Managing Leg Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Leg pain can be as varied as the individuals suffering from it. The discomfort may impact your ability to work, sleep, and enjoy your free time, but you don’t have to resign yourself to a life of pain. Whether you’re dealing with lower leg pain after twisting your ankle or radiating sciatica pain in the back of your thigh, learning about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options is the first step toward reclaiming your quality of life. Here’s what you need to know. 

Person clutching their calf in pain Greater Maryland Pain Management 

Causes of Leg Pain 

Not sure why your leg is hurting? To treat the pain effectively, you first need to determine its cause. Numerous conditions contribute to leg pain symptoms. Here are some common culprits: 

  • Intense exercise or overuse 
  • Blood clots or peripheral artery disease 
  • Injuries like sprains or fractures 
  • Joint pain caused by fibromyalgia or arthritis 
  • Poor circulation or heart issues 
  • Nerve damage, including diabetic neuropathy 
  • Spinal conditions like herniated discs or sciatica 
  • Skeletal irregularities 

Identifying the root cause is essential for finding an effective treatment, so consult a doctor for help diagnosing and managing your condition. 

Leg Pain Symptoms and Diagnosis 

Pay attention to your symptoms, as they can help you reach an accurate diagnosis. These may include: 

  • Sudden or persistent pain in one or both legs 
  • Swelling, redness, or discoloration 
  • Weakness or a sensation of warmth 
  • Numbness or tingling 
  • Pain that worsens during physical activity 
  • Sciatica pain radiating down the back of the leg 
  • Reduced range of motion or limping 
  • Achilles pain in your lower calf 

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience dizziness, difficulty breathing, or chest pain alongside your leg pain, as these could indicate a severe condition like a blood clot. 

Diagnosis typically involves reviewing your medical history, receiving a physical exam, and possibly undergoing imaging tests like X-rays, MRI scans, or blood tests. An accurate diagnosis ensures you receive the treatment best suited to your condition. 

How to Treat Leg Pain 

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for treating leg pain because the ideal treatment depends on the underlying cause. Even so, the initial therapies often include the RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), over-the-counter pain medications, stretching, and massage. 

Beyond these, you can seek specialized treatments, including: 

Take the Next Step 

If you’re tired of living with leg pain, visit Greater Maryland Pain Management for help. We combine interventional procedures with medication management under the guidance of highly skilled doctors. Our team is committed to compassionate, responsive care. We even offer same-day appointments for your convenience. Call us at 410-672-2255 or visit one of our six Greater Maryland locations for an accurate leg pain diagnosis and customized treatment plan.