What is Leg Pain?
Pain in any part of the leg is considered to be a common symptom of trauma or a disease which requires a thorough investigation. Leg pain can be sharp, dull, numb, tingling, burning, radiating or aching depending upon the cause of origin. With respect to the duration, it can also be sudden (acute) or persistent (chronic). The most common cause of acute leg pain may be an injury sustained during sports. On the other hand, persistent leg pain is the result of gradual pathologies like Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).
- Leg cramps (Charley horses)- The calf muscles are commonly affected and they undergo spasm. These cramps are transient in nature and usually presents in old age.
- PAD (Peripheral Arterial Disease)- The key symptom of PAD is intermittent claudication which is characterised by cramp like muscle pain during exercise or exertion. The pain typically ceases at rest.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)- This may develop after postural changes and can also occur in 25-50% of surgical patients. The symptoms include calf warmth, tenderness, swelling and erythema.
- Shin splints- Activities like jogging and running can lead to repetitive impact forces on muscles and tendons. They tend to produce a severe, localised muscle tenderness with bone pain felt around shin bone.
- Fractures- Any trauma or a fall can lead to a fracture. These fractures are small and they may not affect the patient.
- Hamstring strain- Stretching or tearing of the hamstring muscles can cause an acute pain in the rear thigh muscle.
- Sciatica- Sciatica is nerve pain from an injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve, which originates in your buttock/gluteal area. It usually happens when the nerve is pinched or compressed by the herniated disc. The nature of the pain could vary from sharp, shooting, stabbing to electric and stabbing as well. The sciatic pain radiates from lower back to the legs.
The physical examination along with the medical history will reveal the exact diagnosis of leg pain. Also, medical imaging tests like MRI, CT scan, Ultrasound and X ray are commonly used to assess the condition.
The management depends upon the cause entirely. Generally, for leg cramps stretching and massaging the muscles recommended. Injuries may be treated by following RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). Medical attention is required for symptoms like claudication.
Warning: Above information provided is an overview of the disease, we strongly recommend a doctor's consultation to prevent further advancement of disease and/or development of complications.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request, is not to be taken as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION.
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