Pain in any part of the body is a natural indication that something wrong is happening with your body. Same is the case with the leg pain. You must not ignore this for any reason. It could be dull ache to excruciating depending upon the disturbances in the natural mechanisms.
According to one of the study in India, the prevalence of chronic leg pain is 28% leading to disability. More work and less rest is one of the major contributors for leg pain among people of India belonging to the labor community. On the other hand people enjoying sedentary lifestyle are not safe from this condition. Their inactive lifestyle results in the Peripheral Artery diseases (PAD), atherosclerosis and so on, the consequence of which is the leg pain.
Furthermore, if you belong from South Asian countries you’re more prone to diabetes and heart diseases, the foremost symptom of which is leg pain.
Another factor is the excessive pressure on the legs due to being overweight and obese that is more prevalent among the female gender as many women do not get the time to do regular exercise or walk daily.
Lack of water, poor diet deficient in vitamins, minerals (potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium etc.) and essential nutrients is very prevalent not only in women but also among adolescents in India that cause the symptoms of leg pain. A myriad of developmental changes occur during puberty, lack of access to the essential nutrition contributes to leg pain in the young age.
Leg Pain Causes
There are many causes of leg pain. However, only some of these are medically serious. Minor leg pain or discomfort will often disappear within a short time and can be eased or relieved with at-home treatments while severe leg pain needs medical treatment. Leg pain is an umbrella term whose causes related to your bone, muscles and nerves could be:
- Muscle fatigue and dehydration leading to leg cramps
- Strenuous exercise or physical activity
- Traumatic or non-traumatic Injuries
- Sports injuries
- Muscle strains / muscle tear
- Inflammations like bursitis tendinitis, arthritis
- Stress fractures
- Shin splints (overuse injury to the tibia or shinbone)
- Slipped / herniated discs
- Torn meniscus
- Ligamentous sprains
- Spinal Stenosis
- Osgood Schlatter’s disease (of the growth plate of the tibia in young boys)
- Ankylosing Spondylitis
- Flat foot
Apart from these, certain systemic pathologies can lead to leg pain that includes:
- Deep Venous Thrombosis
- Varicose veins
- Spider veins
- Renal/ Kidney issues
- Benign tumors
- malignant tumors or cancers
- Compartment Syndrome
- Intermittent Claudication
- Paget’s Diseases
- Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)
- Blood Clots
- Cerebrovascular Accident ( CVA/Stroke)
- Chronic alcoholism
- Skin infection
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
- Certain medications like anti-coagulants, corticosteroids etc.
Leg Pain Symptoms
You might complain that your leg pain is constant or intermittent in nature developing either suddenly or gradually. It may affect your whole leg or it may remain to a localized area. Pain from muscles and joints often can be felt or palpated, meaning that touching the area reproduces the pain. However, the pain may radiate from its source to another location. It can take a number of forms like
- Weakness or heaviness
Depending upon the cause and the individual situation, symptoms of leg pain may have a wide range of presentation. Some leg pain can be mild or moderate but more-severe leg pain can be annoying affecting your ability to walk or even putting weight on your legs. You may ultimately have:
- Difficulty in walking
- Difficulty in sitting
- Sleep disturbances
- Swelling of limb
- Gait problems
- History of fall
- Difficulty in performing ADLs (Activity of Daily Livings)
Leg Pain Precautions
It’s always better to take precautions in order to keep yourself away from any disease. To avoid leg pain you must
- Stay hydrated
- Maintain a normal weight
- Quit smoking or any other hazardous habit
- Eat healthy
- Exercise regularly
Leg Pain Home Remedy
Acute and minor leg pain can be alleviated by some home remedies. You might be unaware of the usefulness of some common products that are present in your kitchen and do wonders for your leg pain. So, here are some of the home remedies:
- Apply cold compresses on the affected area by wrapping the ice-cubes inside a towel for 10-15 minutes if your leg pain is due to the strenuous activity.
- Massage with gentle strokes on the affected area with olive, coconut or mustard oil.
