Leg pain comes in many forms. My patients describe it as tingly, sharp, dull, throbbing and aching. Whatever your leg pain feels like, it can be a source of discomfort and inhibit your ability to stand for long periods, put weight on your leg or simply perform everyday activities. Though it has a variety of causes, there are some common conditions known to result in leg pain. Let’s take a look and discuss solutions that will get you back on your feet.
Causes of Leg Pain
If you have suffered an injury to the bone, muscle or tendon of your leg, it’s easy to connect these injuries to leg pain and seek treatment. Sometimes, however, the cause of leg pain is not crystal clear. Vascular disorders involving the vessels that carry blood and lymph throughout the body can cause blood clots or varicose veins. Blood clots, known as deep vein thrombosis, often result from prolonged bed rest.
Atherosclerosis or narrowed arteries is a condition that can impair circulation so that less blood reaches your legs. In this case, you might feel pain during exercise that’s called claudication which feels like a sharp cramp when you walk or run.
Infections are another source of leg pain. Osteomyelitis, for example, is an infection of the bone that results in impaired mobility. Inflammation from diseases like arthritis and gout can also attack joints in the leg, making everyday activities painful.
Finding Healthy Answers To Alleviate Leg Pain
As you can see, the causes of leg pain are many and varied. It is essential to identify the underlying condition causing the pain. With the help of a physician, you can treat the source of your symptoms and feel healthy and mobile once again. You should not hesitate to schedule an office visit if you have pain that becomes increasingly worse, swelling in both legs, painful varicose veins, or symptoms that do not improve within one week.
Redness and swelling can indicate blood clots, so visit your doctor as soon as possible. Blood clots in deep veins may be dangerous if they travel to the brain or heart. To avoid developing clots, move frequently. If you work at a desk, get up and walk around every hour. Frequent air travelers should walk around during flights as often as possible. A regular exercise program also helps keep blood vessels healthy.
In the case of claudication due to poor circulation, you can avoid complications by not smoking and monitoring your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis. A healthy diet of produce and whole grains that is low in saturated fat and salt can help many people. Natural supplements to fight high cholesterol may also be useful. You should continue to exercise under a doctor’s supervision in order to train your muscles to use oxygen more efficiently and strengthen your legs in the long run.
For arthritis sufferers, many natural vitamin and mineral formulas have been developed to strengthen joints and bones. A high quality calcium formula is a good place to begin. The best advice I give to patients with leg pain is to take action. If you suffer from chronic pain, complacency can lead to complications if you fail treat the underlying cause. Work with your doctor and take back your mobility, your strength and your health!
Mark Bromson, M.D.