Do you suffer from leg pain? Leg pain is a common condition that may develop from natural wear and tear, overuse, injury or an underlying condition. Patients may experience pain for several days, weeks or months, depending upon the cause and severity. Leg pain may be described as mild, moderate or severe, and can occur in one leg or in both legs. Depending on the cause of your leg pain, you may experience discomfort while you are active or while you are lying down.
If you feel acute or chronic pain in the leg, calf, thigh or lower back, there are things you can do to help reduce your discomfort. Leg pain can originate in the bones, connective tissues, blood vessels, nerves or skin. If you have severe or long-lasting leg pain, it can have a negative impact on your quality of life.
Often, leg pain is caused by inflammation (swelling) of tissues. Swelling may be a symptom of disease or injury. Leg pain can be caused by a number of conditions or injuries. The first step in treating leg pain is to get an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your symptoms. Based on your diagnosis, you and your doctor or pain specialist can determine your best treatment options.
At The Pain Center, we can help diagnose your leg pain. We offer a range of therapies to treat your pain symptoms. Our goal is to get you back to your normal activities. Contact us to set up an appointment with one of our pain specialists.
Learn about your treatment options
What causes leg pain and how can you find relief? The answer depends on the underlying condition that creates your symptoms. Chronic or severe leg pain can be caused by a number of common conditions, such as:
- Intense exercise or overuse (muscle aches)
- Blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) or peripheral artery disease
- Muscle, ligament or tendon strains
- Skeletal structure irregularities
- Poor circulation or cardiac disorders
- Nerve damage
- Herniated disc or other lower spine condition
- Sciatica from spinal disc disease
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Other underlying conditions
Leg Pain Symptoms and Diagnosis
Be sure to inform your doctor of all your symptoms. Some symptoms of leg pain can include:
- Pain in one or both legs, with or without back pain
- Foot pain
- Pain that comes on suddenly or comes and goes
- Redness or discoloration of the skin on the leg
- Swelling in the leg, ankle or calf
- Distended veins
- Leg skin that is warm to the touch
- Itching or throbbing skin
- Pain that worsens when walking or exercising
- Sciatica leg pain or pain that radiates down the back of the leg toward the feet
- General leg stiffness or morning stiffness
- Numbness, tingling or throbbing
- Muscle pain / muscle aches
- Aching with or without fever
- Burning pain
- Reduced range of motion
- Change in how you walk or move due to pain (limping)
- Muscle cramps
- Achilles pain in your lower calf
Be sure to get medical help right away if you have trouble breathing, dizziness or chest pain along with leg discomfort, as this could be a sign of a blood clot.
To diagnose the cause of your pain, your doctor will ask you questions about your health and family history, and do a physical examination. Other tests that can help diagnose the source of your pain include X-rays, MRI scan, CT scan and blood tests. It is important that your condition is properly diagnosed so that you can receive the most effective and appropriate treatment.
How to Treat Leg Pain
How can you ease the discomfort of leg pain? Your treatment options depend on the underlying cause and severity of your leg pain.
Treatment may start with conservative therapies, such as over-the-counter aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. These nonprescription medications can be effective for certain types of leg pain when taken according to instructions.
You may also consider home care such as drinking plenty of water to reduce leg cramps. Stretching and massage can also help. You may also try using heating or cold packs, taking warm baths or showers, and resting your legs. Be sure to wear shoes that support the arch in your foot and are comfortable to wear. Elevate your leg when you sit or lie down.
The pain management specialists at The Pain Center may also recommend the following interventional pain therapies to reduce your leg pain:
- Prescription medications / medication management
- Topical agents (creams)
- Injections such as steroid medications
- Spinal cord stimulation
- Nerve blocks
- Physical therapy (can include exercises, losing weight if necessary, heat and cold therapy, electrical nerve stimulation)
- Alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments and/or massage
Some of the interventional medical therapies we provide at The Pain Center include:
When Further Leg Pain Treatment is Required
Based on the underlying condition, further treatments may be required. If there is something that can be addressed by another type of specialist, we will refer you to the appropriate specialty doctor.