Leg Pain and Non-Surgical Therapies

By Ben Loomis – DSC_9441.jpg, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=73875056

Leg pain is a common disorder that can occur as a result of natural wear and tear, overuse, injury or an underlying condition. Depending on the cause and severity, patients may feel pain for several days, weeks or months. Pain in the leg may be described as mild, moderate, or extreme, and may occur in one or both legs. You may feel discomfort while you are active or while you are lying down, depending on the source of your leg pain.

There are things you can do to help decrease the discomfort if you experience acute or chronic pain in your leg, calf, thigh or lower back. In the bones, connective tissues, blood vessels, nerves, or skin, leg pain may originate. It can have a detrimental effect on your quality of life if you have serious or long-lasting leg pain.

Inflammation (swelling) of the tissues also causes leg pain. Swelling can be a sign of illness or injury. Leg pain can be caused by a variety of disorders or accidents. The first step in the treatment of leg pain is to get a correct diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. You and your doctor or pain counselor will decide your best care options based on your condition.

Muscle cramp – It can hit in your sleep or in the middle of the day. This sudden, tight, severe lower leg pain is often referred to as a “charley horse.” It can get worse quickly if it takes a grip. This occurs when the muscles are drained or dehydrated. Drink more water if you are prone to leg cramps. It can help to gently stretch or massage the area where your muscle has become tensed. Stretch your legs properly, too before you exercise.

Shin splints – You can feel the pain right up the front of your calf. The muscles and flesh around the edge of the shin bone are inflamed, so it hurts to walk, run, or jump. Doing activity over and over on hard surfaces will make this happen. You could also be more likely to get shin splints if you have flat legs or if your legs turn out.

Rest your legs to make you feel better. Ice is helping. You can also have anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen if your doctor thinks they are good for you. You can buy them from the counter.

If the pain stays, you may want to see your doctor. Try not to do something that hurts your leg any more. When you’re feeling a little better, do some stretches. Next time out, put on easy, supportive shoes. And if possible, don’t run on hard surfaces.

Tendinitis – One of the first warning signs if you have a swollen Achilles tendon is pain in your lower calf, at the back of your heel. It’s a common injury that causes the tendon to swell, stretch, or tear. You will get it by overworking the calf muscle or ascending the stairs. Maybe it’ll hang around for a long time, too.

Using the ice to get some help. Or take anti-inflammatory medications if your doctor thinks they’re all right for you. Don’t do something that causes discomfort. If it hurts less, stretch your leg and strengthen it.

If the pain is serious, your tendon can be ripped apart. Another potential indicator of tears is that you have difficulty pointing your toe down. Your doctor can inject medicine into your area of inflammation. You will need surgery to repair the damage.

Veins and Clots

Blood Clots

If the blood thickens and clumps together in a vein, it may turn into a clot. One that occurs in a vein deep within the body is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Many deep-vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. They’re more likely to happen if you’re idle for a long time, like a long flight or a car trip. You are also at risk if you are overweight, smoke or take some drugs.

There’s a risk that a clot will break down into your bloodstream and migrate to the artery in your lungs. If so it could obstruct the flow of blood. It’s a dangerous disorder called pulmonary embolism. If you think you might have a blood clot, go to the doctor or emergency room right away.

Varicose Veins

You may be familiar with them, since you can see them on the surface of your skin. They tend to be distorted, dark blue or purple veins, which are caused by poor valves and venous walls. They can cause a dull pain, particularly after standing up. Try helping the stool to ease the discomfort. And all day, turn between sitting and standing. See the doctor for other forms of treatment if the varicose veins are really painful.

Broken Bones or Sprains

Say you’re twisting your ankle, and you’re going to get a slight sprain. Try treatment with RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Apply ice on a more serious spine or fractured bone (fracture) and see the doctor right away. You may need a brace or a cast. Physical therapy may also be required. It will take time but eventually, again you will be able to walk comfortably. Go slow as you gradually increase your strength and place weight on your injured leg.

Are You Looking for Relief From Neck Pain? 

Pace Physical Therapy in San Jose, California specializes in non-surgical neck pain relief and recovery therapies.  We pride ourselves on offering the best possible physical therapy available and going above and beyond for our patients. Our highly experienced physical therapist will work with you to improve your function and relieve your pain. We start by assessing the body as a whole. Oftentimes the cause of pain or an injury extends far beyond just the body part or muscle hurting. Without taking a comprehensive look at your entire self, we would be doing you a disservice in fully helping you heal and preventing future limitations. We then move on to fixing your areas of limitation.  Not all diagnoses are created equal. One person with neck pain may have completely different limitations than the next person. Your recovery program needs to be specific to what YOUR body needs and not just the typical exercise program that you can find online. Just because your pain decreases or you can walk longer doesn’t mean that it is enough to get you functioning at the level you want to be. While this often signifies the end of care at your typical PT clinic we don’t stop providing guidance until we help you successfully meet every goal you set for yourself with us on day one. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!