Common Types of Leg Pain
The following is a list of the cause and treatments of the most common types of leg pain.
1. Muscle Cramps
Muscle cramps are usually caused by dehydration and can easily be treated by drinking more water. It may also help to gently massage the painful area when a muscle has tensed up.
2. Shin Splits
Shin splits occur when the muscles and tendons located underneath the shin bone become damaged or inflamed, making it hard to walk. People who have flat feet or walk with their feet turned outward may be at an increased risk of shin splints. Resting and icing usually help improve the condition.
Pain in the lower half of the leg may be a result of tendonitis, which is a condition that is characterized by swollen or torn tendons near the back of the heel or in the lower calf. It occurs as a result of being overworked or from climbing stairs. Conventional treatments include icing the area to reduce inflammation and resting. Severe pain may be an indication of a torn Achilles tendon, in which case a doctor will likely inject medicine into the area or surgery may be necessary.
4. Sprained Joint
A twisted ankle or mild sprain can be treated by resting, icing, compressing and elevating the leg, in that order. A more severe sprain or a broken bone may need to be put in a cast to heal properly. Physical therapy may also be necessary.
5. Blood Clots and Varicose Veins
Blood clots occur when the blood thickens and clumps together in a vein. Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot occurs in a vein that is located deep in the body, such as the lower leg or thigh. They tend to occur as a result of being inactive for long periods of time, such as in a car ride or on a flight. Smoking, being overweight, and certain medications also increase the risk.
Varicose veins are caused by weak vein walls and valves and may cause a dull aching after standing for extended periods of time. Support stockings are available to help relieve the pain. Exercise may also assist in strengthening the leg muscles.
6. Nerve Pain
Stenosis and sciatica pain may be caused by a herniated disc. Resting and taking over-thecounter pain medications may help alleviate symptoms. People with diabetes that experience leg pain may have diabetic neuropathy, which is a condition that results in damaged nerves in the leg due to high blood sugar levels. Treatment may include eating a healthy diet, exercising and taking diabetic medications to control blood sugar levels.