and destruction of joint tissue, as well as suppress the activity of the main viral infection. It is also important to eliminate pain in a person and restore motor activity of the diseased joint.

Traditional therapy for leg complications includes the following:

  1. Limiting physical activity on the legs until the inflammatory process is relieved. This time usually takes 6-10 days, when the pain goes away and the person can walk normally again. Until this time, it is better for him to remain in bed.
  2. The prescription of antibacterial drugs is practiced when the cause of pain is acute rheumatoid arthritis. In this condition, the patient needs to suppress the activity of the infection. Antibiotics will help to do this, which should be taken for at least ten days in a row.
  3. To support the microflora when taking antibiotics, bifidobacteria and probiotics are necessarily prescribed. This could be Linex, Hilak Forte or drugs derived from them.
  4. Prescription of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Diclofenac, Nimesulide). It is better if they are in the form of tablets and ointments. In more advanced cases (when the joint is so affected that it cannot move normally at all), it is possible to administer NSAIDs directly into the joint capsule in the form of injections.
  5. For pain, the patient is prescribed analgesics. They can be in the form of syrups (for children) and tablets (for adults).
  6. If the body temperature is high, the patient is prescribed antipyretic drugs.
  7. If there is swelling of the soft tissues of the joint, then decongestant medications in the form of ointments are prescribed.
  8. To restore muscle activity, the patient is prescribed a course of therapeutic massage. It is recommended to perform it after the pain has subsided a little. A traditional massage course includes twenty sessions.
  9. After completion of drug treatment, the patient is prescribed physical therapy. It is aimed at restoring lost joint functions and restoring its motor activity. As an additional therapeutic measure, doctors also advise patients to go swimming.

Foot massage helps relieve pain

In addition, if the joint is very painful and swollen, then it needs to be wrapped every day with a medical elastic bandage. It will not only help relieve inflammation, but also normalize poor blood circulation.

We also recommend: Complications after influenza in children

On average, treatment for this complication lasts from two to three weeks. After this, the patient feels significant improvements and returns to normal life.

If a person consults a doctor when the condition is already quite advanced, then his treatment will be more difficult and lengthy.

Probability of complications

Medical statistics do not have sufficient data on the exact incidence of ARVI, since this group of viral infections is the most common on the planet. Influenza cases are usually easier to count. But the frequency of complications after influenza or ARVI is known. Negative consequences occur in approximately 15% of cases.

Viruses, penetrating the child’s body through the upper respiratory tract, destroy the epithelial cells of the nasal passages, nasopharynx, and larynx. Then they penetrate the bloodstream and spread throughout the body through the bloodstream, causing symptoms of intoxication and high fever. Damage to the respiratory system in the acute stage of the disease usually occurs in children in the form of a runny nose and dry cough. Intoxication can manifest itself as abdominal pain, nausea, and loose stools. After 4-5 days, the fever and the main signs of infection begin to subside.

The fight against the virus significantly reduces the child’s immunity, and there is a real threat of a secondary infection, most often bacterial. The load on the respiratory system during illness can lead to chronic pathology.

Complications are most likely in young children. The younger the child, the weaker his immune defense. Adolescents are less susceptible to complications after influenza and ARVI. The most dangerous age from the point of view of the likelihood of negative consequences is considered to be from six months to 3 years.

Symptoms and manifestations of influenza in children

A baby can become infected with the flu through airborne droplets, unwashed hands and toys. The disease will develop quite quickly and manifest itself with the following symptoms:

  1. The appearance of severe headache and body aches.
  2. Temperature increase.
  3. Muscle pain.
  4. In young children, the body can react to a viral infection in the form of diarrhea, colic and flatulence.
  5. The appearance of first a dry and then a wet cough.
  6. Loss of appetite and sleep disturbance.
  7. Children can be whiny and irritable.
  8. Fever and excessive sweating.
  9. Shortness of breath and sore throat.
  10. Weakness and decreased activity of the baby.

