While leg pain is a common occurrence after an injury, there are many non-traumatic causes of leg pain. Pain in the legs can be present because of conditions that affect bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, and skin. Most often, inflammation of tissues is the end result of these diseases, and the inflammation is the source of pain. Back ailments may also present with leg pain.
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Causes of Leg Pain
If you have suffered an injury to the bone, muscle or tendon of your leg, it's easy to connect these injuries to leg pain and seek treatment. Sometimes, however, the cause of leg pain is not crystal clear. Vascular disorders involving the vessels that carry blood and lymph throughout the body can cause blood clots or varicose veins. Blood clots, known as deep vein thrombosis, often result from prolonged bed rest.
Atherosclerosis or narrowed arteries is a condition that can impair circulation so that less blood reaches your legs. In this case, you might feel pain during exercise that's called claudication which feels like a sharp cramp when you walk or run.
Infections are another source of leg pain. Osteomyelitis, for example, is an infection of the bone that results in impaired mobility. Inflammation from diseases like arthritis and gout can also attack joints in the leg, making everyday activities painful.
Leg Pain Symptoms
There is muscle contraction, pain in knees, hips, and foot. The person is unable to do hard physical work, there is pain in muscles, lack of blood in the body, inability to do exercise are some of the symptoms for leg pain.
Home Remedies and Self Care
Treatment options would quite naturally depend on the leg cramps causes.
Drink plenty of fluids and oral re-hydration solutions as electrolyte loss and dehydration are the most common causes of muscle cramps. Drinking liquids like caffeinated drinks or alcoholic drinks does not constitute towards your fluid intake as these are diuretics and will actually have the opposite effect on your system.
Make sure that you use appropriate footwear when walking that provide your feet with adequate support.
Stretching your muscles gently with light exercise like riding a stationary bicycle for a few minutes before going to bed can help loosen up and strengthen the muscles. This would greatly limit the occurrence or severity of night leg cramps.
Dietary measures are also an important aspect of care and prevention of night leg cramps. Make sure that your diet is not restrictive, but instead should be well balanced with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. This should provide you with all the essential nutrients you need. Very often mineral deficiencies can aggravate the problem of night leg cramps.
There is little that you can do to relieve the pain when struck with a night leg cramp, but the best way to get it to pass is by consciously relaxing your mind and body. This may seem impractical but it is effective and will take some getting used to. Deep breathing is the most effective method of relaxation at such times.
Lightly massage the cramped muscle with your hands using a soothing balm.
A hot shower or soak in a warm bath should also offer considerable relief.
Multi-vitamin and mineral supplements may help, but should only be taken after consulting with a nutritionist or doctor for the appropriate dosage. Calcium, potassium, and magnesium deficiencies are often the cause for night leg cramps.
Try and consume fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole meal varieties of grains, not the refined varieties as the process generally destroys most of their nutritional value. Grains for that matter lose up to 85% of their magnesium when finely milled. Fruits like dates and bananas are rich sources of magnesium and potassium.