Elderly pain in legs: What Helps Sore Legs with Old Age? – SPRYNG
What Helps Sore Legs with Old Age? – SPRYNG
What Helps Sore Legs with Old Age?
Pain in the legs can occur as a result of natural wear and tear, muscle overexertion, or an underlying medical condition. Older adults are more at risk of experiencing leg pain as they lose muscle mass with age. Leg pain can be very uncomfortable and can disrupt daily activities. But the good news is that, in most cases, it can be treated at home..
Causes of Leg Pain in Old Age
To treat aching legs in old age, it is important to first understand the causes of leg pain in elderly people. Listed below are some common leg pain in elderly causes.
Cramps – This is when your muscle, usually your calf muscle, suddenly contracts, causing a sharp pain in the area. A primary cause of leg cramps in elderly people is muscle loss, which can increase if a person has a sedentary lifestyle. Cramps can also happen at night and it is estimated that 1 in 3 people over the age of 60 experience night leg cramps [i]. A possible cause of night leg cramps in elderly people is a sedentary lifestyle.
Muscle strains – This is when the muscle is torn because of over-stretching. This can lead to pain and stiffness, making it difficult to move the affected muscle.
Varicose veins – Varicose veins is when the veins just under the skin gets enlarged and twisted. Varicose veins commonly occur on the lower legs and is more likely to be experienced by people over the age of 50 due to wear and tear on the vein valves as a result of aging [ii].
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – DVT [iii] occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg. Common symptoms include pain in the leg, foot, or ankle, warmer skin on the affected area, and skin on the affected are turning red or blue. DVT can be dangerous so if you suspect you have DVT, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
Arthritis – Arthritis [iv] is the swelling of the joint(s) and typically occurs in people over 65 years old. Arthritis usually affects the knees and the hips.
Old Age Leg Pain Remedies
In most cases, leg pain can be treated at home. Here are some home remedies for leg pain in old age:
If you experience leg pain from a minor injury, you can use the RICE method. This method is one of the best swelling in legs home remedies if the swelling is due to an injury.
- Rest: rest the injured area to allow faster healing and prevent further injury
- Ice: apply ice to the injured area to reduce swelling and pain
- Compression: use an elastic bandage or a compression device like SPRYNG to reduce swelling and pain. You can learn more about the science behind SPRYNG here.
- Elevation: lift the injured area ideally above heart level to reduce swelling
You can take over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol or Paracetamol to help relieve pain.
In order to treat leg cramps, you can apply a heating pad to the affected area. Taking a warm bath can also help. Applying heat is a great home remedy for leg pain as it helps loosen up tight muscles, which can relieve muscle cramps in elderly people.
As with heat therapy, stretching can help relieve tension in the muscles. If you have a calf cramp, simply straighten your leg and flex your foot so that your toes are pointed towards you. You should start to feel a stretch in your calf muscle. Hold this position for at least 5 seconds. Stop if your pain worsens. Stretching before bed can prevent night leg cramps in elderly people.
The best way to prevent leg pain in old age is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Avoid smoking, limit your alcohol consumption, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet. Don’t skip out on foods rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium as these nutrients may reduce or prevent muscle cramps in elderly people.
When to See a Doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if:
- You have a fever
- Both legs are swollen and you have difficulty breathing
- You have a deep cut on your leg
- Your leg is unusually red and warm or pale and cold
- Your unable to walk or put weight on your leg
- You heard a grinding or popping sound when you injured your leg
Seek medical attention as soon as possible if:
- You have swelling in one or both legs for no apparent reason
- You are experiencing pain while walking
- Your leg pain persists for days/gets worse
- You have painful varicose veins
[i] https://pmj. bmj.com/content/78/924/596
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Leg Cramps in Elderly Adults
As you age, your tendons naturally shorten and result in leg muscle cramps. These cramps are more likely to occur at night (in fact, 75% of reported leg cramps occur during this time) while you’re trying to sleep and can make it quite challenging to rest. Nearly every adult older than 50 will experience them at least once, and 33% of people over 60 will have a nocturnal leg cramp once every two months. Luckily, these cramps are treatable and preventable. In this post, we will present the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention for leg cramps.
Symptoms of Leg Cramps in Elderly
Before we take a closer look at the causes of leg cramps at night in elderly adults, you should learn more about what these leg cramps feel like. Here’s a brief look at a few symptoms of nocturnal leg cramps in seniors:
Contractions occurring during bedtime but occasionally during wakefulness
Sudden, involuntary hardness or tightness in your leg, foot, or thigh muscles, indicating a strong muscle contraction
Pain relief achieved through forceful stretching of affected muscles to release the contraction
Pain lasting several seconds to several minutes
Now that we know more about what you’re experiencing, we’ll take a look at what causes leg cramps at night in the elderly.
