Medical Specialty >> Pediatrics

Doctors Lounge - Pediatrics Answers

Back to Pediatrics Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 9/9/2017.

Forum Name: Pediatric Topics

Question: 14 years young feeling 40 years old

 abbyg - Sun Feb 24, 2008 1:34 am

I am a 14 year old female, but it feels like I am 40. I have bodily aches throughout the day and occasionally during the night and I'm not sure what is going on. During the day, my back feels "irritated," not like it's itchy, but like I need to stretch and pop my back like my life depends on it. My knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, and wrists sometimes feel like that too. During the night, my calves cramp up and it causes unbearable pain. I read somewhere that sometimes overworking your leg muscles can cause them to cramp up like that, and I think that's the reason why they do because during the day it's like I can't stop moving my legs and I constantly toss and turn and it’s like my legs don’t get any rest at all. If I sit still for a long time, or even just for a short period of time, my legs get that "irritated" feeling and I just HAVE to move them. I sometimes get the same feeling in my arms. When I’m walking around, I sometimes get a sharp pain in my hip, my knee, or in the arch of my foot. When someone grabs my wrists, they quickly feel swollen or numb and it feels like the circulation is being cut off no matter how tightly the person is or isn’t holding my wrists. During school, when I am writing, I get something like a writer’s cramp, but then when I try to use my hands or wrists afterwards, I feel a sharp pain in my wrists. Sometimes when I’m not doing anything, just sitting around, and I am not using my hands, my palms get really itchy and it’s like I cannot stop scratching them; I get the same feeling in my leg, but it usually starts off with a bug bite feeling like a bug just bit me, but none actually did, and when I scratch it I can’t stop. When I walk up the stairs in my house I feel really exhausted and I feel like I just can’t do it anymore. Sometimes when I am carrying my one-year-old sister, my arms tire quickly and I have to pass her on to someone else; it’s not that she’s overweight either. When I try to fix my hair, I have difficulty, even when I’m doing something simple like putting it up in a ponytail. When I have my arms up above my head and I am trying to fix the ponytail, my arms feel exhausted and I usually give up doing my hair because it feels like my arms can’t take it. In the classroom, sometimes when I accidentally drop my pencil and I am sitting down, I bend over to the side to reach for it, and my hip or my back will cramp up really bad and I’d have to ask someone else to get it for me. I don’t play sports, and I am occasionally inactive. My mother says that the reason all this has been happening is because I am lazy and that I need to exercise more, but the more I try to exercise, it seems, the worse I feel. I think I do my fair share of exercising when I am walking about, running up and down the stairs, and having to move my legs nonstop. Just to be sure I am getting enough exercise, I do jumping jacks and go out for walks on my spare time. Is there any explanation for any of this? Thanks.
 splume - Sun Feb 24, 2008 5:38 pm

I am certainly no expert, but maybe it could be juvenile RA? (Rheumatoid arthitis).... do Rheumatoid arthritis run in your family or any autoimmune disorders? I am just taking a wild guess here... so do not take my word for it... maybe a DR on here will give you a better insight... anyways good luck! and keep us updated!
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Feb 25, 2008 9:48 pm

User avatar Hello Abbyg,

There are some a few possibilities. It may be that you have a viral infection such as with ebstein barr virus (the cause of mononucleosis). Less commonly, problems with the muscles can present with symptoms such as this, including muscular dystrophies. Thyroid problems can also cause some muscle weakness.

I would recommend you see your doctor about this. A complete physical exam will be helpful. Also, you may need some screening labs such as electrolytes, thyroid levels and some muscle enzymes.

Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us