Why does my leg hurt?
Leg pain is any kind of pain or discomfort you feel between your hips and your ankles.
Leg pain can be mild or serious, and the symptoms can be there all the time or come and go. This depends on what’s causing the pain.
Leg pain can be intense, which means it comes on quickly and goes away quickly. or it can go on for weeks or months. Pain keeps going on for a long time. Leg pain can last for years for some people, which can make their lives hard.
What else can happen besides leg pain?
Leg pain can affect just a small part of the leg, a big area, or the whole leg. Pain can be dull or sharp, burn, tingle, or go away. You might also feel pain in your foot, hip, lower back, or spine. Take note of whether both legs look the same or if one looks different from the other.
These signs and symptoms can also be caused by leg pain:
- varicose veins
- sores or ulcers
- Getting red, hot, or swollen
- If you have a broken bone or an infection, you might feel sick all over.
- If you have trouble with your nerves, the color of your feet may change.
- a cut that takes long to heal
What’s wrong with my legs?
Here are a few of the most common causes of leg pain:
- When muscles tighten up all of a sudden, this is called a cramp. The pain is usually in the calf and goes away quickly on its own.
- Muscle tears and pulls are also common. The leg might hurt a lot, and you might also have a muscle cramp, swelling, or trouble moving the leg.
- Small injuries, like a bump, scrape, or bruise: The wound spot may be red, swollen, or a different colour.
- Fracture: A broken or cracked bone can make the leg grow, change shape, bruise, and lose strength.
- Infection: Ulcers, blisters, or cuts that are infected can also make the area red, hot, and swollen. You might feel sick all over and have a fever.
- Injuries to nearby joints, bones, or muscles: Muscles, ligaments, and tendons can get very painful knots; back joint problems or sciatica can send pain down the back of the leg; ankle, knee, and hip problems can also cause pain in the leg.
- If you don’t use your legs enough, you may feel pins and needles or have stiff muscles.
- Blood vessel troubles, like blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) or poor blood flow: You may also have a pale leg, a leg that swells, feels tight, or hurts.
- Pain from varicose veins can hurt, throb, or burn. You may also feel like your legs are heavy, cramped, or anxious. You might also have swollen legs, darker skin over the veins, and an itchy rash.
- If you have nerve problems, such as diabetic neuropathy, you may also feel weak, numb, or itchy.
- Compartment syndrome: When you stretch the leg, the pain will get worse. The skin may itch, burn, or feel numb. The skin may look pale and feel cold.
- When a child is going through growing pains, the thighs, calves, or feet may hurt or burn, usually at night.
Pain in the legs can also be caused by long-term health problems like rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
When should I go see a doctor?
Immediately see a doctor if you have leg pain and:
- The leg is now bigger.
- You can’t use it right, or it doesn’t look right.
- The colour is very light or cool.
- It feels soft and weak.
- It is red and warm.
- You can’t breathe well because both of your legs are swollen.
- It’s getting worse.
See your doctor right away if you have any signs of an infection, like a fever, pain in your calf after a long trip, or any other sudden, dangerous symptoms.
How do you treat pain in your legs?
How you treat leg pain varies on what is causing it. Most of the time, you can treat sore or aching legs at home. But if the pain comes on quickly, is very bad, lasts a long time, or is accompanied by other signs, you may need to see a doctor.
If you get hurt and feel pain all of a sudden, use the RICER method:
- Stop moving your leg and rest.
- Ice: Wrap an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas in a towel and put it on the painful area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Do this for two to three days every two to four hours.
- Compression: Wrap a cloth tightly around the area.
- Keep the foot above the hip.
- Referral: Have your doctor look at the cut or scrape.
You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen, both of which ease pain and reduce swelling. If your muscles are cramping, gently stretching them should help. This also applies to many other types of leg pain. Just moving around should help if you feel like you have pins and needles. If the pain doesn’t go away, you might need Pain O Soma, depending on what’s causing it. You can buy this medicine from Woodstock Family Medicine.
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