Leg pain when walking up stairs: Peripheral Vascular Disease (PVD) Medical Definition, Signs & Symptoms
Causes of Leg Pain When Climbing Stairs
Leg pain can occur when you’re climbing stairs.
Image Credit: valentinrussanov/E+/GettyImages
Leg pain is often a symptom of injury or overworked muscles, but it can also be related to poor circulation or disorders of the spine. If your leg pain occurs or worsens while climbing stairs, this is an important clue for your doctor to know. So if the cause isn’t clearly related to an injury or overuse, see your doctor for an evaluation of your symptoms.
Muscle and Tendon Problems
Most leg pain is a consequence of injury or overuse, caused by sports, exercise or even everyday activities. Leg pain can stem from a sprain, which is a stretched or torn ligament, or from strains — or injuries to the muscles or tendons. Musculoskeletal pain can occur suddenly or can build up and get worse over time.
Although most sprains, strains or inflammation affecting the soft tissues in the calf, thigh or knee can cause leg pain whether active or at rest, these injuries can also get worse with weight-bearing activities such as stair climbing or walking up hills.
Nerve Leg Pain
Sometimes the source of leg pain is with your nerves. One such example is piriformis syndrome, which occurs when the piriformis muscle that runs from the lower spine to the top of the thigh bone presses against the sciatic nerve, which runs down the back of each leg. This syndrome can cause pain in the buttocks, thigh, calf and foot, and the pain can be more intense when climbing stairs.
Read more: Resistance Band Exercises for Piriformis Syndrome
Other back problems can also lead to leg pain, such as a herniated disk, which can irritate the nerves that lead to the legs and feet, or spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal column that places extra pressure on the nerves of the spine — including the ones that lead to the legs and feet. However, the pain from these problems may be ongoing and not specific to walking inclines or climbing stairs.
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) occurs when the arteries that supply blood from your heart to your legs and feet become partially or completely blocked. PAD is usually caused by hardening of the arteries, or atherosclerosis, and a classic symptom is cramping or pain in the affected leg — particularly when walking or climbing stairs.
Although this pain usually goes away with rest, severe PAD may cause constant pain, numbness, and cold, pale tissue in the affected leg. Another serious cause of pain in the leg, which can worsen with climbing stairs, is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the deep tissues of the leg.
Read more: Remedies for Poor Circulation in the Legs
See a Doctor
If you have pain in your legs that is clearly related to a sports injury or recent overuse of leg muscles, home care measures such as RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) can improve your symptoms.
There are many different causes of leg pain — some very serious — and it’s important that your doctor evaluate the cause of any ongoing or severe pain. If your pain doesn’t improve or if you have leg pain that occurs whenever you walk or climb stairs, let your doctor know.
See your doctor as soon as possible if you have any signs of PAD, including calf pain when walking or climbing the stairs, and seek immediate medical attention if you have severe leg pain or if your leg pain is accompanied by tissue redness, swelling or fever.
Leg pain when you walk? Don’t ignore it
Walking is often touted as a perfect exercise to improve multiple aspects of health. But what if walking causes leg pain? Many people shrug off leg pain when they walk as a normal part of aging. In some cases, though, it’s the sign of peripheral artery disease (PAD), which can put heart and brain health at risk. While PAD doesn’t usually run in families, it’s more likely to occur as people age, or among people who smoke or have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes.
What causes leg pain if you have PAD?
People with PAD have fatty deposits in arteries outside the heart — most often in their legs. Pain occurs because these deposits block blood flow to the muscles, impairing their ability to work properly.
Doctors used to think PAD mostly affected men. But when researchers began to include more women in their studies, they learned that the condition is just as common in women, affecting one in every 10 women over age 50 and one in every five over 60, says Dr. Aruna Pradhan, a cardiologist and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
Pay attention to the pattern of leg pain
The cramping and pain in the calves, thighs, hips, or buttocks that people with PAD experience during movement is called intermittent claudication. It’s different from exercise-related soreness, because it occurs only during movement and stops after short periods of rest, says Dr. Pradhan. Muscle soreness caused by exercise lasts for hours or days after a workout, and can still hurt whether you’re moving or standing still.
PAD pain also affects just the muscle — not the joint. “It might happen when you are walking up a flight of stairs or up a hill, and you might find yourself frequently stopping for breaks,” says Dr. Pradhan. As PAD blockages worsen, cramping can start to occur in your legs even when you are sitting or lying down.
While leg pain when walking is a common symptom of PAD, not everyone who has PAD has symptoms. Some people just experience weakness without cramping or pain, but it follows the same pattern: worsening with exercise and easing with rest.
In some cases, people notice other changes, such as
- slow-healing sores on the feet
- coldness in one or both feet
- a change in color on the feet
- slow growth of leg hair or toenails.
Talk to your doctor about leg pain when walking
While PAD isn’t the only reason you might experience leg pain while walking, it’s important to consider. Having PAD increases your risk of other cardiovascular problems. The fatty buildup in arteries of the leg might also be accumulating in the arteries serving the heart and brain. This makes a person with PAD far more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke than someone without the condition.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of PAD, a simple test called an ankle-brachial index, or ABI, can help your doctor make a diagnosis. Your doctor will use a special cuff to measure the blood pressure in your ankle, and then compare that against the blood pressure in your arm. These readings should match if your arteries are clear. Lower pressure in the ankle is a PAD tip-off.
Your doctor can perform this test at your annual physical. If your doctor suspects you have PAD, he or she might want to follow up with an angiogram, which uses MRI or x-rays to take images of your arteries to look for blockages, says Dr. Pradhan.
Treating PAD: Lifestyle changes and more
PAD treatment starts with lifestyle changes, including avoiding tobacco products, exercising regularly, and eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats.
One of the worst things you can do if you have PAD is to sit still. “One of the problems with PAD is that people are taught when they have pain to avoid it,” says Dr. Pradhan. “So, [people] who start feeling pain in their legs when they walk may think they’re getting old and stop walking. That’s exactly what you don’t want to do.”
If you have pain, or other symptoms, see your doctor to find out why it’s occurring. “Once PAD is diagnosed and you know why you are having symptoms, doctors encourage people to do more physical activity to help keep them functional,” says Dr. Pradhan.
In addition to lifestyle changes, your doctor may also prescribe a medication to treat PAD. The drugs most often prescribed for people with PAD are statins, to keep more fatty deposits (plaque) from accumulating; aspirin, to prevent clots; and medications to control high blood pressure. If your blockage is severe, your doctor may also recommend a procedure to clear the blockage or to reroute blood flow around it.
As with many other health conditions, identifying PAD early is crucial. “The longer you wait, the harder it is to treat,” says Dr. Pradhan.
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Intermittent Claudication | Michigan Medicine
Intermittent claudication is a symptom of peripheral arterial disease. Intermittent claudication is a tight, aching, or squeezing pain in the calf, foot, thigh, or buttock that occurs during exercise, such as walking up a steep hill or a flight of stairs. This pain usually occurs after the same amount of exercise and is relieved by rest.
How does peripheral arterial disease cause intermittent claudication?
Many people who have peripheral arterial disease do not have any symptoms. But if you do have symptoms, you may have intermittent claudication.
People with intermittent claudication usually describe the pain as a deep aching that gradually gets worse until they rest. Sometimes, the leg may also cramp or feel weak.
Your speed and whether you are walking uphill or downhill are all things that affect how far you can walk before you feel pain. If you have severe arterial blockage and poor circulation, you will find walking long distances to be a greater challenge. The average person with blockage of one major arterial segment in a leg can walk 90 to 180 meters (a football field or two) before pain starts. As more blockages develop, the pain can appear earlier and earlier. In severe cases a person can only walk a few feet before needing to stop.
Pain at rest, without exercise, means that arterial blockage is advanced. If effective treatment is not started, tissue death can happen. The pain is often noticed at night and is relieved by hanging the leg off a bed or couch. The pain also may improve with walking, because gravity helps blood to reach the foot. As PAD gets worse, the pain may interrupt sleep, cause a lack of appetite, and make the leg sensitive to the touch.
What other problems cause leg pain?
Many problems can cause leg pain that is similar to intermittent claudication but is not related to peripheral arterial disease. These problems include:
Other conditions can also cut off blood flow to the leg and cause leg pain. But these are conditions that can happen suddenly. They include:
- A blood clot (embolism) in the leg.
- Swelling of muscle tissue that cuts off blood flow (compartment syndrome).
Other Works Consulted
- Creager MA, Libby P (2015). Peripheral arterial diseases. In DL Mann et al., eds., Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 10th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1312–1332. Philadelphia: Saunders.
- White C (2007). Intermittent claudication. New England Journal of Medicine, 356(12): 1241–1250.
Current as of:
August 31, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC – Cardiology, Electrophysiology
E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine
Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
Current as of: August 31, 2020
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC – Cardiology, Electrophysiology & E. Gregory Thompson MD – Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD – Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD – Family Medicine
10 steps before you refer for peripheral arterial disease
Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a condition that is frequently underdiagnosed and often the subject of suboptimal care. It can present with rest pain or gangrene (critical ischaemia), but this is not common. Intermittent claudication (IC), leg pain on walking, is its most common manifestation. Leg pain on walking is a presentation commonly seen in general practice, and has several potential causes other than PAD. IC has been shown to affect 4. 5% of subjects between the ages of 45 and 65 years and is a marker for increased cardiovascular risk.1 In respect of the leg itself, IC is a relatively benign condition with most patients improving or stabilising and fewer than 5% progressing to major amputation. However, patients with IC are at increased risk of death, especially due to vascular events in the coronary and cerebral territories.2 PAD is caused by the occlusion or narrowing of large peripheral arteries, usually from atherosclerosis, and, as such, it shares all the major risk factors that can lead to myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke. Most patients with PAD will also have disease (either symptomatic or asymptomatic) in their coronary and cerebral circulation, and MI and stroke are common causes of death in patients with PAD. Vigilance for the condition will provide opportunities to reduce cardiovascular risk in a group who are high risk. Accurate diagnosis and assessment will reveal those who would most benefit from specialist intervention.
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Why Do I Have Knee Pain Going Up Stairs?
Knee pain when going upstairs can be caused by many things, but two of the most common are chondromalacia patella and arthritis. These two conditions can take a seemingly benign task like stair climbing and turn it into a challenging endeavor. Fortunately, increasing your knowledge of each issue can help you treat the condition and reduce your pain.
Chondromalacia patella occurs when the smooth, slippery cartilage tissue that lines the back of your knee cap (patella) begins to soften and break down. As your knee bends and straightens, the patella normally slides up and down in a groove at the bottom of your upper leg bone (called the femoral groove). In people with chondromalacia patella, increased amounts of rubbing and friction occur as a result of this cartilage breakdown and can irritate your joint.
One of the hallmark signs of chondromalacia patella is a dull, achy pain that is centered in the area behind the knee cap. This condition can also lead to soreness and aches in the areas below or on the inside or outside of your patella as well.
As mentioned before, soreness while going up the stairs is one of the primary complaints by people who are experiencing this issue. In addition, however, activities like squatting, walking downhill, running, and standing up after a longer period of sitting can also be more difficult or painful with chondromalacia patella.
Causes and Risk Factors
Several different risk factors can make you more likely to develop chondromalacia patella in your knee. Individuals who are overweight are at greater risk due to the increased amount of stress placed on the joint. Females and people with a previous injury—such as a fracture or dislocation—to their knee cap are also more susceptible.
Often informally called “runner’s knee,” chondromalacia patella is also more frequently seen in individuals who participate in endurance sports like running or biking. In this situation, muscular imbalances that cause the knee cap to track improperly in the femoral groove may lead to repetitive rubbing and irritation.
As the breakdown of the knee’s cartilage progresses, the space between the bones in the knee (the tibia, the fibula, and the patella) diminishes and damage to one or several of them can develop. This is referred to as arthritis. While there are many different varieties of this condition, by far the most prevalent is osteoarthritis.
