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Causes and Treatments for Leg and Foot Pain

Causes and Treatments for Leg and Foot Pain

Leg and foot pain can be life-altering because your legs and feet are what you rely on every day to get you around. Whether your pain is acute or chronic, it can help to understand some of the potential underlying causes and what options are available for treatment. Please note that the information presented here is intended to inform only and not serve as a substitute for licensed medical diagnosis and treatment.

Common Causes of Foot and Leg Pain

Leg and foot pain has a large range of causes, so instead of making an exhaustive list, here they are sorted into two simple categories to make it easier to identify a potential source of your pain. However, only a qualified physician can officially diagnose the root cause of the problem.

Acute Leg and Foot Pain

Acute pain happens suddenly and usually resolves just as quickly. It’s often brought on by an injury. Pain that settles in your leg or foot can happen anywhere and anytime but is more likely if you’re athletic and/or active, have a more physical job, or are prone to trips and falls.

  • Pulled muscles: These are less likely to cause lasting problems, but you should always listen to messages from your body. If your pulled muscle doesn’t resolve quickly, then definitely seek medical advice.
  • Sprains: If you’re an athlete, are active, or just happen to wrench your leg the wrong way, sprains can cause sudden but lingering pain.
  • Breaks or fractures: These can occur at any stage of life and can start as a small problem that becomes much bigger if your condition goes untreated. Again, listen to your body. It is possible to mistake a break or fracture for a simple sprain, so take precautions and get officially examined if you have any doubts.

Chronic Leg and Foot Pain

Chronic pain is long-lasting and usually does not resolve without direct intervention. Chronic pain is often much more complicated than acute pain because the true source can be elusive. For example, many incidences of chronic pain in the legs or feet actually originate in the spine or nerves.

  • Arthritis: There are joints throughout your legs, and inflammation from arthritis can be incredibly painful and difficult to ignore. Inflammation is much worse in areas that see a lot of use, which is unavoidable with your legs and feet.
  • Spinal problems: There are quite a few sources of leg pain that originate from other parts of the body. A common source is the spine and conditions like spondylosis or sciatica. Pressure on spinal nerves can cause pain that ends up in the legs, feet, and even hips.
  • Neuropathic pain: Pinched or compressed nerves or even abnormal nerve function can cause pain that radiates through your legs and/or feet and can be notoriously difficult to target. In fact, neuropathic pain can travel from one area of the body to another and cause confusion and frustration.

Treatments for Leg and Foot Pain

Treatments for your pain can be as diverse as the causes, but here are a few ideas for things you can do at home and also common treatments that may be recommended by a doctor or pain management specialist.

Treatments for Acute Leg and Foot Pain

The nature of acute pain often makes it highly treatable with some at-home interventions. Of course, these interventions will gain impact and credibility with the guidance of a medical professional.

  • RICE: This popular acronym stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. After an injury, your body can use this extra encouragement to heal, and this strategy also provides natural pain-soothing because it gives your body a break from movement and reduces inflammation.
  • Stretching and Exercise: Even though staying active may have been the cause of your initial injury, it is often a huge component of your recovery. Gentle stretches can help muscles and tendons recover from injury or stay limber if you suffer from arthritis. Exercise has a similar effect and has the added bonus of increasing your overall health and energy levels.

Treatments for Chronic Leg and Foot Pain

If your pain is intense and long-lasting, you may have doubts about finding relief. However, there are multiple viable options to help you get back on your feet, literally.

  • Physical Therapy: This may be one of the best options for your pain treatment because it is both non-invasive and guided by a medical expert. It is a gentle way to address your condition and can evolve as your needs evolve.
  • Steroid injections: Steroid injections/nerve blocks can be a great way to give you a reprieve from your pain. The pain-relieving medication in them is targeted right at the source.
  • Ongoing pain management treatment: Pain management is an excellent option for both acute and chronic leg and/or foot pain. Pain management doctors are qualified to evaluate, diagnose, and treat you. A highly-qualified pain clinic will also offer a wide range of services that includes multiple treatment modalities. You can go to one place and find everything you need.

Find Relief With Integrated Pain Solutions

Are you ready to say goodbye to suffering? Then contact the pain physicians at Integrated Pain Solutions, experts in treating leg and foot pain. Dr. Gladstone McDowell II, Dr. Omar Ali, and the Spine Care Specialists are ready to serve you at our three convenient locations around Ohio. Visit us at Columbus, Springfield, or Dublin, or contact us and call 614-383-6450.