Why my legs hurt?
Your legs are an amazing collection of bones and muscles. But if something goes a bit wrong, they can hurt and make it hard to move around. Learn about the diseases and conditions that may cause pain in the leg
Not always the cause of leg pain is a long hike or uncomfortable shoes. Sometimes it is associated with diseases of the blood vessels, spine or metabolic disorders, i.e. diseases that need to be treated.
Leg pain has various faces and causes. Sometimes it is sudden, strong, sometimes it is gradually growing, mourning. It is usually caused by tiredness in the legs. But its source is also injuries, such as rupture of tendons, ligaments or foot defects and deformities (eg flat feet, halluxes). It is also a consequence of rheumatic diseases, diabetes, alcoholism.
There are so many reasons for leg pain that I only mention some of them.
„In the fight against night footaches, it is necessary to change your lifestyle. You should stop smoking, avoid drinking alcohol and large amounts of coffee (especially in the evening). Daily physical activity of moderate intensity is important. For people whose work requires a long hours of sitting, a few-minute walk is recommended.”
Deep vein thrombosis
The development of this disease is favored by damage to vein walls, cardiovascular diseases (eg varicose veins, myocardial infarction), pregnancy, puerperium, long-term immobilization (eg after surgery), oral contraception, as well as congenital or acquired blood coagulation disorders (eg thrombophilia, or hypercoagulability). The essence of the disease is the formation of clots that slow the flow of blood in the veins or completely block it. When they detach themselves from the walls of these vessels, they can create a life threatening condition, causing a pulmonary embolism.
Deep vein thrombosis may be asymptomatic. It is not often that all symptoms characteristic of her occur: swelling and pain in the leg, intensifying when standing and walking, redness and warming of the skin, cyanosis of the feet. In deep vein thrombosis, anticoagulants, rarely thrombolytic agents, are used to dissolve the clot in the vein. Tools with anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties are used in a supportive way.
Degeneration of the spine
Spine degeneration occurs as a result of aging of the body, injuries, sometimes also injuries of the intervertebral disc. Degenerative changes can cause local inflammation with pressure on nerve structures. They often affect the lumbar spine, causing chronic back pain radiating to the legs. The symptoms appear mainly at night, during rest. Relief is brought by rehabilitation and some forms of physical activity, such as swimming, as well as periodically used analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of tablets, ointments, gels.
Gout is also called arthritis or gout. It is a chronic disease associated with metabolic disorders. Their consequence is the deposition of uric acid crystals in the joints, called urate. They are very sharp, they hurt tissues and this causes inflammation. The disease does not show any symptoms for many years. The first symptom is usually severe, sudden joint pain, swelling, sensitivity to touch, redness and tension of the skin above it. The disease can affect the joints of the hands, shoulder, knee, but usually the pain is located in the toe. So our foot hurts. Treatment consists of taking preparations that reduce the concentration of uric acid, diuretics and the use of a diet recommended by a doctor.
Their consequence is chronic leg ischemia. Atherosclerotic plaques narrow the lumen of the arteries. The first symptom of the disease is paleness and cooling of the feet. Over time, intermittent claudication occurs, i.e. leg pain while walking, giving way after rest. As the blood supply deteriorates, there may also be resting pains, initially located only in the fingers, and then covering the whole foot, and even the lower leg, and non-healing ulcers and necrotic lesions on the foot. In the treatment of chronic ischaemia of the legs, the drugs used in atherosclerosis are primarily used. Important elements of the treatment are daily physical activity (walking, cycling), avoiding cuts and abrasions.
Chronic venous insufficiency
The removal of blood from the legs facilitates, among others valves in the veins and working calf muscles that „push” it up. If the valves are damaged and we lead a sedentary lifestyle, there is blood stagnation and development of chronic venous insufficiency. Its signal is the feeling of tired, heavy legs, swelling, formation of varicose veins. The disease is usually treated conservatively. It is recommended to take medicines that improve venous circulation and strengthening veins, wearing stockings or compression tights and physical activity. If the formation of varicose veins occurred, they are removed surgically, because their complications may be caused by superficial or deep vein inflammations.
Water and electrolyte disturbances
They sometimes cause painful cramps in the calves that may occur as a result of taking dehydrating, laxative and slimming diets. They are often caused by dehydration or a shortage of minerals: magnesium, potassium, calcium. The cramps most often annoy at night, waking from sleep. To relieve the pain, we can come out for a moment or straighten the leg in the knee, lift it and bend it hard in the hock, pulling the foot towards you. If we are prone to this condition, take a hot bath before bedtime, or massage in the calf with warming ointment. Remember to drink 1.5-2 l of liquid daily and enrich the diet with products rich in magnesium, potassium and calcium.
In the fight against footaches, it is necessary to change your lifestyle. You should stop smoking, avoid drinking alcohol and large amounts of coffee (especially in the evening). Daily physical activity of moderate intensity is important. For people whose work requires a long hours of sitting, a few-minute walk is recommended.
Supplementation of iron, magnesium and B vitamins is helpful.
When resting, your legs should be above the level of the heart. An effective method of therapy is compression therapy using special bands, stockings or compression knee socks. In the treatment of neurological disorders, a well-adjusted physiotherapy can provide relief.