Have you been experiencing pain in your leg muscles? Pain in the legs may occur due to different conditions that affect the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, tendons or skin. You may experience leg pain in the ankle, behind the knee, foot, thigh, at the back of the leg or any other part. It may occur while lying down at night or when you are exercising or running. Leg pain can also affect one or both legs depending on the cause.
Usually, pain in the leg muscles occurs due to tissue inflammation caused by a disease or injury. Because a leg contains numerous structures and types of tissues, there are many muscle injuries and conditions that can lead to leg pain.
When to see a doctor about pain in the leg muscles?
Sometimes it becomes difficult to know when you should see a doctor about the muscle pain in your leg. However, you should consider scheduling an appointment if you start experiencing the following symptoms:
- Muscle cramps: Muscle cramps are one of the reasons behind leg pain, and several factors could trigger this type of pain. The cause can be dehydration, muscle fatigue, vigorous exercise, poor circulation of blood in your leg, sitting or standing too much, and not stretching enough among other reasons. These muscle cramps lead to intense leg pain.
- Swelling in both legs: If any of your leg muscles have been injured or fractured, you will experience pain and swelling.
- Pain while walking: You may find it hard to walk due to the pain in your leg muscles. It usually occurs when some tissues in your leg muscles overstretch.
- A tingling sensation: This sensation is not necessarily painful, and it can occur when you are resting or walking around. However, you should see a doctor as its cause may be nerve damage in the leg.
- Pinched nerve: If one of the nerves in your leg muscles is pinched, you will start to experience pain.
- Varicose veins: You may face leg pain and discomfort due to poor blood circulation, blood clots, and varicose veins.
- Persistent leg pain: If you are experiencing continuous pain in your leg that either gets worse or persists for some days, then it could mean that you have a problem with your leg muscles. At such times, it is best to get an accurate diagnosis by visiting a doctor.
- Pale leg: If you notice that your leg is pale and feels cool every time you touch it, you probably have a problem with your leg muscles.
How to prevent leg pain?
Some people believe that they can avoid all kinds of injuries to their body. However, accidents happen all the time in the real world, which can lead to problems. If you want to avoid leg pain, you can consider following the tips mentioned below:
- Make sure that you get up and walk after a couple of hours when you are traveling long distances by train, air, or car. It decreases the risk of developing deep venous thrombosis.
- By maintaining a healthy weight, you can decrease stress on your joints and bones. In this way, your leg muscles will not carry excess weight all day long, a situation that could lead to pain in the leg muscles. Maintaining the ideal weight will also decrease the risk of diseases like arthritis or obesity-related illnesses.
- If you are prone to falls, consider using a walker or a cane. You should also wear quality footwear with good grips. Falls commonly occur when walking surfaces change, and this may lead to leg pain. For instance, walking from a carpeted room to another with bare, slippery flooring can lead to a fall. You should conduct a home-safety assessment to reduce the risk of these types of falls.
- Limiting alcohol consumption will keep a person sober enough to walk comfortably. People often injure themselves by tripping and falling while they’re excessively drunk. One drink is recommended per day for women and two for men.
- Ensure that you monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol and take some steps to keep them under control.
- Add potassium-rich foods like chicken and bananas to your diet as these can help prevent leg muscle and tendon injuries.
- Make sure that you follow a regular exercise program and workout for at least 30 minutes every day, five times a week. You should also take the time to stretch the muscles before and after exercising to prevent muscle pain that occurs due to physical activity.
Although some severe conditions and injuries can cause pain in the leg muscles, you should never ignore any pain that does not seem to go away. If you experience any of the symptoms outlined above, you should consult a doctor immediately. A doctor will examine you to identify the cause of the pain in the leg muscles. In case the doctor confirms that the leg pain is due to fatigue, overuse or muscle cramps, you can opt to treat it at home by applying ice, taking pain relievers to ease discomfort, and performing stretches.