Causes of Leg Pain
Several different health conditions can cause leg pain. The most common cause of leg pain is muscle cramps. These cramps stem from dehydration, certain medications or muscle fatigue from too much exercise. Dehydration causes drops in the level of sodium, magnesium and calcium in the blood.
A leg pain cause can come from a torn muscle, hairline cracks, tendinitis or shin splints. Tendinitis causes severe leg pain as the muscles are inflamed, irritated and swollen. Tendons attach muscle to bone. Tendinitis often causes night leg pain. Tendinitis symptoms include tenderness near a joint and increased pain while moving.
Throbbing leg pain is a sign that you need to see a doctor. Other signs indicating a need for medical treatment include swollen or red legs, fever, a black and blue leg or a cold and pale leg. Left leg pain is no different from right leg pain.
Peripheral neuropathy can cause leg pain and numbness. Nerves carry messages to and from the brain as well as from the spinal cord to the rest of the body. Peripheral neuropathy causes the nerves to fail to work. A single nerve or several nerves may be affected. Signs of peripheral neuropathy include leg pain and weakness. Other symptoms include tingling, burning and loss of feeling. This loss of feeling may prevent a person from knowing when they cut themselves or touch something that is too hot.
Leg pain symptoms can be treated at home by resting, elevating the leg, applying ice, performing gentle stretches and over the counter pain medication. Varicose veins can be treated at home by elevating the leg and wearing special bandages or support hose.
When you do go to visit the doctor, he or she may perform an arteriogram to check the blood flow to your leg. Blood tests will show whether certain diseases are causing your symptoms. If an MRI is performed and shows a tumor, the doctor may order a bone biopsy. Sometimes a simple x-ray can identify the problem. The doctor may prescribe pain medicines anti-inflammatory or blood thinners.
These problems can be reduced or eliminated by avoiding cigarettes, alcohol, monitoring blood sugar if diabetic and controlling cholesterol and blood pressure.