Leg pain can develop suddenly or gradually and affect either your entire leg or just a localized area. In addition, the pain can be sharp, dull, aching or tingling.
Leg Pain, Causes
Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
Your legs don’t get enough blood due to narrowing of the arteries. Your legs may feel weak or numb and cramp when you walk. They feel cold and are an odd color. If you smoke, STOP! If that doesn’t work, or you don’t smoke, ask your doctor for medicine.
Leg Pain: Electrolyte Imbalance
Electrolytes are minerals like sodium, potassium, and calcium that help your muscles work correctly. You lose some electrolytes through sweat when you exercise, and if you lose too much, your legs can cramp or feel weak. Also, some medical treatments, like chemotherapy, will decrease electrolyte levels. too. Fill up with sports drinks containing electrolytes.
This condition happens when the spaces within the bones in your spine get narrow. This puts pressure on the nerves in the area and can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your legs. You also might have trouble with balance. Get medical attention. Medication and physical therapy can ease the pain. If these don’t work, you might need surgery.
This is leg pain caused by a pinched nerve in your lower spine. It can range from a bad cramp to a strong shooting pain that makes it hard to stand or even sit. Other causes might be a slipped or herniated disk, a slipped vertebra,or spinal stenosis. Over-the-counter pain medications and physical therapy are recommended. Surgery is a last resort.
Leg Pain: Arthritis
This is a common condition that affects your joints and causes pain, swelling, and stiffness. When it happens in your hips, knees, or ankles, it can be hard to walk or function normally. There’s no cure, but it can help to exercise and stay at a healthy weight. Heating pads as well as ice packs applied to the aching joints can ease pain and swelling. Over-the-counter pain relievers are also effective.
This is when a muscle gets stretched too far. It happens a lot to people who play sports. The pain is intense and starts right away. The best treatment is to ice it for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. Also, wrap the area lightly, keep it raised if you can, and rest it. Over-the-counter pain relievers can ease the ache.
Leg Pain: Sprain
This injury happens when the tissue that connects a muscle to a bone, called a ligament, is stretched or torn. Ankle sprains are common. The injured area swells and hurts, and you can’t put weight on it. Ice it, rest it, and wrap it. Also, take an extra to check for broken bones.
This is when a muscle, usually in your calf, suddenly gets tight. It brings on a sharp pain, and you may feel a hard lump of muscle under your skin. Cramps tend to happen more as you age, and you’re also likely to have them if you’re out in hot weather and don’t drink enough water. Drink plenty of water and replenish your sodium and potassium levels.
Leg Pain: Shin Splints
These happen when the muscles and tissues around your shinbone get inflamed, making the inner edge of the bone hurt. They’re common among people who run a lot. In addition, flat feet, rigid arches, or the wrong shoes can also cause shin splints. The best treatment is to rest your legs, iceit for 20 minutes several times a day, and take pain relievers if necessary.
Leg Pain: Stress Fracture
If pain that feels like shin splints doesn’t get better, you may have a small crack in your shinbone. It happens when the muscles around the bone are overused and don’t cushion the impact of movement. Rest is the best treatment for a stress fracture, and it will take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.
Leg Pain: Tendinitis
Tendons are the flexible cords that connect muscles to bones. It can hurt a lot if they get inflamed, especially when you move that joint. This inflammation can affect your hip, knee, and ankle. As with a sprain, the best way to treat it is with rest, ice and pain killers.
Leg Pain: Varicose Veins
When veins have to work extra hard to get blood back to your heart, they bulge and look twisted, blue, or dark purple. They make your legs feel heavy, burn, throb, or cramp. If you’re overweight, pregnant, or stand or sit for long stretches, you increase the probability of cramping. Losing weight, exercising, and wearing compression stockings will help.
Burning Thigh Pain
Meralgia paresthetica is a nerve problem that causes painful burning, numbing, or tingling in your upper thigh. Your chances of having it are higher if you’re pregnant, overweight, wear tight clothes, or have surgical scar tissue in your groin area. Take acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If the pain lasts more than 2 months, get medical attention.
Watch this informative video on leg pain: