Updated: May 31
Do you ever have a dull, aching pain in your legs, knees, or feet? Have you been experiencing a lot of pain in your legs for quite some time? This is a common occurrence. Many people in NYC do, and it affects millions of Americans every year– and their pain isn't just localized to the legs.
When we say chronic leg pain, we're not just talking about feeling achy or sore in your knee after you jog. We're talking about the kind of pain that will keep you lying on your side because it's too uncomfortable to lie on your back or stomach. The kind of pain that will push you to go through your day with tears in your eyes. And the kind of pain that will prevent you from getting any real sleep at night. This can be caused by many factors such as our everyday activities and work.
There are several kinds of chronic leg pain, and when you're living with it, you may feel like you're at a loss as to how to treat it. However, there are options in pain management NYC for relieving chronic leg pain. Here are some guides for coping with this problem.
Know What Type is Your Leg Pain
If your leg pain is chronic (long-lasting), it's important to know what type of leg pain you're dealing with so that you can find the right pain treatment. Leg pain is a complex issue that's often caused by multiple factors, including arthritis, back problems, muscle strains, and ligament tears. Leg pain also can be a sign of a serious condition such as heart disease or diabetes. So rather than focusing on one specific area of your body, try to think about the different types of leg pain in general terms.
Intermittent claudication (IC) — This is caused by poor blood flow to the lower legs and feet. It usually gets worse with walking but improves when you stop moving. IC is linked to heart problems such as coronary artery disease (CAD) and peripheral vascular disease (PVD).
Restless legs syndrome — This condition causes an irresistible urge to move your legs. It's often worse at night and causes sleep problems too. Restless legs syndrome isn't related to the actual feeling of movement; it's more like an itch that can't be scratched. It's usually not serious but can be annoying if it keeps you awake at night or makes you feel tired during the day because of a lack of sleep.
Peripheral neuropathy (peroneal nerve). This type of neuropathy occurs when the nerves in your feet or legs send incorrect signals to the brain, such as those related to temperature regulation or blood flow. Peripheral neuropathy may also cause tingling and numbness in your legs and feet.
Tarsal tunnel syndrome (anterior tibial nerve). This condition occurs when the nerve that runs through your ankle becomes compressed in the narrow tarsal tunnel — the canal that connects your ankle bones together — resulting in numbness, tingling, or burning sensations in your foot and toes.
Identify the Cause with These Questions
Chronic leg pain is a common condition affecting millions of people annually. It can be caused by many different things, including an underlying medical condition or injury. If you have chronic leg pain, it's important to identify its cause. Seek help from a pain management specialist in NYC, so you can take steps to treat it and prevent it from coming back.
Here are five questions that can help you determine what's causing your chronic leg pain so that you can seek treatment:
Do you have any numbness or tingling? If you do, this could be a sign of nerve damage due to either an injury or diseases like diabetes or multiple sclerosis. In rare cases, these symptoms may indicate spinal cord compression (usually caused by cancer).
What was your activity level before your symptoms started? If you were active before your symptoms started and now find it difficult or impossible to walk or stand without pain, the problem may be arthritis in the spine or hips. Cancers that affect bones can also cause chronic leg pain.
Does your pain start suddenly or gradually? Sudden onset of pain often indicates an injury to the leg, such as a fracture or tear in the tendon. The gradual onset of pain is more likely to be caused by arthritis or another long-term condition.
Is your pain only felt when walking, climbing stairs, or going up hills? If so, this could be due to muscle fatigue (for example, after playing sport) or overuse injuries such as shin splints.
Does your pain worsen with activity? If so, this could be due to inflammation (for example, after playing sport), arthritis, or another long-term condition.
Seek Help from a Pain Management NYC Expert
Chronic leg pain is a major concern for patients who experience it. The pain may be one-sided or on both sides of the legs and can be mild to severe.
Chronic leg pain can affect your ability to work, exercise, and enjoy life. If you have chronic leg pain, pain treatments can relieve your symptoms and help you get back to your normal activities. Leg pain is most often felt as a dull ache in the back of the knee or calf muscle. There may also be tenderness around the joints. Mild leg pain may go away on its own without treatment, but it's important to see a pain doctor if your pain doesn't improve within a few days or weeks. They will ask questions about your symptoms and do an exam of your muscles and joints. This can help determine whether you need more tests or treatments for an underlying condition.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following symptoms:
The pain is so severe that it keeps you from standing up and walking normally.
The pain is accompanied by swelling or redness in your leg.
The pain is accompanied by muscle weakness, numbness, or tingling in your leg that does not go away after resting for a few hours.
You have severe fatigue and feel like pushing yourself too much.
If you have chronic leg pain, it's important to get help from a pain specialist as soon as possible. If your pain is due to muscle tightness and weakness, physical therapy can help you stretch and strengthen the muscles in your legs.
Determine Appropriate Treatment Options
If you have chronic leg pain, talk with your doctor about the best options for managing your symptoms. Find out what treatments are available, what they entail, and if you're a candidate for them.
It's important to determine the source of your discomfort and choose an appropriate pain management option. There are many treatment options available for chronic leg pain. While no single treatment works for everyone, you may find that a combination of treatments helps relieve your symptoms and improves your quality of life.
Treatment for chronic leg pain depends on the cause and severity of your symptoms. Your doctor will want to rule out any underlying conditions that may be causing your pain before determining the best treatment option for you. For example, if you have a herniated disc in your lower back that's pressing on a nerve root in your leg, you may need to see a spine specialist for epidural injections.
Discuss all options with pain specialist before starting any new treatment plan. Be sure to tell about any other medications or supplements you're taking, including over-the-counter medications and vitamins. This will help ensure that there aren't any interactions between these medications and the treatment plan you choose.
Consider Other Pain Management Methods
Chronic leg pain can be eased through a variety of different methods, and finding the right one for you is key to living your best life. There are more options than ever before, but which works best? We asked our patients to share their experiences with us so you can get a better idea of how each product works.
Consider methods of pain management without drugs and surgery first when treating chronic leg pain with surgery. It includes physical therapy, massage therapy, and acupuncture. These therapies can help reduce pain and improve function in some people with chronic leg pain conditions.
If you're living with chronic leg pain and have been trying to find something that can ease the discomfort, we can help you get back to a level of functioning where you can walk without having to use a cane or even think about pain every day. Call our pain management NYC center if you need help in finding the right treatment and further discuss your options with our experienced specialists.