Leg pain – Main causes, symptoms, and treatment
Leg pain is a widespread issue that affects millions of people around the world. Although it is rumored to affect only elderly individuals, there are a variety of reasons that make leg pain a common issue in people of all ages. Let us look at some common causes, symptoms, as well as treatment of leg pain, thus making it easier for you to get information of the same.
Common causes of leg pain
Some of the main causes of leg pain include:
- Leg cramps
Also called as Charley Horses, leg cramps occur when muscles in the calf and back of the leg lock and start spasming. Cramps usually occur at night when the body is resting and can cause immense pain that lasts for several minutes.
- Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
This common cause for leg pain is usually due to the poor blood supply to the leg muscles, thus causing cramps in the leg while causing pain in the buttocks.
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
DVT is said to occur when you spend a long time sitting down. It starts as a blood clot that collects in the deep veins present in your leg. If not treated in time, it can move to the lungs, causing breathlessness, dizziness, and a bloody cough. Some of the leg pain symptoms associated with DVT include swelling in the legs and pain on one side of the leg.
- Shin splints
Some of the main remedies for leg pain searched on the Internet are associated with the treatment for shin splints. Shin splints usually occur due to excessive exertion or pressure on the leg during high impact exercises or sports. It causes severe pain in the tendons, muscles, and bones in and around the shin.
Another common cause of leg pain, fractures are caused when heavy pressure on the leg leads to bones cracking or breaking completely. Some fractures can be easily visible and cause immense pain along with swelling, bruising, and deformation. Others such as stress fractures are usually small and build up over a period, with the pain associated with them starting off small and gradually becoming more severe and constant.
- Hamstring strain
Individuals tend to search for an effective leg pain treatment for a hamstring strain. A hamstring strain is associated with the stretching or tearing of the muscles or tendons in the leg. Often caused by running, overstretching or improper flexibility training practices, it can cause severe pain in the rear thigh muscles.
- Sciatic nerve pain
Usually caused by pinched nerves resulting from muscle spasms or herniated disks, sciatic nerve pain starts at the spine and moves down to the legs. With time, the pain will also spread to other parts of the body.
Common symptoms of leg pain
Leg pain can cause varied symptoms in individuals depending on the actual cause of the pain. Some of the common symptoms include swelling (in the leg and groin region), skin redness, joint swelling, fever, joint pain, back pain, and a ‘pins and needles’ sensation in the legs.
Leg pain – treatment
When you go online to search for leg pain treatment, you are bound to come across quite a few home remedies for the condition. Here are some of the common home remedies you can try for your leg pain before consulting a doctor.
- Stretching and massaging
A great way to get relief from muscle cramps is to stretch and massage the leg the moment muscles in it start to spasm. You can try straightening the leg and walking around on your heels until the pain subsides. Other measures include stretching the body before going to bed, massaging the legs frequently, and keeping the body hydrated by drinking at least 12 glasses of water every day.
- RICE treatment
RICE is one of the most popular home remedies for leg pain caused by sprains and strains resulting from sports injuries. The term RICE denotes Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation and involves a four-step procedure to treat the strain/sprain.
Accordingly, Rest allows one to rest the leg to reduce swelling and prevent further injury. Ice is wrapped in a cloth and is placed on the affected area to reduce the pain and swelling. Compression involves wrapping an elastic bandage around the affected area to bring down the pain and swelling. And finally, Elevation involves placing the leg in an elevated position (above the heart level) to drain out excess fluids collected in the affected area. This procedure needs to be followed on a day-to-day basis until the leg is cured and the pain dissipates completely.
In addition to these remedies, some other common leg pain remedies involve doing moderate exercise to relax stiff muscles and joints, eating a healthy diet to prevent leg pain caused by nutrient deficiencies, avoiding smoking and managing cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels.
In the case of leg pain caused by circulatory issues, you will need to seek medical assistance for leg pain and numbness treatment.