Do you have pain in your legs? Are you trying to figure out why? There could be many different reasons as to why you’re experiencing leg pain, especially if it’s persistent. Our legs take on a lot when it comes to physical stress on the body. We use them for almost everything we do.
Although the reasons of leg pain may vary between each individual, there are usually some common underlying causes. You shouldn’t have to live your life in pain, so understanding the causes of your leg pain will help you diagnose the condition. Remember that leg pain can go away with proper treatment. Be sure to consult with a physiotherapy clinic if you are suffering from foot or leg pain.
Below, we will explore eight common causes of leg pain. Do any of these following conditions seem like the cause of your leg pain? You may fall into one of these categories, but it’s always best to visit your chiropractor so they can evaluate you and establish a diagnosis and treatment plan. You may even have to resort to a specific type of shoe. To do so and to check specific features, please visit Shoe Adviser.
Tendinitis occurs in joints and is characterized by inflammation or irritation of a tendon. When tendinitis causes leg pain, it’s usually from the Achilles tendon, which is a tough band of fibrous tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. This is a common injury that leads tendons to swell, stretch, or tear.
Activities that overwork the calf, like running, exercising, and climbing stairs can all lead to tendinitis. You can help the tendon heal at home by placing ice on it and taking anti-inflammatory medications like Advil. Of course, you’ll want to avoid doing anything too strenuous for a while. You can also try and stretch the muscle once it’s feeling a little bit better.
When experiencing a cramp, the muscles contracting will cause a sudden, sharp pain. Leg cramps can be the result of many things, like muscle fatigue and dehydration. Cramps can last from just a few seconds, all the way up to 10 minutes. What can you do to treat leg cramps? Stretch, apply ice and massage the muscle.
3. Shin Splints
Do you have pain along your shins? If so, your leg pain may be caused by shin splints. This condition most commonly occurs in athletes who have increased their activity, thus overworking the muscles, tendons, and bone tissue. You can reduce the pain you’re experiencing from shin splints by resting, not overworking your legs, applying ice, and wearing proper shoes.
4. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins are knotted and enlarged veins. This happens when veins become enlarged, dilated, and overfilled with blood. Some conditions that cause this are pregnancy, menopause or obesity. You can usually notice some swelling on the legs where the varicose veins are located. You’ll also notice that the veins have a bluish-purple or red colour to them.
Some things you can do to alleviate the pain include losing weight, avoiding standing for too long, exercising, and wearing compression socks. In some cases, surgery may be needed. If you suspect you have varicose veins, consult with your vein doctor.
5. Hip Osteoarthritis
Hip osteoarthritis is a common condition that can cause pain and stiffness in the hip joint. The condition is caused by the deterioration of the cartilage that cushions the hip joint. This can lead to the bones rubbing against each other, causing pain and inflammation. In some cases, the cartilage may also break down completely, resulting in bone-on-bone contact. Hip osteoarthritis often develops slowly over time, and it is more common in older adults. However, it can also be caused by an injury or other trauma to the hip joint. Leg pain is one of the most common symptoms of hip osteoarthritis. The pain may be mild at first, but it can become more severe as the condition progresses. Treatment for hip osteoarthritis typically involves a combination of medicines, physical therapy, and exercise. In some cases, surgery may also be necessary to repair or replace the damaged hip joint.
6. Stress Fractures
While regular fractures occur from some form of heavy pressure and are immediately noticeable, stress fractures are quite different. Stress fractures are usually small fractures that aren’t noticed right away and aren’t caused by a single injury. They occur from repetitive stress on the bone over time. For example, a stress fracture may result from the accumulated trauma of repeated activities likes jumping.
7. Blood Clots
A blood clot is a gel-like mass that is formed by platelets and fibrin in the blood to stop bleeding. A blood clot forms in an effort to repair damage to a blood vessel. This can be either an artery or a vein. A blood clot that develops in a vein deep in the body is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Most deep-vein blood clots happen in the lower leg or thigh, which ends up causing you leg pain.
Blood clots form from being inactive for long periods of time. For example, a blood clot may form if you’re on a long flight and haven’t gotten the opportunity to get the blood circulating in your legs. Other causes are smoking, various medications and being overweight. If you think a blood clot is causing your pain, seek medical treatment right away.
8. Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the spaces within your spine. This puts pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine and can cause leg pain, among other symptoms. The main cause of spinal stenosis is arthritis. Sometimes surgery may be recommended to create additional space for the spinal cord or nerves.
Sciatica occurs when pressure is put on the nerve. This usually occurs in the spine. With sciatica, you’ll notice pain that runs down your leg. Some of its causes are a herniated disk or a pinched nerve. Anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy in a physiotherapy downtown toronto clinic, all help with this condition. Sometimes spinal injections or even surgery may be needed.