Both chondromalacia patella and arthritis can make activities like climbing the stairs, walking, and squatting quite painful. Several other symptoms can help you distinguish between the two conditions, however. Osteoarthritis is typically seen in middle and older aged individuals. In addition, osteoarthritis usually causes knee stiffness and swelling (particularly in the morning and after long periods of sitting down). This can make it difficult to bend or straighten the knee and cause the first few steps of the day to be sore and challenging.
Causes and Risk Factors
There are multiple different factors that can put you at a greater risk of developing arthritis. Like chondromalacia patella, females and individuals who are overweight more frequently experience this condition. People with a previous injury to their knee or whose career or chosen sport places repetitive stresses on the joint are also at risk. In addition, there seems to be a genetic component to this condition which makes you more likely to develop it if your family members also have issues with arthritis.
When diagnosing osteoarthritis, an X-Ray is typically used to visualize the space between the bones at the knee joint and any damage that may have occurred to the bone itself. If the doctor suspects another form of this condition (like rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis) is to blame, a blood draw may also be necessary to confirm their diagnosis.
In the case of chondromalacia patella, the damage to the cartilage itself is not able to be visualized on an X-Ray. As such, an MRI is usually necessary to properly diagnose this condition. In addition, a thorough doctor’s examination and review of your symptoms are beneficial when diagnosing either of the two issues.
Both chondromalacia patella and arthritis are diagnoses that can be well-managed with conservative measures initially, especially when the symptoms are mild to moderate in intensity. The suggestions below may be useful in relieving the pain you feel when ascending stairs.
Because chondromalacia patella is commonly seen in people who participate in repetitive activities like running, rest can play a big role in reducing the pain associated with this condition. Icing your knee and using over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can also help calm down a flare-up in your joint.
To prevent future issues, physical therapy may be necessary to help build up strength and flexibility in your leg muscles. This can help reduce the forces placed on the knee itself and improve the tracking of your knee cap.
Your therapist may also work with you to modify your running or biking form to reduce your knee pain. In addition, weight loss and modifications to your footwear can be helpful in relieving your soreness in certain situations.
Much like chondromalacia, acute arthritis aggravations can be improved by using the RICE principle (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Over-the-counter pain medication and striving to stay active are also important. Riding a stationary bike with minimal resistance or going for a short walk can help loosen up a stiff knee and improve your overall soreness. On the contrary, bed rest or remaining sedentary is rarely an effective solution.
Long term treatment of your arthritis may also include physical therapy designed to strengthen your supporting hip and knee muscles and improve your overall flexibility. The use of an orthotic in your shoe and maintaining a healthy weight can also help diminish the stress placed on your arthritic knee joint.
In some cases, unfortunately, conservative treatment is not effective in relieving your symptoms and surgery may be necessary. In this situation, a partial or total knee replacement may be performed and outpatient therapy is needed afterward.
Why does my knee hurt when I climb the stairs?
Self Care, Exercise, Arthritis, Knee
Joe asked himself that question every time he stood at the bottom of the steps and looked up at the landing. The stairs had become a physical endurance test. Each step caused searing pain in his knees no matter how slowly or carefully he climbed. The pain, which started in his right knee, now affected his left. Most of the time, Joe avoided the stairs by sleeping on the couch in the den and storing his clothes in the desk drawers. But, today he needed his suit from the bedroom closet.
Has knee pain ever caused you or a loved one to avoid activities?
It may be due to damaged cartilage in your knee. The clinical name for the condition is chondromalacia patellae, also known as Runner’s Knee.
Why does your knee hurt when you climb the stairs?
To answer that question, let’s review the mechanics of knee movement.
Your knee joins three major bones: your thigh bone (femur), your shin bone (tibia), and your kneecap (patella). All three bones along with their associated ligaments and muscles must work in unison to support your weight and allow fluid leg movement.
With each bend, the patella, a free-floating bone, slides over the femur in the trochlear groove. The articular cartilage keeps your kneecap in position as it cushions and lubricates the joint, so the bones glide against one another.
Damaged cartilage may not cause pain when you walk. But as running, deep knee bends, squats or climbing stairs subjects the knee to additional stress, the pain increases. These types of motions force the kneecap to slide up and down. Worn cartilage cannot keep the kneecap in the groove when the knee is under pressure. As the kneecap slips out of position, it causes pain.
How is knee cartilage damaged?
Knee cartilage fails for many reasons. Accidents, injury, genetic deformities, overuse, and age are five common reasons for chondromalacia.
Fractured bones or lacerated muscles can cause an imbalance of strength in the leg and pull the kneecap to one side of the groove or another. The added stress can cause misalignment and pain.
Overuse injuries cause damage to the cartilage, especially in young athletes. Growing bones and excessive stress create a recipe for a chronic condition. If young athletes complain of knee pain at practice or during a competition, they should stop playing. Prolonged knee pain after activity indicates a more serious condition than normal muscle soreness from a strenuous workout. If you experience knee pain after practice or a game that does not diminish in 72 hours, you may need medical attention. Call your primary care provider, sports medicine physician or an orthopedic specialist.
Genetic deformities and age are risk factors you cannot change, but you there are some things you can do to avoid damaging the cartilage.
Can you prevent Runner’s Knee or chondromalacia?
The best way to avoid chondromalacia is to maintain the correct alignment of the kneecap and minimize wear and tear of the cartilage.
The first step is developing strong and balanced leg muscles above and below the knee. These muscles support and stabilize the patella to keep it in the trochlear groove.
If your goal is to you strengthen your leg muscles, take care. The muscles at the front of the leg act in opposition against the hamstrings to bend and straighten the knee. As one muscle contracts or gets shorter, the other muscle lengthens. An imbalance of strength can pull the kneecap out of position.
Stay in the groove to avoid knee pain when climbing the stairs.
Similar to other activities, proper form is necessary when climbing stairs, especially if your knees are tender. But, as we were learning to climb stairs as children, our parents were more focused on preventing falls than teaching us the proper stair-climbing technique.
If climbing stairs causes pain, assess your posture and the alignment of your feet and legs. Here are three tips to remember.
- Align your knee over your second toe.
- Don’t lead with your foot, lead with your body. Bend your torso forward to redistribute the force of your weight from the knee to the hamstrings at the back of the thigh.