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Causes of Severe Leg Cramps in the Elderly
There is not one leading cause of leg cramps in seniors. They can depend on various factors, including lifestyle, health conditions, and medications you take. Here is a closer look at examples of what causes leg cramps in seniors:
Acute kidney failure
Chronic kidney disease
Involuntary nerve discharges
Restriction in the blood supply
Thyroid diseases, such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism
Medications and Procedures
Blood pressure drugs
Treatment for Leg Cramps in Elderly Adults
Nocturnal leg cramps in the elderly can be a nuisance, but they are treatable. Here are some ways to relieve leg muscle cramps in seniors:
Gently massage the affected muscle
Stretch (Straighten your leg if it’s in your calf. Flex your foot, so your toes are pointed toward you.)
Walk on your heels to activate the muscles opposite your calf
Apply heat to the affected muscle
Drink pickle juice, which is believed to help alleviate muscle cramps
Take over-the-counter painkillers, such as Tylenol or Advil
Prevention for Leg Cramps in the Elderly
While you can always treat nocturnal leg cramps, we know it’s more ideal to not have them entirely. Here’s a look at a few ways to prevent severe muscle cramps in the elderly:
Change your sleeping position, so your feet point downward, or try sleeping on your back with your pillow behind your knees
Sleep with loose, untucked sheets and comforters to keep your feet pointed upward
Drink plenty of fluids
Stretch your legs (especially your calves and hamstrings) before bed
Wear supportive footwear during the day, especially if you have flat feet
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Treatment of foot pain in the elderly in Moscow
Various reasons can provoke pain in the legs in the elderly: from insufficient physical activity and malnutrition to diseases of the cardiovascular or nervous system. Experienced doctors of the RGNCC in Moscow will help the patient to identify the true causes of pain and cope with disorders.
Pain in the legs as a signal of beriberi and neurological pathologies
Deficiency of B vitamins, nerve root damage and other neurological diseases are indicated by:
- burning sensation in the feet;
- numbness of limbs;
- spasms and convulsions;
- decreased appetite;
- impaired reflexes;
- weakness, unruly legs;
- sensation of “current” when moving.
If the doctor reveals signs of a neurological deficit during the examination, he may prescribe blood tests, an MRI of the brain or spine, since in this case pain in the legs can be caused by a deficiency of B vitamins, Parkinson’s disease, osteochondrosis, osteoarthrosis. Treatment is conservative: medication, physiotherapy, massage and exercise therapy.
A lack of minerals can cause severe muscle pain, cramps, a feeling of “twisting” of the feet when sipping.
Potassium, calcium, or magnesium deficiency in older women and men is usually indicated by:
- cardiac arrhythmias;
- muscle twitches;
- convulsions or spasms;
- general weakness, fatigue;
- severe aching pains in the legs.
In the presence of such symptoms, the doctor may prescribe a blood test for potassium, magnesium, calcium, as well as an ultrasound of the heart, an ECG. Hypokalemia is a life-threatening condition that affects muscles, including the heart. To correct the amount of minerals in the body, taking medications (for example, potassium supplements) and a therapeutic diet help.
Thrombus in the leg vessel
Sharp, sudden pain in the leg can cause a detached blood clot. A hematoma appears on the skin, the temperature rises in the painful area. A large clot can be felt when feeling the leg. Pain is aggravated by movement, at rest their intensity decreases. Due to circulatory disorders, the leg turns blue, turns cold, and loses sensitivity. The condition requires urgent medical care: ultrasound, if the diagnosis is confirmed, surgical intervention.
In the early stages, varicose veins make themselves felt with pain, swelling, but changes can only be detected using ultrasound of the vessels of the legs. Over time, the veins begin to bulge, tubercles and nodes appear on the legs. The disease is more common in women than in men.
When the diagnosis is confirmed, the patient is prescribed exercise therapy, wearing compression stockings, and drug therapy. In advanced cases, surgical treatment is indicated.
Articular and bone pathologies
Severe pain in the legs causes bone tumors, injuries, inflammation of the articular bag, arthritis and arthrosis. Inflammatory diseases provoke hyperemia, severe edema, fever – general or local. MRI and X-ray examination allow to detect a neoplasm or bursitis. Treatment depends on the specific pathology. Both conservative methods (medication, physiotherapy) and surgical interventions are used.
What causes leg swelling?
Some conditions can cause significant swelling that causes severe pressure pain in the legs.
To swelling of the legs lead to:
- increased sodium level;
- kidney disease;
- high venous pressure;
- decrease in protein levels;
- increased permeability of the vascular walls;
- lymphatic congestion.
Fluid retention in the body is accompanied by swelling of the legs, “tearing” pains, and a feeling of heaviness. Swollen feet are more cramped in shoes, but better when lying down. The choice of treatment methods depends on which disease led to the appearance of puffiness.
Treatment of foot pain in the elderly in Moscow
Self-medication for pain in the legs is dangerous, since therapeutic methods indicated for some diseases may be contraindicated for others.
Highly qualified specialists of the RGNCC specialize in working with elderly patients. Careful diagnosis and effective treatment help eliminate the causes of pain and significantly improve the quality of life.
The center is located in Moscow at the address: 1st Leonova Street, 16. To clarify the prices for services and make an appointment for treatment, call the numbers listed on the website or use the online form.
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Leg pain in the elderly: causes and treatment
Many chronic diseases exacerbate in old age. In addition, the general state of health worsens, which leads to diseases that a person did not even think about before. Many people live their lives without thinking about what will affect them in old age, and therefore, for most older people, health problems become a real psychological trauma.
In order for your elderly relative to be able to cope with his new status and position, you need to know how to organize proper care for a person in old age. In order to speed up recovery from injuries and illnesses, as well as slow down the development of many diseases, it is important to know what causes them, how they are characterized and how they are treated.
In our article today, we will talk about why the legs of older people can hurt. Consider the various types of leg diseases, dwell on the recovery process and directly on the treatment.
What are the diseases of the feet of the elderly?
It is a well-known fact that the legs of older people are actually among the first to suffer, if we consider age-related changes in the body as a whole. This is due to the layering of age-related changes on the general history of any person. The bones of older people become more fragile, which can lead to fractures literally from scratch. In addition, other unpleasant symptoms are also observed. How the legs can suffer in old age:
- One of the most common problems is swollen feet in the elderly. This is faced by a rather impressive percentage of older people. The reason for this is a lot of diseases that need to be treated in a timely manner.
- Another common problem is leg cramps in the elderly. This can lead to both a lack of vitamins and trace elements, and hidden diseases that are important to identify and eliminate in time.
- Sprains, dislocations, fractures – all these problems arise due to the deterioration of the musculoskeletal system.
- Joint pain is another common problem that often precedes a more serious injury, as joint pain signals the need for restorative treatment.
- Most often, the legs of older women suffer from varicose veins.
These are just the most common problems that older people’s feet can have and do not include individual differences.
What causes the legs of the elderly to suffer?
In order to see a doctor in time and adjust both the course of treatment and the lifestyle of an elderly person, it is important to know the reasons why the feet of elderly people are exposed to certain diseases.
Thus, swollen legs in the elderly are the result of:
- Kidney failure;
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- Problems in the functioning of the lymphatic system;
- Undiagnosed or advanced thyroid disease;
- In addition, such a problem is often the result of an injury or accompanied by varicose veins.
Thus, swollen feet in the elderly often signal more serious diseases that should not be ignored. Instead of fighting only with edema, it is better to identify the true cause of their occurrence.
In turn, leg cramps in the elderly may occur for the following reasons:
- Blood supply is disturbed;
- Muscle fibers undergo natural age-related changes;
- In muscle cells, there is a violation of ion exchange;
- Various neurological problems may also be the cause;
- Drugs are often the cause of seizures;
- Diseases of the kidneys and liver;
- Various infectious diseases;
- Problems with the endocrine system;
As you can see, leg cramps in the elderly can occur for a huge number of reasons, each of which requires timely treatment.
How to organize the right care?
Statistically, the legs of older women suffer from various diseases more often than the legs of older men. This is due to the lifestyle of older women, who often remain much more active. In addition, in the course of a woman’s life, her body undergoes much greater changes, including those related to the hormonal background. Thus, by old age, the female body is more weakened and depleted than the male. However, legs in old age require the same attention and care for both men and women.
In addition to timely treatment, it is important to provide proper care. First of all, you must follow the rules of daily hygiene. In addition, it is also necessary to follow the doctor’s prescription and carry out proper medication. And also with a number of diseases of the legs, it will not be superfluous to conduct firming massages. This is especially important for those who suffer from circulatory disorders. This will strengthen the musculoskeletal system of an elderly person and make his life more comfortable.
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Many older people lose the ability to walk as they get older or have serious problems with independent mobility. Other elderly people require strengthening therapy, massages and adherence to a clear regimen. In our boarding houses, all this is complemented by comfortable living conditions, organization of interesting leisure activities, as well as sincere care for each of our guests.