All of us have had the experience of feeling a sudden pain in a part of our body and then wondering. Is it serious? Should I see a doctor? Will it go away if I wait long enough?
If the pain is in your legs, there might be several sources. Your legs are complex mechanisms of muscles, joints, blood vessels, nerves and other connections; pain indicates that something is going wrong, from minor to serious, and it needs your attention.
Following is a list of some of the reasons your legs might hurt.
Sometimes you stretch or twist something too far when you run, walk, bicycle or even swim. Often tissue has become inflamed and the injury will calm down if you give it a rest. Ligaments or muscles that are torn, or bones that are broken, will continue to hurt and need a doctor’s evaluation.
Any of the structures of the leg can be affected by disease. In addition to pain, you might experience numbness, weakness, tingling or throbbing. Definitely see a doctor if any of these symptoms continue
Diabetes-caused nerve damage, called neuropathy, is a common result of that disease. If you have diabetes and start to feel leg pain, please go see your doctor.
If your arteries become clogged by plaque caused by cholesterol, your legs will hurt when walking or doing other exercise. If your legs consistently hurt when in use, then schedule a visit to see your doctor.
Pain could be the first sign that you have a clot blocking a vein somewhere in your leg. Seek a doctor immediately if you have a family history of blood clots or think you may have a blood clot for any reason, because it could dislodge and cause serious damage.
Varicose veins usually cause more of an ache than a sharp pain as blood pools in your leg. You could also experience bleeding with some forms of vein disease, along with infection. If you start to see thick rope-y veins, then you should schedule a consultation with a vein doctor.
As you can see, leg pain can come from a number of sources. Some might be expected, (like how you feel after running a race) and others are surprising. Whatever you think the cause might be, and before it has a chance to become a serious problem, check out any pains you are experiencing. Regardless of the cause, you’ll feel better when your doctor tells you how to deal with it.
Dr. Alex Afshar is available to examine your legs and determine any source of pain. Contact the Vein Institute of Connecticut to schedule a free visit with Dr. Afshar.