- Place the heel of your foot on the step before you step up.
Repeat the steps for each stair you climb.
If your knee pain increases or lasts for more than two weeks, it’s time to contact your orthopedic specialist. Continuing to walk on a sore knee can cause significant internal damage to the tendons and ligaments inside your knee.
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How to Go Up and Down Stairs with Arthritis Knee Pain
If you live in a multi-story home or walk-up apartment, you know just how painstaking it can be to walk up and down stairs if you have arthritis in your knees. It may have gotten to the point of your avoiding the stairs altogether — or dreaming of moving to a one-story home.
Walking up and down steps causes pain in tender knee joints because of how your weight shifts between your legs as you climb.
“Climbing stairs causes more force to go through the leg than walking does,” says occupational therapist Julie Dorsey, OTD, OTR/L, an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. “That can irritate already inflamed joints.”
Knee pain with stair climbing is so common that it can be one of the first clues that someone actually has osteoarthritis in the knee. In a 2014 study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research, researchers reviewed the pain ratings of nearly 5,000 participants with or at high risk of osteoarthritis when walking, using stairs, in bed, sitting or lying down, and standing up.
The activity that caused them to cross the threshold from “no pain” to “some pain” most often was going up and down stairs.
Knee pain is most likely to first appear during weight-bearing activities that involve bending of the knee, such as climbing stairs.
“I’ve had a lot of patients who have tried to move to a one-story place just because of their knee pain, so it’s pretty prevalent,” says Deeba Minhas, MD, a rheumatologist at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, Michigan. “There are simple ways you can adjust your body mechanics to put a lot less strain on your joints.”
However, there are a few important ways you can make using stairs a little easier on your joints — without forever swearing off stairs. Follow these strategies to make navigating stairs easier and less painful.
1. Go up with your stronger leg, and down with the other
When you’re climbing up stairs, lead with your stronger leg (or the one that causes you less knee pain). As you go back down the stairs, lead with your other leg.
“When you’re going up the stairs, you have to shift your entire body weight against gravity, so you want to have the strongest leg ready to transfer all that weight onto,” says Dorsey. “When you’re going down the stairs, you want to lead with your weaker leg because you have the advantage of gravity.”
2. Always use the handrail
If your staircase has a handrail, be sure to use it. By allocating some of the weight from your legs to the handrail, you take a little bit of pressure off your knees.
3. Put your entire foot on the step of the stairs
Narrow steps can be especially tricky if you have arthritis because they don’t allow your full foot onto each step. It’s important to put your foot fully on each step as you climb up stairs, so you can push off the step using your heel rather than the ball of your foot.
“If you push up from your heel, that will shift the work from the front of your knees and quads — which may cause pain — to your glutes, which are stronger muscles,” says Dr. Minhas.
It’s also important to wear supportive shoes when you climb up and down stairs. If the arches of your feet collapse flat when you stand, it pushes your knees inward, which can cause pain and stress in your knees.
“Having your knees go inward is one of the worst things you can do when going up stairs, so look for shoes that have good arch support and that you can walk around at home in,” says Dr. Minhas. “That will counteract the natural tendency for the arch to collapse.”
Consider getting a new pair of “indoor shoes” just for wearing at home. This will reduce foot pain that comes from spending too much time barefoot. Foot pain can exacerbate knee pain.
4. Carry items in the right bags
If you need to carry groceries or any other items up stairs, reconsider the bag you use to transport them. Skip the heavy grocery and tote bags. “Try using a messenger bag or even a backpack, so you can still hold onto the handrail,” says Dorsey. “That can help to take some pressure off of the legs.”
Pay attention to your body’s pain signals and take a break if you need to. As a general rule, you should take breaks during a task if you tend to experience pain for more than two hours after completing it, per UW Medicine Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. When it comes to carrying groceries up stairs, that may mean taking only the perishable items at first and going back for the pantry items later.
Also, don’t try to walk up the stairs sideways, even if you’re carrying something heavy: This requires you to use muscles on the outer parts of the leg that are weaker and may not be as reliable, says Dorsey. This can make you less stable, especially if there’s no handrail available.
5. Get up to move regularly throughout the day
When you’re stiff, it’s more difficult to tackle everyday tasks like climbing stairs. That’s why it’s important to get up and move regularly, especially during COVID-19 when you may be spending more time at home than usual.
“Sitting a lot turns your knees inward, so practice opening up the hip area during the day to keep that area more flexible,” says Dr. Minhas. “It’ll be easier to go up the stairs because you won’t feel as tight.”
Simply sitting at the edge of a chair and dangling your legs back and forth can be a helpful exercise.
“It’s important to get joint fluid to the knee area,” says Dr. Minhas. “Moving through your range of motion by swinging your legs back and forth can help.”
In general, getting enough physical activity can increase your strength and flexibility, reduce joint pain, and help fight fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic. That, in turn, can help make climbing up and down stairs feel less overwhelming.
6. Do simple exercises to strengthen your legs
There are also targeted exercises you can do to strengthen your leg muscles, which will make it easier to climb up and down stairs.
“The bones on each side of your knee joint are like metal rods, and you’re supposed to have cartilage that acts like lubricant between them, but [in osteoarthritis] the cartilage wears away over time,” says Dr. Minhas. “As a result, you feel pain when they rub against each other. Strengthening the muscles that support your joints will anchor your bones, so they’re not hitting each other as much.”
A number of exercises can help to strengthen your legs. Dorsey recommends these two simple exercises, in particular:
- Tippy-Toe Raises: Rise up on your tippy-toes for 10 to 15 seconds as you hold on to a counter or dresser for stability. Lower back down. That’s one rep; do 10 reps total.
- Leg Raises: While standing and holding on to a counter or dresser for stability, raise one leg a few inches off the ground by bending at the knee (similar to if you were taking a step on the stairs). Lower your foot back to the ground. That’s one rep; do five reps on each side.
Both of these exercises will build your strength and balance. Of course, the reps listed above are only suggestions, and it’s important to do what’s right for your own body. For instance, you might rise up on your tippy toes for just five seconds to start — or you may want to increase your leg raises to 10 on each side.
