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Why do legs hurt? The cause of leg pain is not always 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. Where does leg pain come from?

Pain in legshas many faces and causes. Sometimes it is sudden, strong, other times it is gradually increasing, darkening. It is generally caused by fatigue in the legs. But its sources are also injuries such as torn tendons, ligaments or defects and deformations of the feet (e.g. flat feet, halluxes). It can also be a consequence of rheumatic diseases, diabetes and alcoholism. There are so many reasons for leg pain that we only mention some of them.

Causes of leg pain: deep vein thrombosis

The development of this disease is favored, among others, by damage to the vein walls, cardiovascular diseases (e.g. varicose veins, heart attack), pregnancy, puerperium, prolonged immobilization (e.g. after surgery), taking oral contraceptives, as well as congenital or acquired blood clotting disorders (e.g. thrombophilia, i.e. hypercoagulability). The essence of the disease is the formation of blood clots that slow or block blood flow in the veins. When pulled away from the wall of these vessels, they can be life-threatening, causing a pulmonary embolism.

Deep vein thrombosismay be asymptomatic. All the symptoms characteristic of it are not often present: swelling and pain in the leg, increasing when standing and walking, reddening and warming of the skin, cyanosis of the feet. In deep vein thrombosis, anticoagulants, less often thrombolytic drugs, are administered to dissolve the clot in the vein. Supportive measures are taken with anti-inflammatory and analgesic preparations.

Causes of leg pain: degeneration of the spine

The degeneration of the spine occurs as a result of the aging of the body, past injuries, and sometimes also injuries of the intervertebral disc. Degenerative changes can cause local inflammation with pressure on nerve structures. They often affect the lumbar spine, causingchronic low back pain radiating to the legs . Ailments appear mainly at night, during rest. Relief is provided by rehabilitation and some forms of physical activity, such as swimming, as well as by taking periodic medicationsanalgesic and anti-inflammatory in the form of tablets, ointments, gels.

Read also: Spondylosis and spondyloarthrosis - degeneration of the spine and intervertebral joints

According to an expertdr hab. Aleksandra Jezela-Stanek, MD, specialist in clinical genetics

The risk of thrombosis increases significantly in people genetically predisposed to congenital thrombophilia. It is worth adding that hereditary thrombophilia does not cause any symptoms. It can only be diagnosed by genetic analysis.

Causes of leg pain: gout

Goutis also called arthritis or gout. It is a chronic disease associated with metabolic disorders. As a consequence, uric acid crystals, called urates, are deposited in the joints. They are very sharp, they hurt the tissues, and this causes inflammation.The disease does not give any symptoms for many years.The first symptom is usually severe, sudden joint pain, swelling, sensitivity to touch, redness and the tension of the skin above him. The disease can affect the hand, shoulder and knee joints, but most often the pain is located in the big toe. So our foot hurts. Treatment consists in taking preparations that reduce uric acid concentration, diuretics and following the diet recommended by a doctor.

Causes of leg pain: sciatica

Sciaticais characterized by a sudden rushing pain in the lumbosacral spine, radiating under the buttock, to the back of the thigh, then to the side of the lower leg, down to the foot. Its cause is the compression of the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral disc on the nerve roots. Painkillers (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants as well as kinesiotherapy provide relief from suffering. Sometimes, perioral injections of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs are also used.

Read also: Why do men have pain in their legs? 6 common causes of pain in men's legs

Causes of leg pain: atherosclerotic changes

Their consequence is chronic leg ischemia. Atherosclerotic plaques narrow the lumen of the arteries. The first symptom of the disease is pale and cold feet. Over time,intermittent claudication appears, i.e. leg pain while walking , which disappears after rest. As blood supply worsens, there may also be pain at rest, initially located only in the toes, and then covering the entire foot and even the lower leg, as well as non-healing ulcers and necrotic changes on the foot. In the treatment of chronic leg ischemia, drugs used in the treatment of atherosclerosis are mainly used. Daily physical activity is an important element of the treatment(walking, cycling), avoiding cuts, abrasions to the feet.

Causes of leg pain: chronic venous insufficiency

The drainage of blood from the legs is facilitated, among others, by valves in the veins and working calf muscles that "push" it up. If the valves are damaged and we lead a sedentary lifestyle, blood stagnates and chronic venous insufficiency develops. Its signal is the feeling of tired, heavy legs, swelling and the formation of varicose veins. Treatment of the disease is generally conservative. It is recommended to take medications that improve venous circulation and strengthen the veins, wear compression stockings or tights, and exercise. If varicose veins have formed, they are removed surgically, because they can be complicated by inflammation of the superficial or deep veins.

Read also: He alth problems in standing work: leg pains, spine pains, varicose veins

Causes of leg pain: water and electrolyte disturbances

They are sometimes the cause of painful calf cramps, which may appear as a result of taking dehydrating drugs, laxatives, and a slimming diet. They are often caused by dehydration of the body or deficiency of minerals: magnesium, potassium, calcium. Cramps most often tease at night, awakening from sleep. To ease the pain, we can walk or straighten the leg at the knee for a while, lift it up and bend it strongly at the ankle joint, pulling the foot towards you. If we are prone to such ailments, take a hot bath before going to bed or massage a warming ointment into the calf. Remember to drink 1.5-2 liters of fluid a day and enrich the diet with products rich in magnesium, potassium and calcium.

"Zdrowie" monthly


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