Leg pain can lead to severe cardiovascular problems and affect your quality of life. Most leg pain is caused by minor injuries or overuse. In some cases, more severe medical conditions can be causing the pain. Getting a thorough diagnosis and treatment for existing conditions can prevent the pain from worsening. Ariel Soffer MD, FACC, offers treatment for the most common causes of leg pain. Some of the causes are temporary or minor, and the doctors can treat them effectively.
Causes of leg pain
- Peripheral artery disease
With this condition, your limbs, especially your legs, do not get enough blood supply. It generally happens when your arteries narrow. The legs can feel weak, cramp, or numb when you walk. They can feel cold and have an odd color. Some people can live with peripheral artery disease with habit changes, such as quitting smoking. If it doesn’t seem to work, your doctor can give you medicine to treat your problem and manage pain. Some people might need surgery.
- Deep vein thrombosis
It is a blood clot in the veins, generally in your lower leg or thigh. It does not cause symptoms every time, but you may have pain, and your leg can be red and warm. Contact your doctor immediately after noticing any of these symptoms. Deep vein thrombosis can lead to a severe condition known as pulmonary embolism. Your doctor might give you medicine that keeps clots from breaking off, forming, or growing.
- Peripheral neuropathy
This occurs when nerve damage in the body transfers a message to and from the brain. The most common cause is diabetes, but some health conditions, infections, injuries, or medicines can cause it. If it affects nerves in the legs, they can feel tingly or prickly, weak or numb. Your doctor can treat the condition causing it and prescribe you pain medicine.
- Electrolyte imbalance
Electrolytes are minerals like calcium, potassium, and sodium, which help your muscles work how they should. You lose some minerals through sweat during exercise; when you lose a lot, the legs can feel weak, cramp, or go numb. It can still happen when you get medical treatments like chemotherapy. Taking sports drinks containing electrolytes can help.
- Spinal stenosis
This happens when spaces in between the bones in your spine get narrow. This puts pressure on the nerves and causes pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the legs. You can also have trouble with balance. Contact your doctor immediately after you get these symptoms. Physical therapy can help, and medication can ease the pain.
This condition is common and affects your joints, causing swelling, pain, and stiffness. When it happens in your knees, ankles, or hips, it can be hard to do everyday activities and even walk. It has no cure, but it can help to stay at a healthy weight and exercise. Ice packs or heating pads on the aching joint can relieve swelling and pain. Also, over-the-counter medication can help.
Radiating leg pain can be a symptom of a more severe medical condition. If you experience recurring pain or worsening symptoms, seek medical help. Discuss the possible causes with your doctor and get the best treatment option to ensure you have the best life quality. If you are experiencing chronic leg pain, contact Soffer Health Institute for treatment and consultation also.