What is leg pain?
Pain or discomfort that occurs in any part of the leg is called leg pain. This pain can be dull, tingling, numbing, sharp, radiating, burning, or aching. Mostly, leg pain occurs due to wear and tear of ligaments, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues, or injuries in the joints and bones. This can be acute or chronic and the severity of pain may range from mild to severe. The treatment plan depends on the cause of the leg pain.
What are the causes of leg pain?
Leg pain occurs due to musculoskeletal, neurological, or vascular disorders. Some of the common causes are:
- Injuries such as tendinitis, strains, or fractures
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Varicose veins
- Benign or malignant tumors developed on the thigh bone
- Sciatic nerve pain
- Nerve damage
- Infections in the bone or tissues of the leg
When should an individual consult a doctor for leg pain?
Mild or moderate leg pain can be treated at home through natural remedies. An individual should consult a doctor if he/she is experiencing any of the following signs:
- Pain while walking
- Swelling in both legs
- Persistent pain that becomes worse as days pass
If an individual experiences any of the following signs associated with leg pain, immediate medical consultation, or intervention is required.
- Deep injury or cut in the leg
- Redness of the leg and warm to touch
- The leg becomes pale color and cool touch
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling on both legs
- Unable to walk
Who can treat leg pain?
Depending on the underlying cause of the leg pain, various specialists can treat leg pain. If the cause is musculoskeletal then Orthopedist can treat, or leg pain is due to neurological conditions then Neurologists can treat, or Cardiologists can treat if the pain is due to any of the vascular disorders.
What is the home treatment for leg pain?
Usually, home treatment can be helpful if the leg pain occurs due to cramps or minor injury. Following are a few of the steps to be taken:
- Take enough rest
- Elevate legs on the pillow
- Over the counter drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin can help to reduce pain
- Wear compression socks
- Apply ice pack on the injured area
- Warm bath
- Gentle muscle stretches
Leg pain occurs due to various different causes, and the signs often overlap. If they continue, worsen, then the individual should visit a doctor.
How should an individual prevent leg pain?
Few of the measures that help to prevent leg pain are:
- Muscle stretches can be helpful to prevent pain before and after exercise
- Eating high potassium content food can help to prevent injuries of muscles and tendons in the leg
- Regular exercise at least 30 minutes a day
- Limit alcohol intake
- Avoid smoking
- Levels of cholesterol and blood pressure should be monitored and take necessary steps to keep them under control