No matter the reason for your leg pain, you can be sure that you will be severely impacted from doing the things you want, and need, to do. Here’s what you should know – pain is not normal, and it can be the result of any number of medical conditions. Here are a just a few of the many reasons why you may be suffering from leg pain, and what you can do about it.
Pain in the shins, more commonly known as shin splints, usually are due to overuse or extreme impact or lack of proper cushioning and support when your feet strike the ground. Shin splints are very common in runners, basketball players, and people who are required to stand all day at their jobs. With shin splints, you will feel pain in the front of your shins or knee. Rest, applying ice, and taking anti-inflammatories helps with the pain and inflammation; wrapping the shins and wearing supportive, cushioned shoes also can prevent or reduce symptoms.
Cramping in your legs – to include spasms and Charley Horses –usually are due to muscle fatigue, dehydration or nerve problems. Leg cramps are very common in pregnant women, as well as those who have kidney issues or diabetes. Athletes too can experience leg cramps due to dehydration or overuse. For many, leg cramps occur at night; for athletes they can occur during a run or while swimming laps. In most cases, the best remedy is to flex the foot as quickly as possible, stretch the leg muscles, then work to massage out the cramp. Staying hydrated is a good preventive measure, as is maintaining a healthy diet that is high in electrolytes such as calcium, magnesium and potassium.
Tendonitis occurs when the tendons, which are the thick bands that connect muscles to bone, become inflamed or irritated. Tendonitis in the legs is most common in the Achilles Tendon, the iliotibial (IT) band and hamstring. Overuse for the most part is the primary reason for tendonitis; in more extreme cases the tendon can rupture or tear and require surgical repair. However, in mild cases, rest, heat and/or ice, pain relievers and splinting can provide relief and heal the tendon over time.
Strains and Sprains
Sprains occur when a ligament is overstretched or torn. Strains occur when muscles or tendons become overstretched or torn. Sprains can result in bruising around the affected joint, as well as pain and weakness in the injured area. Most sprains are the result of an accident or injury, for example, rolling your ankle. Strains usually occur over time; they may also result from performing a strenuous task like lifting something that is too heavy. Both strains and sprains can benefit from rest, ice, compression and elevation and will heal over time.
When the sciatic nerve is irritated or put under pressure by other factors such as a bone spurs or a herniated disc, expect a sharp pain that radiates from the buttocks down through the affected leg or legs. Pain can range from mild to severe and may include shooting, burning, or pins and needles pain. Engaging in any physical activity can worsen the pain; with sciatic pain the most expedient remedy is to rest the area. However, surgery is often recommended to address the root cause of the problem.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when blood clots develop in veins deep within the body, most commonly the legs. Should this clot break loose, it can travel to the lungs and can result in a potentially deadly pulmonary embolism. Trauma or injury to a deep vein can also elevate your risk of developing DVT, as can major surgeries (especially in the hips, pelvis or legs), an untreated or miss-set fractured bone, or sitting for long periods of time. Doctors treat DVT by suggesting lifestyle changes like losing weight, moving more and eating healthy; they can also prescribe medications to help.
Leg Pain Treatment in Austin, Texas
If you are experiencing leg pain, know that you don’t have to live with it or any other type of pain. The pain management experts at Balcones Pain Consultants will establish a treatment plan unique to your medical needs. If you are ready to say goodbye to chronic pain, call Balcones Pain Consultants today at (512) 834-4141 or request an appointment now. We look forward to empowering you to be pain free.