Leg Pain

LEG PAIN … UNWELCOMED GUEST

Legs take the burden of our day-to-day activities.

Any leg pain, discomfort can represent transient or minor conditions, but also be a sign of a life-threatening, dangerous medical emergency.

Pain in the legs originate from different structures:

  • Bones and joints
  • Muscles and tendons/ligaments
  • Skin
  • Nerves
  • And very often overlooked, blood vessels

Vein specialist will be able to evaluate the legs with ultrasound for any possible chronic, persistent venous abnormalities. Especially if the legs feel heavy and sore. When frequent cramps cause sleepless nights. When restless legs disturb relaxation during sleep.

What are the possible causes of leg pain?

  • Cramps
    Called muscle spasms, “a charley horse”. Represent sudden, sharp pain in the leg muscles. Very often at night. Associated with dehydration, nutrient deficiencies, side effects of medications, but also undiagnosed varicose veins and other vascular abnormalities.
  • Injuries
    Muscle strains, tendinitis, bursitis, fractures, shin splints
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
    Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) requires immediate medical attention. There is a blood clot formed in a vein. The clot may have the tendency of moving towards the lungs and other vital organs.
  • Vein disease
    Undiagnosed varicose veins are the most common reason for heavy, sore, swollen legs especially at the end of the day. The varicose veins may stay invisible for years. When varicose veins are visible on the skin, they appear as twisted, bluish, purplish cords, and are caused by weak valves within the veins.
  • Arterial disease, atherosclerosis
    Called peripheral vascular disease (PVD).Sudden pain to the leg, with cold pale limb, is a sign of arterial blood clot. It is a medical emergency.Majority of PVD are chronic conditions associated with narrowing and hardening of arterial walls (smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol), and diminished supply of blood to muscles. They cause painful, crampy pains during activity or at night.
  • Lower back problems with herniated (slipped) disc. Sciatica.
    Pain radiates to the legs with feeling of pulling, burning.
  • Nerve damage in the legs.
    Caused by direct injury, but also in chronic medical conditions (diabetes). Often represented by tingling, numbness, and pain.
  • Malignant or benign tumors.
  • Gout
  • Infection of any of the leg structures.
  • Other: Pes Planus, Multiple Sclerosis, low thyroid level, lymphedema.

 

How to prevent leg pain?

  • Exercise
  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Maintain normal blood glucose level, blood pressure, cholesterol level
  • Eat healthier

 

What symptoms warrant immediate medical attention?

  • Deep injury, cut, uncontrolled bleeding, fracture
  • Warm, hot leg
  • Sudden swelling with or without pain
  • Difficulty breathing especially in the presence of swollen legs
  • Fever
  • Sudden inability to walk
  • Pale, cold, clammy leg