Q. My son has stomach pains, which spreads to the rest of his body. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Alon Seifan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Oct 06, 2017

Hello doctor,

My 8 year old son began having pain on and around his bones about three weeks ago. It is mild in the morning and progressively gets worse into the night. The pain starts at the belly button and quickly moves to the ribs and throat. He felt like he was gagging and had tightness in throat. The doctor thought this to be excess acid, so he started him on Zantac, but it has not worked. About 10 minutes after the stomach pain at ribs and tightness in the throat, he begins experiencing bone and nerve pains. First, his hip begins to hurt at the top, and he says it is the bone itself, not the joint. The pain then travels all over his body, mostly around the bones.

It hurts around his shin bone, all up and down the side where it attaches to the connective tissue. It hurts on tops of his feet, on top of the bones. His hands begin to hurt. He feels like someone is pinching his arm tightly sometimes. The spine at the base of his head also pains along with his tailbone. He has no fever. His CBC, ESR, and CRP, are all normal. The stomach x-ray is also normal. The pain lasts for hours once started, and Tylenol and Motrin helps a little. The pain lasts a few minutes in each area before moving on and has moderate intensity.

It does not seem to be related to joint at all, and he says it mostly hurts on the bones themselves, especially the tailbone, and back of the skull. The stomach ache is always present during bone pain. The bones in affected areas are very sensitive to touch, and the slightest touch causes more pain. The doctor has never heard of stomach pain starting in upper stomach and spreading like this to the rest of the body. Any ideas would be a great help.

Dr. Alon Seifan



Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • Once you rule out major medical illness, I would consider childhood migraines in this case. Is there a family history of somebody who gets regular headaches? Migrating pain in neurology is usually diagnosable based on the duration. Seconds and minutes versus hours sometimes can give it away.
  • Also, migraine can present with stomach aches in children and can present with atypical symptoms such as migrating pain. This may make some sense why he seems to feel better with Tylenol (Acetaminophen) or Motrin (Ibuprofen).
  • One thing you can try is Magnesium chewable tablets 250 mg a day. This is a safe and potentially effective way to prevent all forms of migraines in children and adults. If the symptoms go away with magnesium, then you have your diagnosis as complex migraines.
  • Other differential diagnoses are a bone disease or neuropathy.

I hope this helps you get closer to your answer in some way.

For more information consult a neurologist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neurologist

Hello doctor,

Thank you for taking the time to answer this. I will try the Magnesium and also consider the time it takes for the pain to migrate. I will let you know how it goes.

Dr. Alon Seifan

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