In more advanced cases, children experience vomiting, loss of consciousness, photophobia and convulsions. These are the indications, when they appear, delaying going to the doctor can be dangerous for the baby’s life.

On average, the acute form of viral damage to the body occurs within seven days. In the absence of timely treatment, this disease can last for about two weeks and cause characteristic complications of influenza in children. See also: Incubation period of ARVI and influenza

Why do complications occur after flu in the ears and how to treat them?

It has been proven that up to 90% of all acute respiratory viral infections that occur in childhood are of viral origin. Antibacterial therapy has no effect on viruses. However, many parents, due to their ignorance and also wanting to speed up recovery, give their child antibiotics for every cold.

It should be understood that there are no safe medications. This also applies to antibacterial drugs, which have a detrimental effect on the immune system, provoke dysbiosis, lead to the development of allergies, and “harden” bacteria, increasing their resistance.

Naturally, pediatricians are aware of the dangers of inadequate antibacterial therapy, but continue to prescribe it even for ARVI. Indeed, in the conditions of a home examination, with little work experience, when only a phonendoscope is in hand, it is quite problematic to differentiate pneumonia from a cold.

The easiest way to prescribe an antibiotic is. After all, the harm from taking these drugs is not very noticeable at the beginning of treatment, and if pneumonia does manifest itself, the doctor will say that he prescribed adequate treatment.

So, antibiotics for colds in children under 12 years of age should not be taken in the first five days from the onset of the disease. If parents are very worried about the adequacy of the therapy, then they should do a blood and urine test, and undergo an X-ray of the lungs to confirm the viral nature of the disease and exclude the development of complications.

Children aged 6 years and older should have their body temperature reduced if it exceeds 39 °C or more. It can cause damage to the child’s health, as it goes beyond the physiological norm.

Before the age of 6 years, body temperature must be reduced if it exceeds 38.6 °C because there is a risk of seizures. If convulsions have occurred previously, it is necessary to give an antipyretic drug at a body temperature of 37.5 °C or higher.

To reduce body temperature, you can use the following tips:

  • When a child's skin is pink, he should not be further insulated. The child needs to be undressed to allow air access to the body.
  • If the child’s skin is pale, then he should be covered with a light blanket and offered plenty of warm drinks.
  • Local rubbing of a child’s feet and hands with vodka can only be done after a year. As the alcohol evaporates, it will cool the skin. You cannot use stronger alcohol solutions, as this can injure the delicate baby skin. In addition, some of the alcohol will be absorbed, which will contribute to intoxication.
  • Cold must be applied to the main vessels. To do this, you should fill a bottle with cold water and apply it to the groin area and armpits, since this is where large blood vessels pass.
  • The child's head should remain open, as up to 80% of heat loss occurs through it.

The child should consume as much fluid as possible, since during a fever it evaporates very rapidly. This risks dehydration.

Prevention of influenza in children is carried out primarily through vaccination. Their effectiveness has been proven by many years of testing and experience. This is the main measure of protection against the influenza virus recommended by WHO. Immunity develops about a month after the vaccine is administered and will last on average for a year. For this purpose, children are given vaccines such as Influvac, Grippol, Grippol plus, Fluarix, etc.

Other preventive measures to prevent children from getting the flu include the following:

  • Early detection of the disease and isolation of the sick child from society.
  • Systematic ventilation of premises and their regular wet cleaning using disinfectants.
  • Quartzization of premises.
  • Washing your hands frequently.
  • Wearing sterile medical masks during an epidemic.
  • Refusal to visit crowded places.
  • Refusal of intergroup and other mass events in kindergarten.
  • Introduction of extraordinary holidays during the flu epidemic.

As a rule, the prognosis for recovery is favorable in the case of a typical course of the disease. The threat of death increases with hypertensive and complicated forms of influenza, as well as with infection of children at risk.

Author of the article: Alekseeva Maria Yurievna | General practitioner

About the doctor: From 2010 to 2020. practicing physician at the therapeutic hospital of the central medical unit No. 21, the city of Elektrostal. Since 2020 he has been working at diagnostic center No. 3.

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