Updated: Jun 5
One of the most common complaints today is leg pain due to its uncomfortable experience. If you are one of those who are experiencing leg pain, then you must know how uncomfortable this can make someone feel because this is a very common experience in most adults. Leg pain has been shown to be one of the more uncomfortable and recurring medical conditions.
There are many reasons why leg pain is uncomfortable. The pain can be sharp and localized in just one area and feel like something is stabbing you repeatedly. Other times it can be a general ache that prevents you from doing your regular routine. Regardless of the reason, it's best to seek help from a Manhattan pain management specialist.
1. Leg pain can be debilitating
Leg pain can be debilitating and make walking or performing daily activities difficult. There are many reasons why you might have leg pain, including:
Injury. The most common cause of leg pain is injury. This could be from a fall, twisting your ankle or knee, or other physical trauma.
Sprains and strains. Sprains and strains are common sports injuries that happen when you overstretch your leg muscles and tendons. This causes damage to the fibers in these tissues, which leads to inflammation and swelling around the injured area. You may also experience bruising around the area of injury.
Arthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative condition that causes joint pain and stiffness. It commonly affects the knees, hips, and ankles but can also affect other joints in the body.
Sciatica. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve, which runs from your lower back down through your buttock and down each leg, becomes trapped or compressed by a source of irritation, such as herniated disc or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). It causes pain that radiates into one leg or even both legs below the knee. If you have sciatica, you may also experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in parts of your leg(s).
Bursitis. Bursitis is an inflammation of the bursa, which are small sacs that provide cushioning between bones, tendons, and muscles. Bursitis usually affects the back of your knee joint and causes swelling and tenderness over this area.
Fractures. Fractures are breaks to the bone that typically occur after some type of trauma to the leg — such as a fall or car accident — or from repetitive stress on weak bones.
Infections. Infections like cellulitis affect the soft tissues around your bones and joints, leading to pain, tenderness, redness, warmth, and swelling in these areas.
2. Leg pain can limit your ability to do physical activities
When you're trying to be active, it can be frustrating to have your leg pain get in the way. For example, when you're hiking or doing an activity where your legs are the primary source of power and balance, it's hard to overcome that pain and keep going. And when you're trying to get a good workout at the gym, it can be painful to exercise through soreness or fatigue after a long day.
Leg pain can be the result of many things: poor circulation, muscle strains or tears, and even malformed bones. It can be caused by over-exertion, under-exertion, or even injury—and sometimes, it's totally out of your control. Whatever the cause, it's never fun.
Sometimes leg pain will keep you from being able to exercise as much as you would like. Other times, it might keep you from even being able to walk around normally (especially painful if the problem is your feet). Any way you look at it, this is bad news for all those who want to remain active, healthy, and mobile as they age.
Luckily there are some ways you can deal with leg pain and still lead a life that includes regular physical activity. Work with a health professional to determine what the underlying problem is and what treatment options you can take to avoid further injury or quicken recovery time.
3. Leg pain can make it hard to concentrate on work
The factors that lead to leg pain vary from person to person: some have jobs that put them on their feet all day, while others sit for long periods at a time. There are even people who experience pain when they walk or run but don't feel it during other physical activities. And, of course, there are those whose jobs require them to be seated for all or most of the day—either because they're driving all day or because they're stuck in front of a computer screen.
Any way you look at it, though, sitting still is not going to be good for your legs. Blood flow slows down, and muscles become stiff when you stop moving around; even if you get up and walk around every hour or so, you really can't avoid the fact that if you spend hours on end in the same position, you'll experience discomfort somewhere down the line.
When a part of your body hurts, it's natural to want to shift your attention elsewhere. But if you're in the middle of a project and trying to focus, those sharp jabs of discomfort might be enough to pull you out of your zone.
4. Leg pain can interfere with sleep
What we often don't realize, though, is how it can interfere with sleep. When you wake up in the middle of the night with leg pain and your heart racing, your brain has to work double time to get back to rest.
You might be tempted to take a glass of water or a pain reliever and go back to sleep, but those are usually temporary fixes that mask the real problem, which is that you're tensing up your body in response to the discomfort. The tension causes further discomfort and makes it more difficult to fall back asleep once they've flared up again. The cycle continues until you find it hard to think about anything else but your leg and how it hurts.
5. Leg pain can lead to depression
Leg pain, especially chronic leg pain, can be very uncomfortable. It can lead to depression because the pain causes people to avoid exercise, and exercise is one way to reduce stress and improve mood. When the body is relaxed, it releases endorphins which help to relieve pain and make you feel better.
If you are depressed and in pain, you are less likely to want to take care of yourself properly because of the increased risk of injury, a lack of energy or enthusiasm for daily activity, and an overall sense that things aren't worth the effort.
You might think negatively about yourself or others. These negative thoughts can affect your feelings, which in turn affects your emotions. If you're feeling hopeless or depressed because of your leg pain, seek help immediately. Try talking with a therapist or joining a support group—you'll meet people who are going through exactly what you are, and they may have some great tips for dealing with the stress of your condition.
Alleviate Your Leg Pain
Understanding where your leg pain is coming from will empower you to discern whether you can manage your pain and what it may be telling you. In addition, by assessing the source, you can eliminate and avoid future leg pain. It is important that you get it checked out by a Manhattan pain management specialist before it gets worse. The sooner you begin to treat your symptoms, the quicker you will return to an active lifestyle.