Pain or discomfort in the leg can range from a dull ache to an intense pain. Although leg pain usually occurs due to minor injuries, it can also be caused due to gout, arthritis or atherosclerosis and hence, you should not ignore leg pain. Our expert Samridhi Saxena, Senior Physiotherapist, AktivOrtho, Mumbai lists common causes of leg pain. Read to know more.
Muscle cramps: Triggered as a sudden, sharp pain in the leg muscles, cramps, especially in the calf, are caused due to muscle fatigue and dehydration (low amounts of potassium, sodium, calcium, or magnesium in the blood).
Leg injuries: The second most common causes of leg pain is injury of the leg. It can be due to shin splints or tiny breaks in the leg bone. Moreover, it could also be due to an inflammation of the tendons or knees. Hence, never ignore leg pain and always consult a doctor if the pain doesn't subside in a day or two.
RSIs are a group of injuries that happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, resulting in inflammation (pain and swelling), muscle strain, or tissue damage. This stress generally occurs from repeating the same movements over and over again. Playing sports like tennis that involve repetitive motions can also lead to RSIs. Kids and teens that spend a lot of time playing musical instruments or video games are also at risk for RSIs. RSIs are becoming more common in kids and teens because they spend more time than ever using computers.
Atherosclerosis: It causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries due to a build up of fat and cholesterol. As there is a blockage of the arteries, it reduces blood flow to various parts of the body. And if the tissues in the leg don’t receive enough oxygen, it can result in leg pain, particularly in the calves.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): It occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside the body. A blood clot is a clump of blood that’s in a solid state. DVTs typically form in the lower leg after long periods of bed rest or prolonged sitting. The common symptoms of DVT include swelling and cramping pain in the leg.
Arthritis: Known as an inflammation of the joints, arthritis can also occur in early 30s, and not just in old age. It usually causes swelling, pain, and redness in the affected area and often affects joints in the knees and hips.
Gout: A form of arthritis that can occur when too much uric acid builds up in the body, gout is commonly seen in old age. It usually causes pain, swelling, and redness in the feet and lower part of the legs, especially in the big toe. For proper diagnosis of the condition, you have to consult a doctor.
Varicose veins: Varicose veins are knotted and enlarged veins that form when the veins are overfilled with blood due to incompetent valves (valves that fail to function properly). They usually appear swollen and can be painful. They most often occur in the calves and ankles.
Infection: Yes, even infection in the lower part of the leg or in the bone or tissues of the leg could lead to leg pain, which is often ignored. Characterised by swelling, redness, or pain in the affected area, you have to consult your doctor to know the exact cause of the condition and get treated.
Nerve damage: Although not quite common, nerve damage in the leg can also lead to leg pain along with numbness and tingling sensation in the legs. It usually occurs in the feet and lower part of the legs. If you have diabetes, then the chances of suffering from nerve damage, known as diabetic neuropathy, is high.