Speak to your doctor before starting a new workout regimen to make sure the exercises you are doing are appropriate for your condition.
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90,000 Leg pain – causes, diseases, treatment
November 29, 2011
There is no person who has never in his life complained of pain in the legs . “Feet are buzzing!” – we sigh, coming home and taking off our shoes after a hard day. Do your legs always hurt only after fatigue?
How to determine if really hurts in the legs ? After all, they contain skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles, bones, joints, and veins … The prescribed treatment and its ultimate success depend on how correctly the diagnosis is made.Therefore, if you regularly feel leg pain , you should not drown it with pain medications. Pain is always a signal from our body that not everything is in order and it needs help. Listen to your body and help it!
Causes of leg pain
Pain in the legs – the main symptom of any pathology of the lower extremities. As a rule, pain appears when overcoming a certain distance. The shorter the segment on which the patient does not experience pain in the legs, the stronger and more pronounced the degree of the disease.What diseases can be associated with leg pain?
- Diseases of the aorta and peripheral arteries.
- Diseases of the musculoskeletal system (damage to the joints, spine, deformity of the feet).
- Neurological disorders (variants of radicular syndrome).
- Diabetic polyneuropathy.
- Diseases of the skin and subcutaneous tissue.
- Primary bone tumors or metastases.
- Infectious diseases (erysipelas, osteomyelitis, infectious arthritis).
Diseases with symptoms of leg pain
Atherosclerosis is a very common cause of leg pain. About 90% of all atherosclerosis diseases occur in men. Atherosclerosis is a thickening of the walls of blood vessels as a result of the deposition of cholesterol plaques on their walls, disrupting the normal blood supply to the vessel. The main symptom of atherosclerosis is constricting pain in the calf muscles when walking, running, climbing stairs.A characteristic symptom of atherosclerosis is cold feet, even in hot weather. Smokers should pay special attention to their health, because the use of nicotine is one of the factors aggravating the development of atherosclerosis.
Endarteritis is a chronic inflammatory vascular disease affecting the arteries of the lower extremities. The vessels gradually narrow, their blood supply deteriorates. The most severe stage of endarteritis is spontaneous gangrene, complete necrosis of tissues as a result of the cessation of blood supply.With endarteritis, the patient feels numbness in the lower leg, acute pain in the calf or foot when walking, and after several tens of steps. When stopped, the symptoms disappear, after a while they reappear.
Varicose veins (varicose veins, varicose veins disease)
Among vascular diseases, varicose veins are quite widespread (varicose veins disease, varicose veins). As a rule, women suffer from this disease more often (more than 40%) than men (20%).In approximately 20% of cases, varicose veins are the cause of the development of trophic ulcers – long-term non-healing open wounds on the legs due to damaged blood and lymph flow.
More than 25% of patients with untreated varicose veins develop thrombophlebitis of varicose veins – inflammation of the walls of blood vessels with the formation of blood clots in them. Thrombophlebitis is characterized by throbbing pain, sometimes the patient feels a burning sensation under the skin.With thrombophlebitis, leg pain, especially in the calf muscle, may be constant.
Arthrosis of the joints (osteoarthritis) occurs as a result of wear and deformation of the cartilage tissue and other tissues of the joint. When walking in the area of the joint, there is a sharp pain, patients complain that the joint “twists” even at rest, but most often this happens when standing for a long time. Another sign of arthrosis is the “clicking” of the joint, around which redness and swelling appear.”Joints ache” – the reaction of the joint to a change in the weather – is also often observed in arthrosis.
Arthritis can occur as a result of trauma, as a result of dystrophy of the bone apparatus, or as a result of an infectious lesion of the bones. The reason can also be physical stress, hypothermia, metabolic disorders, due to which the nutrition of the joints worsens. Distinguish between arthritis (damage to one joint) or polyarthritis (several joints).Arthritis most often affects the elderly. With arthritis, the inflamed joint usually turns red, swells, deforms, in some cases its mobility is limited.
Osteoporosis – a decrease in bone density caused by the loss of calcium. The main signs of the development of osteoporosis are leg cramps and severe pain in the calf muscles. Women over 45 are at risk because loss of calcium is associated with a decrease in the production of estrogen in the body, which just begins during menopause or premenopause.With osteoporosis, the risk of fractures of the femoral neck, wrist bones, and vertebrae increases many times.
In this disease, the 4th and 5th lumbar intervertebral discs are most often affected – those that experience the main load when we lift any weights. “Shooting” pain in the legs, aggravated by sudden movements – the most characteristic symptom of lumbosacral osteochondrosis .
Diabetes mellitus, Diabetic neuropathy
With diabetes mellitus , various neuropathies can be observed – lesions of peripheral nerves, central structures of the nervous system. Patients experience pain in the legs, which increases at rest and at night and decreases with walking, decreased or absent knee reflexes, decreased pain sensitivity.
Diabetic foot is a very formidable complication of diabetes mellitus, in which pathological changes in the feet develop in the form of purulent-necrotic processes.Some of the reasons for the development of a diabetic foot are calluses on the joints of the fingers, on the foot as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes, flat feet, etc. With diabetes, in addition to pain in the legs, cramps may occur, especially at night, swelling, weakness, tingling, numbness of the legs … The skin of the legs becomes dry, flaky, itchy.
Gout more often affects men after 40 years. In Russia, about 14 million people suffer from gout.human. The cause of the disease is a violation of the kidneys, as a result of which uric acid is deposited in the tissues of the joints. The main symptom is acute throbbing pain in the big toe. The finger reacts sharply to touch, even light, inflamed, swollen, the skin turns red.
Flat feet is characterized by a change in the shape of the foot – the lowering of its longitudinal and transverse arches. In patients with flat feet, pain is mainly localized in the feet and legs, in the evening the pain intensifies, while walking, the patient feels tired and stressed.Narrow shoes and high-heeled shoes are contraindicated for such patients; they are advised to wear special orthopedic shoes and do special exercises.
Factors of occurrence of leg pain
- Predisposition to flat feet.
- Disruption of blood circulation as a result of wearing uncomfortable shoes.
- Severe fungal infections.
- Constant carrying of weights.
