Leg pain can be so troublesome and intense that it becomes very difficult to carry out day to day activities, which hampers the quality of life. Hence, it is important to know the possible causes of leg pain and ways to get rid of it.
What Are The 8 Common Causes Of Leg Pain & How to Get Rid of it?
Leg pain is a very common complaint and many people often wonder as what are the causes of leg pain and how to get rid of it. In most cases, the possible causes of leg pain like leg cramps, issues with nerves, blood clots etc., medical treatment can help in getting the relief however there are certain home remedies and alternate therapies available too that can help an individual get rid of leg pain and lead a comfortable life.
Here are some of the commonest causes of leg pain and ways to get rid of it.
Shin splits are one of the many causes of leg pain. In shin splits, a shooting pain occurs right in the upper, front region of the calf muscles. The pain is so intense that the flesh as well as the muscles along the edge of the shin undergoes inflammation and thereby making it difficult for the individual to even walk, leave aside the running or jumping activities.
Shin splits occur in individuals who perform various activities on the hard surface over a period of time. The other possible reason for the shin splits can be the presence of a flat feet or when the feet are turned outwards.
How to Get Rid of Leg Pain Caused Due to Shin Splints?
Following are the ways to get rid of leg pain due to shin splits
- Apply Ice Pack – Ice the edges of the skin that are inflamed, 2-3 times in a day. As the inflammation reduces, so would the pain making it easy to perform daily activities.
- Change the Surface – Try changing the surface on which you perform your day to day activities, especially if it is a hard surface. This change will reduce the pain gradually and help to get rid of leg pain.
- Exercises – Avoid overdoing with any physical exercise but once the pain subsides begin with some stretching exercises. Also, strengthening and flexibility exercises when done regularly, help to get rid of leg pain. Make sure you wear good sport shoes while walking or jogging and avoid running on hard surfaces.
- Medications -Anti-inflammatory medications can help to get rid of leg pain due shin splits. But if other measures do not work, it is best to seek medical advice.
A muscle cramp is also known as a charley horse and is one of the common causes of leg pain. It can occur both during the day as well as while you are asleep. It is accompanied by a sudden, intense as well as tight lower leg pain and can be worse at times.
The most common reasons for the muscle cramp are dehydration or overstrained muscles.
How to Get Rid of Leg Pain Caused Due to Muscle Cramps?
Here are some of the most effective ways to get rid of leg pain due to muscle cramps.
- Drink Water – The best way to avoid it is to drink sufficient quantities of water (2-3 liters) a day. Also, include fruits and vegetables that have water content in it
- Massage of Muscles – In order to relax your tired muscles, massage or stretch the region where the muscle cramps occur. This will ensure proper blood flow in that area, which will reenergize the muscles.
- Stretching of Muscles – One very important practice, that one should adopt is, especially the people who gym a lot, stretch out your muscles properly before starting the actual exercise. This will prevent your muscles from getting tired up easily.
The best way to diagnose tendinitis is to notice the inflammation in the Achilles tendons which results out in episodes of intense pain in the lower calf muscles, near the back of the heel region. It is a common form of injury that can make the tendon swell, tear or stretched out. In certain cases, the pain sticks out for a longer duration of time. This too is one of the commonest causes of leg pain.
Tendinitis normally occurs due to the overworking of the calf muscles or while climbing the stairs. Once it occurs, the pain sensation is felt in episodes for several months.
How To Get Rid Of Leg Pain Caused Due to Tendinitis?
Here are some of the most effective ways to get rid of leg pain due to tendinitis.
- Apply Ice Pack – Ice the area that has inflammation, 2-3 times in a day. This will to get rid of inflammation and leg pain.
- Massage of Muscles – In order to relax your tired muscles, massage or stretch the region where the tendinitis has occurred. This will ensure proper blood flow in that area, which will reenergize the muscles. This is one of the best ways to get rid of leg pain due to tendinitis.
- Stretching of Muscles – Start stretching and strengthening out your muscles once the pain starts reducing. This will help get rid of leg pain and also prevent recurrence of tendinitis.
- Medications – Anti-inflammatory medications prove useful but are best taken with medical advice.
- Medical advice – If the pain becomes severe or does not subside with above measures, seek medical advice to rule out possibility of tear. Some severe cases may be treated with injections or further investigations may be required.
Sprains or Broken Bones
One of the commonest causes of leg pain is fractures or sprains. These injuries take their own time to heal and occur due to a sudden twist of the ankle. Such a condition is often accompanied by inflammation in the muscles. The challenge here is to deal with both the pain as well as the swelling at the same time.
A sudden twist or force on the ankle can result out into sprains or broken bone.
How to Get Rid Of Leg Pain Caused Due to Sprains or Broken Bones?
The best way to get rid of it is by using
- RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation – Immediately following the injury, rest and elevate the affected leg to reduce pain and swelling. Then ice the inflamed area, 2-3 times in a day. Compression bandage may be helpful in most cases, but can be done along with medical advice.
