Achy legs can be a nuisance. Whether you’re walking, sitting down, or even just trying to head to bed, having an ache in your legs can be hard to ignore. It’s even more difficult when the ache seems to have come out of nowhere, and you’re having trouble finding exactly what’s caused it. So you may be left wondering, “why do my legs ache?”
In this post, we’ll look at some of the most common causes of leg pain and briefly discuss what you can do to treat it.
Why Do My Legs Ache? Common Causes
Your legs are complex, powerful parts of your body that support your body as you go about your day. Most leg pain can be due to some wear and tear occurring to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones, or blood vessels that comprise them. Some typical causes of leg pain are listed below.
Overuse or Fatigue
Leg pain can commonly occur due to fatigue or overuse. If the pain occurs after a bout of physical activity, rest your legs. This will allow your muscles to recover over time.
Electrolytes are minerals like calcium, sodium, and potassium and are responsible for maintaining proper muscle function. Your body can become depleted of electrolytes as you sweat, and this can cause your muscles to become tired or even develop cramps. Replenishing your electrolytes with sports drinks may help.
Strained or Pulled Muscles, or Sprains
A strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon, which connects the muscle to the bone. However, a sprain is an injury to a ligament that connects bones. Both have very similar symptoms, and injury to any tissues in the leg can cause aches and pains. The solution is to follow the RICE protocol: rest, ice, compression, and elevation. That is to say, rest the affected area, apply ice to reduce inflammation, apply compression using a bandage and elevate the area above the level of the heart to reduce swelling,
Muscle cramps can come out of nowhere and be a very unpleasant surprise. Interestingly, they affect most people in the legs, and the contractions can leave the muscles very sore. Naturally, this causes them to ache, and the soreness can sometimes radiate to other areas of the leg. Resting and getting enough electrolytes can help with cramping. If you experience a lot of cramping, however, see your doctor.
More Complex Causes for Leg Ache
While techniques like the RICE protocol can sometimes help with routine leg pains and injuries, a leg ache can signal something more serious. The pain may not heal on its own and may make daily life quite difficult.
Leg pain can arise from pinched nerves, such as in the case of sciatica. Spinal stenosis is another condition that can result in numbness or weakness of the legs. It can also be due to arthritis, which affects the joints.
More dangerously, your legs can ache due to blood vessels becoming deformed or even blocked. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition where a blood clot develops in the leg, causing pain and swelling. This can turn into a medical emergency if the clot dislodges and finds its way into your lungs.
If you have persistent leg pain, a qualified pain management specialist will be able to pinpoint exactly what’s going on. They have specialized examination techniques and therapies available to treat your leg ache.
The Bottom Line: Consult A Pain Management Professional
At Genesis Pain Clinic, we’re proud to be practitioners of the highest standard of interventional pain management. As a result, we offer diagnostic testing and regenerative medicine, with the mission to allow all our patients to live healthy, pain-free lives. Please give us a call if you have any questions at (913) 871-9888.
We look forward to helping you.
Genesis Pain Management Clinic of Overland Park
6700 W 121st St Ste #300, Overland Park, KS 66209