- Alcohol and nicotine abuse.
- Improper diet with a predominance of fats, the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
- Anatomical features of the foot (high instep).
- Inflammation of the tendon, the development of fasciitis – pain in the heel and in the arch of the foot.
- Viral infection (occurrence of plantar warts).
- Swelling of the foot due to bone fractures.
Treatment of leg pain in GUTA CLINICS
Treatment of leg pain in GUTA CLINIC begins with a correct diagnosis. After all, it is necessary not only to save the patient from suffering, but also to eliminate the very cause of the onset of pain, and this can only be done with the help of diagnostic studies.
GUTA CLINIC has an excellent technical base for conducting complex studies of all human tissues and organs.All tests and examinations necessary for making a diagnosis can be completed in 1, maximum 2 days. Rich practical experience, knowledge, modern diagnostic equipment and the use of the latest treatment technologies – from classical therapy to physiotherapy – have allowed us to achieve excellent results in the treatment of leg pain for 13 years.
Turning to GUTA CLINIC for the treatment of pain in the legs, you can be sure that our doctors will do everything possible so that the movement brings you only positive emotions!
Stiffness in the legs
As they age, people find that there is stiffness in their legs after a hard day’s work or long walks.At first, there are no external manifestations – just the lower limbs become heavy and immobile.
Gradually, even minimal physical activity in the form of swimming or jogging increases the symptoms, which indicates the development of pathological processes.
The blood circulation in the body is a complex process involving the heart, arteries, valves, etc. The blood passes through the force of gravity, which is assisted by valves. If there are failures in the system, then it can no longer return at an optimal speed.This leads to stagnation, which causes stiffness in the legs. Visual symptoms in the form of puffiness, dilated veins and changes in the color of the epidermis gradually appear.
What causes the decrease in mobility?
- Lack or excess load on the legs.
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- Joint problems.
- Diabetes mellitus.
- Taking strong drugs.
- Hormonal changes.
- Increased blood clotting.
The main cause is diseases of the veins of the lower extremities. Stiffness in the legs appears due to thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency, or varicose veins. At the same time, at the initial stage, it is impossible to see external manifestations in the form of blue discoloration or pallor of the skin, puffiness, a decrease in temperature, dilated veins or spider veins.
High physical activity
Physical education has not hurt anyone yet.Even intense cycling or swimming in the pool cannot negatively affect your health. On the contrary, adequate physical activity accelerates blood and improves circulation, which is very beneficial for health.
Lack of stress leads to stagnation of blood. Moreover, some people cannot avoid the negative impact, because it is associated with professional activities. Drivers, programmers, hairdressers, salespeople, security guards or surgeons are susceptible to varicose veins.Stiffness in the legs appears under static and dynamic loads (all day at the computer or standing at the cash register).
Heavy sports can affect the health of your veins and valves. This includes weightlifting and powerlifting. Athletes work with huge weights, so they must periodically visit a phlebologist. More about phlebologist consultation
Pregnancy and contraceptives
According to statistics, stiffness in the legs is much more common in women. This is not always due to genetics and is related to lifestyle.
Problems arise from wearing uncomfortable high-heeled shoes. But the main reason is the shift in hormonal balance. This happens both during the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy. Changes in hormonal balance can be affected by the use of contraception. If you are at risk, then periodically get tested, conduct an ultrasound scan and visit a phlebologist.
Adaptation to the environment
Stiffness in the legs can appear while vacationing in southern countries. Many people like to travel to Egypt or Thailand during severe frosts and take a vacation in January or February. A sharp change in climate shocks the body, therefore, metabolism changes and the retention or burning of fluid is accelerated. All this leads to temporary pathological processes in the veins of the lower extremities.
This affects not only travel lovers, but all people. The body is rebuilt in the summer. This can be seen in the absence of hunger and increased thirst (lack of water).Circulatory disorders are reversible and taking blood-thinning drugs is inappropriate (just consult a phlebologist).
Being overweight increases the load on the legs, but this is not the main factor. Stiffness in the legs appears due to an increase in interstitial fluid and blood volume in general. In addition, the movement of blood becomes difficult due to the layer of fat, which creates an extra load on the veins. The solution to the problem is elementary – you need to get rid of bad habits, balance the diet and play sports.
To exclude cardiovascular and venous diseases, you need to undergo a comprehensive medical examination. Otherwise, you will be fighting the symptoms, not the root of the problem.
Cardiomyopathy can lead to swelling and decreased mobility. There is restrictive, dilated, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Each type of disease has its own symptoms:
- Hypertrophic leads to fainting, shortness of breath, pain and rapid heartbeat.Over time, causes stiffness in the legs.
- Restrictive causes shortness of breath and severe edema of the lower extremities. In the initial stages, it proceeds without pronounced symptoms.
- Dilatation leads to increased fatigue, swelling, blue discoloration and blanching of the epidermis.
Chronic heart failure can also lead to decreased mobility. It has a range of symptoms:
- Rapid fatigability.
- Skin discoloration.
- Hair loss and nail reshaping.
- Shortness of breath.
- Dry cough.
- Stiffness in the legs.
Diseases of veins and arteries
Bad habits and unhealthy diets lead to high bad cholesterol and the formation of plaque inside the arteries. Due to the increase in the hardness and thickness of the vascular walls, a person begins to feel pain in the calves. They appear even with minimal physical activity (while walking).The main symptom is a decrease in the temperature of the extremities for no apparent reason (even in summer).
Endarteritis can cause stiffness in the legs, which leads to inflammatory processes in the tissues. The person feels constraint and pain. The main symptom of the disease is instability. A person can walk 50 meters, but after that there is itching, pain, restraint, etc. After resting, he can walk a similar distance again, but the symptoms return again.
The most common venous disease is varicose veins , which women most often experience.The enlarged veins are not immediately visible with the naked eye, but a person begins to feel:
- Swelling, pain and stiffness in the legs.
- Night cramps.
- Decreased physical activity (weakness in the lower limbs).
It is possible to accurately identify the stage of varicose veins only on duplex scanning or ultrasound. The disease may not manifest itself in any way for many years. Its development can be accelerated by genetic predisposition, excess weight, hormonal changes, lack or excess of physical activity and other factors.