- Physical Therapy – Physical therapy and exercises, as advised by doctor is one of the best ways to get rid of leg pain due to sprains and broken bones. You may also use a brace or a cast to support it. As the therapy progress, the pain would reduce gradually. This, in turn, would increase the strength of the leg. Try putting up light weights on the leg and exercise to further strengthen your legs, as advised by the therapist.
A blood clot occurs when the blood thickens in the vein and results out into clumps. Once this develops into veins, deep into the body, it is called as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis). It normally occurs in the thigh or the lower leg region and is also one of the causes of leg pain.
The main reason for the blood clot to occur is inactivity for a long period of time, for example, a long car ride or a long flight. The other reasons for the formation of blood clots are being overweight, certain medications and smoking. In certain extreme cases, the blood clot may break off and enter the blood stream which may eventually travel to an artery in the lungs resulting in pulmonary embolism, which is often a medical emergency.
How to Get Rid Of Leg Pain Caused Due to Blood Clot?
The most effective ways to get rid of it is by means of
- Medical help – It is important to consult the physician if you have a blood clot. Ignorance may lead to complications and worsening of the situation. A physician may also prescribe some medications to dissolve the blood clot.
- Alternative Therapy – Alternate therapy that leads to the loss of weight, helps a lot in reducing the pain caused due to the formation of blood clot. Further, the use of support stockings helps in dealing with the pain.
One of the commonest causes of leg pain is varicose veins. Varicose veins can be easily distinguished as the veins that are evident on the surface of the skin. These appear as dark blue or purple in color and in a twisted manner. It results out in a dull ache and increases after standing out for a longer duration of time.
Varicose veins are caused by weak valves as well as weak vein walls.
How to Get Rid Of Leg Pain Caused Due to Varicose Veins?
Some of the best ways to get rid of leg pain due to varicose veins include the following
- Stockings – Try using stockings as it helps and supports the veins which eventually helps in reducing the pain. This is one of the most effective ways to get rid of leg pain.
- Don’t Stand for too long – Pain caused due to varicose veins becomes worse due to long episodes of standing. Hence, in order to get rid of leg pain, it is advised to switch between standing and sitting at regular intervals, throughout the day.
- Medical advice – If the pain is still not manageable with the above mentioned interventions, it is best to consult a physician to seek out advice for an alternative treatment plan for varicose veins.
Lower Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease
The lower extremity peripheral arterial disease is characterized by the hard or damaged arteries in legs as a result of which the leg is not able to receive the required blood flow. This leads to frequent leg cramps along with episodes of pain, while walking, while doing exercise or while climbing stairs as the muscles fail to get enough blood. This too is a common cause of leg pain.
It is diagnosed by the narrowing or blocking of the arterial muscles in the legs. It happens because of damaged or hardened arteries. It is seen in patients suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obese patients and individuals who smoke a lot.
How to Get Rid Of Leg Pain Caused Due to Lower Extremity Peripheral Arterial Disease?
Some of the best ways to get rid of leg pain due to peripheral artery disease includes
- Rest – In order to get rid of leg pain, rest as much as you can because the less you stress your legs, the less would be the requirement of blood to carry out the activities. However, if the arteries become severely narrowed or even blocked, the pain may still persist.
- Lifestyle Changes – Lifestyle changes help to get rid of leg pain and peripheral arterial disease. These include management of weight, a healthy diet that includes less of fat and more of roughage and to quit smoking.
- Medical advice – Apart from these measures medical advice may be required to get rid of leg pain due to this condition. Medications that help in controlling high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are prescribed by the physicians. In certain complex cases, a surgery may be advised to improve the blood flow in the area.
Sciatica and Stenosis (Narrowed Spinal Canal)
One of the common causes of leg pain also include sciatica and stenosis. These are characterized by cramping and burning leg pain while standing as well as sitting, tingling sensation, fatigue, weakness and sometimes also accompanied by numbness. The pain begins in the back and the hip region and thereby extend down into the legs. The pain may occur occasionally or throughout the day and range from mild to severe, depending upon the clinical condition of the patient.
The most common cause of stenosis is the arthritis of the spine whereas sciatica is caused by an increase in the pressure on the nerve root of the spinal-cord due to obesity, herniated disc etc.
How to Get Rid Of Leg Pain Caused Due to Sciatica and Stenosis
The best ways to get rid of leg pain due to sciatica and stenosis is by using
- Apply Ice Pack and Heat – Ice the area that has inflammation. This should be done 2-3 times in a day. Further, applying hot water bottle alternately with the cold ice pack further, helps in relieving the pain.
- Stretching of Muscles – One very important practice that one should follow is stretching out the muscles. Gradually increase the intensity with time, however, consult a physiotherapist for best results.
- Medical advice – Anti-inflammatory and muscle relaxant medications prove to be useful, but is best taken with medical advice. Seeking medical consultation in time can help in early detection and prevention of complications.
You are now aware of some of the commonest causes of leg pain and ways to get rid of it. However, there may be other conditions affecting leg pain and may not be easily understood. Hence, it is always advisable to consult a physician for any complaints that do not subside easily.