Foot and Leg Pain Conditions
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Leg and foot pain can be a symptom of something as common as over-exertion or of something more serious like a lower back problem. Whatever the cause, any problem with the foot or leg can make it difficult to function.
Causes of Pain
There are many medical conditions that can cause leg pain from thigh to foot or more localized pain, like in the calf. The source of pain may be in the leg or foot itself, or it may be due to a medical problem somewhere else in the body. Leg and foot problems can be minor or very serious, causing varying degrees of pain.
Some of the more common causes of pain are:
- overuse injuries – i.e. bursitis, stress fractures, muscle tears, shin splints, plantar fasciitis;
- muscle cramps or spasms;
- sprains and strains;
- disease – bone, spine and vascular diseases;
- aging that leads to tissue deterioration;
- bone fractures from accidents or a disease like osteoporosis;
Common Symptoms of Pain
The symptoms a person might experience, and that help the doctor identify the condition, include:
- localized or radiating pain;
- leg weakness;
- foot numbness and pain;
- prickling or tingling sensations;
- sharp or burning pain;
- bones easily fracture;
- sensitivity to touch;
- difficulty with walking or standing;
- pain that eases or gets worse in certain positions.
Numbness in the leg and/or foot is called peripheral neuropathy. Diabetes is the most common cause of the numbness. Persistent high blood sugar levels damage nerves, so the person loses its feelings. Diabetic neuropathy can occur in the upper or lower legs.
However, infection or a compressed nerve can trigger. Some people experience neuropathic pain (not peripheral neuropath) which is marked by stabbing severe pain incidences and ongoing numbness or weakness in between. The nerve pain in leg and foot begins in the lower back or upper thigh and travels down the nerve path into the legs and feet.
When to See the Doctor
Sharp or constant pain in leg and foot is difficult to live with and drives people to the doctor to seek relief. Chronic pain is pain that lasts more than three to six month. Sometimes people wait to make a doctor appointment until the pain disrupts normal life activities and becomes chronic.
It is important to see a doctor right away when certain symptoms occur:
- pain does not subside after a few days of self-treatment;
- it is painful to walk or pain occurs after walking;
- numbness anywhere in the leg or foot;
- leg or foot swells or both legs and feet experience swelling;
- breathing problems develop along with leg and/or foot pain;
- indications of infection appear, like redness and tenderness;
- fever that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit;
- pain is getting worse.
If you experience the same symptoms and suffer from chronic pain, book an appointment with the pain treatment expert at Spine and Pain Clinic of North America. Call (703) 520-1031.