Stiffness in the legs is a danger sign
To protect your health and find out the cause of the problem, see a specialist. Phlebology Center “First Phlebological Center” performs a comprehensive medical examination. The condition of the veins, vessels and valves is checked. We will select the optimal treatment regimen for you, which is guaranteed to give a positive result. Make an appointment by phone right now.
90,003 90,000 causes and treatment. How to get rid of heaviness in the legs?
The syndrome of “heavy legs” is characteristic of the initial stage of varicose veins.It occurs most often: most women note that by the end of the working day, their legs seem to be “filled with lead.” The feeling of heaviness in the legs creates additional stress on the back and difficulty in walking.
How can varicose veins be treated?
Swelling, pain, heaviness in the legs at the end of the working day, spider veins can be symptoms of varicose veins.
ANGIONORM ® is a drug to combat the symptoms of varicose veins: pain and heaviness, burning and tingling, swelling and cramps in the legs *.
* Symptoms of CVI
Learn more …
Varicose veins of the lower extremities in the initial stages practically do not bother. Most symptoms disappear with proper rest. Often, patients go to the doctor too late, when the symptoms become so severe that they do not go away overnight.
A drug for the treatment of varicose veins …
Prolonged standing on a concrete or tile floor impairs blood circulation in the legs, since floors made of concrete, tiles and tiles do not absorb and cool quickly.It is advisable to stand on a wooden floor or carpeted floor, and you can also place a rubber cushioning mat under your feet.
How to normalize blood circulation in the legs?
ANGIONORM ® is a modern herbal medicine produced on the basis of the All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants.
More about the preparation …
The feeling of heaviness in the legs and the feeling of bursting of the legs are familiar to many.Women are especially worried about these symptoms: the severity usually increases in the evening, at the end of the working day, and is accompanied by swelling of the legs.
Why is there heaviness in the legs?
Often we do not pay any attention to the appearance of heaviness in the legs, writing off everything, for example, to sedentary work. However, discomfort is often caused by two groups of causes and may indicate some diseases.
The first group , fortunately, is not associated with serious pathological processes in the body. It includes the following factors:
- Sedentary lifestyle and prolonged static loads . Standing or sedentary work – all modern office workers who spend 9-10 hours a day at a computer are at risk.
- Overweight . Overweight people experience a feeling of heaviness in the legs, both from the stress on them, and due to an increase in the volume of interstitial fluid circulating in the body. A solid layer of subcutaneous fat interferes with the contraction of blood vessels.
- Taking certain medications . Taking certain hormonal contraceptives and diuretics can cause a feeling of heaviness, which usually goes away by itself after the end of the course.
- Pregnancy and other changes in hormonal levels in a woman . Heavy legs can be felt during puberty, pregnancy, childbirth, or with the onset of menopause.
- Weather conditions . Heat reduces the general motor activity of a person, while the volume of fluid circulating in the body changes, the vessels of the legs expand, and their tone decreases, causing congestion.
The second group of causes are serious diseases that can lead to complications and require a mandatory visit to a doctor. Heaviness in the legs can be one of the symptoms of the following pathologies:
- Spine pathology . These include lumbosacral osteochondrosis – a dystrophic disease of the intervertebral discs. In the early stages, it can manifest itself with back pain in the lumbar region, cramps in the calf muscles, and heaviness in the legs.During the acute phase of the disease, disorders of the sensitivity of the legs, vegetative-trophic disorders, and decreased tendon reflexes are sometimes observed.
- Joint pathologies. Arthrosis belongs to the group of degenerative-dystrophic diseases. They are often characterized by pain, stiffness, and increased leg fatigue. Sometimes, with arthrosis, pain is completely absent, and the disease manifests itself only as aching and heaviness in the legs.
Arthritis is an inflammatory disease caused by a variety of causes, from a local infectious process to an auto-allergic reaction. They can also cause heaviness in the legs.
Flat feet are characterized by a lower arch of the foot. At its first degree, patients complain of severity, increased fatigue, pain with pressure in the lower extremities. Symptoms increase at the same time as the severity of the disease increases – the pain becomes intense and constant, the legs swell. As a result, the feet can be severely deformed, a person loses the ability to wear mass-produced shoes.
To strengthen the feet and prevent flat feet, it is very useful to walk barefoot on grass or wet sand, perform special exercises: walk on the inner and outer lateral surfaces of the feet, lift small objects with your toes.By the way, with varicose veins, it is advised to perform a similar set of exercises.
- Heart disease . Heaviness in the legs and their swelling can be symptoms of serious heart pathologies such as cardiomyopathy, myocardial dystrophy, heart disease. With heart failure, mainly the ankles and legs swell, the swelling is symmetrical, cold. At the first suspicion of such a disease, an urgent need to consult a doctor.
- Kidney disease .Acute and chronic glomerulonephritis, diabetic glomerulosclerosis, chronic renal failure in the initial stages are also characterized by the appearance of heaviness in the legs and edema. The skin in places of edema has the usual temperature, density and color. Concomitant symptoms may be itching of the skin, thirst, and the examination sometimes reveals a total edema of the subcutaneous tissue.
- Vascular diseases of the lower extremities . The most common pathologies in this group are varicose veins of the lower extremities and chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).They are caused by the weakness of the muscle walls of the superficial veins and often congenital malfunctioning of their valve apparatus. The early stages are characterized by the appearance of heaviness in the legs, which occurs in the afternoon and intensifies in the evening. It is at this stage that the treatment and prevention gives the best effect. Pain and heaviness in the legs increase simultaneously with the progression of the disease, they are joined by cramps, swelling of the legs, which gradually become permanent. The disease can proceed rather slowly, but in the absence of therapy, serious complications such as trophic ulcers, thrombophlebitis, and even pulmonary embolism may occur.
The most dangerous complication of lesions of the venous bed of the legs is precisely the violation of the integrity of the skin, up to the development of ulcers and gangrene, in which amputation is indicated.
