What Causes Leg Pain?

Our legs are like the supporting blocks of our entire body, and they are in motion almost all the time except when we are sleeping. Naturally, our legs, especially the lower part, bear the brunt of day-to-day activities, which can often lead to muscle pain and discomfort.

However, if your leg pain is consistent and occurs every other day, it’s possible that it’s being caused due to some kind of disease or trauma.

There can be numerous causes of leg pain ranging from injuries to multiple types of medical conditions.

Take a look at some of the most common causes of leg pain so that you can rule out the possibilities.

Muscle Cramps or Charley Horses

These are characterized by intense, sudden, and tight pains in the lower legs, which can strike at any time during the day or while you are sleeping.

Muscle cramps, also referred to as Charley Horses, occur when your muscles are too tired or dehydrated. It usually involves the calf at the back of the lower leg, where the pain typically lasts for a few minutes or for hours if the muscle ends up tightening too much.

People who experience frequent cramps need to drink a lot of water and stretch their legs regularly. It’s also advised to massage that area or part of the leg where the muscle has tensed up.

Muscle Strain

This is defined as an injury that causes leg pain because the muscle fibers in your legs tear up due to overstretching, for instance. Muscle strain usually occurs in the larger leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves.

Shin Splints

This is one of the most common causes of leg pain that affects the front of your calf as well as the inner edge of the shinbone, also known as ‘tibia.’

Shin splints majorly occur due to a tear in the muscle around the tibia, primarily as a result of overuse.

Tendinitis

As the name suggests, Tendinitis is a type of injury that leads to serious inflammation of the tendons. When tendons become inflamed, it can be very difficult for the person to move the affected joint since tendons basically join the bone to muscles.

Tendinitis commonly affects the tendons near the heel bone or the ones in the hamstrings, one of the larger muscles in your legs.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

When your arteries become narrow, your legs don’t receive enough blood, so when you walk, you are likely to feel weakness, numbness, or a painful sensation in your legs.

This condition is called Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), in which your legs also tend to feel cold and can turn into an odd color as well.

People who smoke are highly prone to PAD, and they are often suggested to quit smoking to help treat this condition. However, if that doesn’t work, if you don’t smoke at all but still get this disease, it’s best to consult a doctor who will prescribe medicines or possibly even suggest surgery if the condition is very serious.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

This is a condition that leads to blood clots in the vein, particularly in the lower leg or thigh.

Deep Vein Thrombosis doesn’t lead to many symptoms, but it does cause pain and swelling in the legs. It is best to consult your doctor right away in case of DVT because if it’s not treated in time, it can further lead to another serious condition called ‘pulmonary embolism’ in which the blood clot in the vein breaks off and goes straight into your lungs.

Stress Fractures

Stress fractures are one of the many common causes of leg pain among athletes and people who play a lot of sports. These are basically small fractures that result from constant or repeated stresses that are sustained during intense physical activity or sports.

The pain caused by stress fractures usually starts at earlier stages during exercise sessions and later increases to a point where they end up being present all the time.

Varicose Veins

Ever noticed the veins in your legs sporting a dark blue or purple color?

Those are varicose veins that occur when they have to work extra hard or twice have hard to send blood back to your heart from the legs. This condition causes your legs to become really heavy in a bulging manner, lead to a lot of pain and serious throbbing.

Older adults tend to experience varicose veins as they age, but it can also happen due to being overweight, pregnant, or when you sit for long stretches.

Compartment Syndrome

Bruising or fractures are two common factors that lead to compartment syndrome, a condition in which a leg injury causes extreme swelling, leading to dangerously high-pressure levels in the muscles.

The swelling basically builds up so much pressure that the muscle tissue is no longer able to receive a steady supply of blood. This ends up depleting nourishment and oxygen levels in the leg muscles, leading to a lot of pain in the legs.

It is essential that you immediately get an appointment with your doctor in the case of compartment syndrome because, in severe cases, it can result in permanent muscle damage.

Final Takeaway

These are just a few common causes of leg pain; there are many other medical conditions and diseases that can lead to chronic and severe pain in your legs.

In any case, it is very important that you get it checked right away in order to determine the issue in the early stages only so that you can prevent it from becoming worse.

The earlier the treatment, the quicker the recovery, and the better it is for your legs and overall health!

 

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