Leg Pain – Causes and Treatment

leg pain

Leg pain can be sharp, dull, or prickly. It can develop suddenly or gradually affect a part of or entire leg. Mild pain can be ignored, but sharp and prolonged leg pain will make you unable to move, walk, or bear the weight on your leg.

The pain can be treated at home, but in case of severe pain or serious medical condition – you need to consult your doctor for proper treatment.

What are the causes of leg pain?

Most of the causes of leg pain are minor and can be treated at home. But in case it is getting prolonged, you need to treat it effectively.

If your leg pain is severe, you need to immediately consult your doctor to know the underlying issues.

Muscle cramps or spasm

Muscle spasms are one of the most common reasons for leg pain. When leg muscles are contracted, a lump is formed under the skin. It triggers a sharp pain in the leg.

Spasms can also cause swelling of the skin. Muscle tiredness, dehydration, and specific medications can lead to leg cramps or spasms.

Tendinitis

The inflammation of the tendon is called tendinitis. Tendons are the connective tissues that join the muscles and bones. Their inflammation is painful and makes a person unable to move its leg. It can also affect your knees, shoulders, hip, and elbows. 

Muscle strain

Muscle strain can occur in any part of the body, but it is common in the lower back, neck, shoulder, and leg muscles. A muscle strain occurs due to overstretching of the muscles. It tore the muscles due to overuse, exhaustion, or inappropriate use of muscles. 

Shin splints

Shin splints – also called Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome –cause pain along the inner border of the tibia. It is the inflammation of muscles and tendons around the tibia. This inflammation can occur due to the overuse of muscles.

Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a condition where arteries are blocked due to the deposition of cholesterol or fats. It blocks the arteries and discontinues the supply of oxygen-rich blood to various parts of the body. When the leg does not get enough supply of oxygen, it develops pain.

Deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis causes swelling of the leg. It causes crampy pain in the leg due to the formation of blood clots in veins.

Arthritis

The inflammation of joints causes swelling and pain in the knees, hips, and legs.

Varicose veins

It is a common condition that causes swollen, painful, and enlarged veins due to blood overfilling in veins. It can also cause leg pain.

The less common causes of leg pain include:

  • Herniated disk
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Baker’s cyst
  • Bone cancer
  • Chronic exertional compartment syndrome
  • Claudication
  • Infection
  • Meralgia paresthetica

How leg pain can be treated at home?

Leg pain can be treated at home if it is mild or due to minor injuries.

Take rest as much as possible and raise your leg with a pillow.

Take a pain killer to relieve the pain. Apply ice 4-5 times daily.

Take a warm shower.

Perform light stretch exercises to stretch the muscles.

Do not perform these exercises without the supervision of experts.

When to see a doctor?

Mild leg pain can be treated at home: but if your pain is getting prolonged along with the following symptoms, immediately consult your doctor.

  • Pain while moving or walking
  • Swelling or redness on legs
  • Prolonged pain
  • Painful varicose veins
  • Difficulty breathing

How to prevent leg pain?

There are many ways to avoid leg pain like:

  • Perform stretch exercises before and after your workouts
  • Eat potassium-rich foods to avoid the muscle injuries
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
  • Maintain your blood pressure and blood cholesterol level
  • Always consult your doctor before taking any mediations
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