Leg pain is a very common problem experienced by many people all over the world. The condition usually comes about because of wear and tear, injuries, and overuse in the leg muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other tissues. Apart from this, some leg pain cases can be traced to lower spine, varicose veins, poor circulation, and blood clots.
Nevertheless, leg pain can also be caused by Achilles tendinitis, bone cancer, ACL injury, broken leg, Achilles tendon rapture, broken leg, hamstring, growing pain, and herniated disk. This article gives an in-depth look at leg pain, its causes, symptoms, home treatment methods, and the best way to prevent it.
What Does Leg Pain Entail?
Pain in the leg comes about when nerves in the leg respond to stimuli like high or low temperatures, high pressure, and chemicals that can be emitted by tissue damage. Leg pain can be dull, sharp, tingling, radiating, aching, or burning. Despite this, it can be acute, meaning short term or chronic, meaning long term and persistent.
Injury that comes about because of an accident or injury is usually acute and traumatic. The individual can usually identify the cause. However, other causes like peripheral arterial disease (PAD) build up over a long time, although the affected individual may also be able to pinpoint the cause of the pain.
Some sports injuries build up over a long time like stress fractures and strain injuries. Traumatic injuries can grow to become chronic or long-term if the affected person does not seek treatment or rest. It is crucial to be aware the cause of the leg pain, as this helps determine when to seek medical care.
What are the Cause of Leg Pain?
Leg pain is classified as musculoskeletal, neurological, or vascular. Musculoskeletal pain can be recognized by a cracking or popping sound in the leg, usually around the knee. It can also be characterized by arthritis, which is an autoimmune condition that affects the joints in the ankle, knee, and hip. For instance, if a muscle or tendon is strained due to a fall, the pain resulting after that is musculoskeletal. On its part, neurological pain is caused by restless legs syndrome, which causes the legs to twitch uncontrollably or nerve damage, sciatic nerve pain, and neuropathy. On the other hand, infections, varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis, varicose eczema, and cellulitis cause vascular pain.
Diagnosis for Leg Pain
The diagnosis for leg pain starts with the medical expert interviewing the patient and doing a physical exam to determine what could be causing the leg pain. The diagnosis can be conducted through blood tests and X-rays. If your condition is very serious, your healthcare expert may recommend an ultrasound, ankle-brachial index, arteriogram, CT scan, MRI, or a joint aspiration.
Treatment for Leg Pain
Leg pain treatment usually depends on the diagnosis. Once the cause of the pain is determined, the treatment is focused on both controlling the problem and the pain to reduce future occurrences. You can treat leg pain at home or by visiting a healthcare provider. This part of the article looks at these two treatment options.
Home Remedies for Leg Pain
The best home remedy for a simple strain or sprain on the leg is RICE – rest, ice, compression, and elevation. You can also consider taking ibuprofen and acetaminophen to minimize the pain. It is good to note that over-the-counter medication works but may interact negatively with prescription drugs. So, be sure to ask for advice from your healthcare provider.
When to See a Doctor
People with severe leg pain should consider visiting a doctor as soon as possible. Individuals that have a leg injury with a deep cut that has exposed the tendons and bones, those that are unable to walk, and individuals experiencing pain, swelling, and redness in the calf should consider seeking immediate medical attention. Doctors are better placed to deal with leg pain, as they have years of experience in the field and can thus offer the best possible treatment. Apart from normal medical care, your physician might recommend chiropractic care or physical therapy as additional treatments.
Pain in the leg is a very common symptom of disease or trauma in the leg. Some common causes of leg pain include injury, and nerves, muscles, joints, and bone problems. The treatment period and method depends on the cause and extent of your leg pain. Leg pain can usually be treated at home, but if the pain is severe, sudden, or persistent, immediate medical attention may be needed.