- Make a paste of turmeric with sesame oil and apply to relieve pain as well as swelling.
- Add 1 to 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to a bathtub of warm water and you’re your painful leg for 30 minutes.
- Add half cup of Epsom salt to a hot bath and mix it well and soak your legs in this water for 15 minutes.
- If your leg pain is due to the varicose veins compression therapy is frequently the first and most conservative step in its management. Compression stockings work simply by squeezing the leg, thereby reducing the amount of blood and pressure in the veins. Lumino Cielo Copper Compression stockings are based on graduated pressure mechanism that helps you to increase or decrease the pressure gradients. Lumino Cielo also provides Flamingo Varicose Vein Stockings that are stretchable and provide adequate pressure to alleviate your symptoms.
Leg Pain Treatment
Treatment for leg pain is individualized depending upon the exact diagnosis. Never ignore leg pain that does not seem to be going away, or if it is accompanied by any of the other symptoms mentioned above. Doing so could be dangerous. With some injuries and arthritic conditions, leg pain gradually resolves as the muscle or joint warms up during activity
Some patients need surgery while others only need conservative management for their leg pain like:
- RICE (Rest, Icing, Compression’s and Elevations)
Take appropriate rest to relieve your pain
Do icing to inhibit pain receptors
Use Lumino Cielo Compression stockings to reduces edema
Elevate your limb to avoid pooling of blood and improving venous return to heart
- Prescribed Medications (to relieve diabetes, hypertension, atherosclerosis etc.)
- OTC (over the counter) Medications like Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, naproxen sodium and so on.
- Physical Therapy (exercises, electrotherapy, mobilizations, manipulations)
Pregnancy, Motherhood and Leg cramps
While you await the arrival of your precious baby, you may be feeling new kinds of aches and pains. Despite the fact that morning sickness, fatigue, and back pain are frequent complaints during pregnancy, leg and foot problems are just as common. Leg pain during the second or third trimester of pregnancy may be the result of added weight, changing body shape, and biomechanics. Sciatica is the most common cause of leg pain during pregnancy because your enlarged uterus can press down on the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back to your feet. Some common pregnancy aches include swollen and painful feet and legs, and calf cramps. Some females also report radiating pain down the back of the legs and hip pain.
During pregnancy your uterus becomes heavier as your baby grows, which means that your legs are working harder to carry you. Another possible cause is that the uterus relies on the major vein that returns blood to the heart slows that process, leading to heavy, sluggish limbs that are more prone to cramp. This all combines affect the muscle tone in your legs making them more susceptible to leg pain.
Muscle cramps during pregnancy are one of the most common discomforts experienced by approximately half of all expecting mothers. The majority of muscle cramps during pregnancy occurs in the lower extremities, particularly in the calves that happen abruptly and is mostly commonly experienced at night. Cramping can occur as a result of too much phosphorus and too little calcium in the body. Muscle cramps during pregnancy are most likely associated with one or more of the following:
- Carrying the extra weight from pregnancy – It may be that your leg muscles get tired because they’re carrying around the extra weight of pregnancy, and then cramp when you’re resting.
- Change in blood flow or circulation
- Lack of stretching before exercise or extensive use
- Nerve compression
- Lack of minerals – leg cramps is a sign that you need more calcium, magnesium and potassium
It may help to know that these feelings are normal, though they are uncomfortable. If, however, the calf pain is continuous, and if your leg is red and hot to the touch, call your doctor immediately. This is to ensure that your leg pain is not a sign of a blood clot.
Your hormones and body changes have some effect too. Your body is getting ready for birth and so some of your joints and ligaments are loosening up to make delivery possible. All of these changes added together can cause leg pain as an early pregnancy symptom.
During pregnancy, the body needs extra power to meet the added energy demands. Along with heart, kidney and lungs, the body muscles, especially leg muscles need extra energy to bear the increasing body demands of both pregnant woman and the fetus. When there is slight imbalance between energy demand and supply, leg pain sets in.