What to do with heaviness in the lower extremities
Since heaviness in the legs is a non-specific symptom, it is necessary to consult a doctor to establish the root cause. He will listen to complaints. If, in addition to heaviness in the legs, nothing else bothers you, then in order to make the correct diagnosis, the specialist will prescribe a laboratory and instrumental examination, covering almost all aspects of the patient’s body condition.
- Blood tests:
- General analysis : to detect a decrease in the level of erythrocytes and hemoglobin, a decrease in the number of platelets, to determine ESR, the presence of leukocytosis (with kidney disease).
- Biochemical analysis : will determine the level of cholesterol (with atherosclerotic vascular lesions), the amount of uric acid (gout), electrolytes, creatinine, urea (kidney disease).
- Glucose content : for the diagnosis of possible diabetes mellitus.The glucose norm is 3.3-3.5 mmol / l.
- Serological test : for the detection of rheumatoid factor in possible rheumatoid arthritis.
Only a specialist can find out the root cause of the appearance of heaviness in the legs and, on this basis, prescribe the correct treatment.
Methods of treatment
As we said above, heaviness in the legs can be a symptom of a large number of diseases, so we will consider the methods of its treatment using the example of one pathology most common in both men and women – varicose veins.
According to statistics, the incidence of varicose veins among residents of developed countries ranges from 25 to 60%, and this number is steadily increasing .
In the treatment of varicose veins and chronic venous insufficiency, a complex of measures is important that are closely related to each other and give the most effective results when used together.
Drug therapy is the basis for the treatment and prevention of varicose veins.The standards of drug therapy for varicose veins  suggest the appointment of drugs with venotonic and angioprotective effects – to restore the work of vascular valves and strengthen the walls of blood vessels, as well as drugs with an antiplatelet effect – to reduce blood viscosity and the risk of thrombosis.
- Venotonic action is aimed at restoring the work of the vascular valve apparatus. Normally, the valves on the inner side of the vessel wall should prevent the reverse flow of blood, which, under the influence of gravity, “dumps” the blood from top to bottom.Weakening and subsidence of the vascular valves leads to reflux and the accumulation of excess blood volume in the vessels, and therefore to the gradual stretching of their walls.
- Angioprotective action is aimed at strengthening the walls of blood vessels, reducing their permeability, fragility and restoring elasticity. Excessive blood volume, accumulating in the vessels, creates serious pressure on their walls. With this pressure, the walls of the vessels become thinner and the liquid begins to penetrate into the surrounding tissues. Edema occurs, which, in turn, leads to disruption of trophism.
- The antiplatelet effect is aimed at improving the rheological (mechanical) properties of blood, such as its viscosity, because a frequent companion of varicose veins is the so-called thick blood. The varicose disease itself is not so dangerous as the venous thrombosis appearing against its background. Disruption of blood flow contributes to the accumulation of metabolic products in small blood vessels, as well as the appearance of free radicals and mediators of the inflammatory reaction. Together, they impair the fluidity of the blood and lead to its thickening.
The most effective angioprotectors that have proven their effectiveness in the treatment of varicose veins in clinical trials are active substances based on the substance of flavonoids (diosmin, hesperidin, avicularin, quercetin, etc.), escin (contained in horse chestnut extract), as well as a group vitamins that help strengthen blood vessels, such as vitamin C, vitamin P (rutin) and others.
At the moment, most venotonics in tablets, unfortunately, are monopreparations – that is, they contain one type of angioprotectors (for example, only flavonoids or only escin or rutin), which limits the spectrum of their action on the problem of varicose veins.Among the combined preparations (containing several active angioprotectors at once) on the domestic pharmaceutical market, only AngioNorm can be distinguished. Often, together with systemic venotonics, external venotonic ointments or gels are also prescribed to more quickly relieve symptoms and improve the condition of the skin in places of edema. You need to know that the use of such external agents without drug therapy will not give the desired effect.
Compression therapy consists in wearing special compression products – socks, stockings or knee-highs that evenly fit the affected leg.The tightness of the fit is such that the lumens of the superficial veins of the lower extremities narrow, relieving the load on the walls, preventing stretching and thinning, and allowing blood to circulate more freely. Leg congestion is significantly reduced, which also reduces the risk of blood clots. The same effect is obtained by bandaging the legs with special elastic bandages. It should be understood that medical compression garments are prescribed by a phlebologist and sold by prescription in specialized, usually orthopedic, stores.
Surgical therapy is usually applied starting from the second stage of varicose veins, when the protruding veins in the legs are already visible visually. Veins are removed using surgical instruments (phlebectomy), sclerosant preparations (sclerotherapy) or by cold laser obliteration (EVLO, EVLK).
Varicose veins respond best to treatment in the initial stages, when the main symptoms, in addition to heaviness in the legs, are occasional edema, slight itching and burning.And in order to exclude yourself from the risk group, doctors strongly recommend changing your lifestyle – walking more, playing sports, eating right. It is quite difficult to completely get rid of varicose veins, if it has already been diagnosed, so that in this case it is easier to prevent than to cure.
Why do your feet hurt? 14 Possible Causes From Flat Feet to Diabetes | Healthy life | Health
The most innocent pain in the legs arises from banal fatigue.It passes without a trace by itself, and we will not take it into account. Let’s talk about more serious things.
This is an inflammation of the inner lining of the arteries.
Symptoms. Acute pain and numbness in the legs occurs when walking after the first 50–100 steps. A short rest – and the symptoms disappear, so that after two dozen steps they return again. Therefore, a person is forced to periodically make stops along the way. Pain in the foot or calf can be troubling even when you are lying down, but if you lower your leg down, then the discomfort decreases.
What to do. Quit smoking (nicotine is the main risk factor for vascular ischemia) and contact a vascular surgeon. The doctor will prescribe a set of studies: MRI, angiography, ultrasound of blood vessels, various blood tests (including for nonspecific factors of inflammation). In case of severe sudden pain, it is better to call an ambulance – this may be a sign of a large artery blockage. In this case, there are only a few hours during which the leg can be saved. The disease is treated conservatively and surgically (vascular plastic is used).
Symptoms. Compressive calf pain and cramps worse when walking, running, climbing stairs, and may bother at night. Cold feet in winter and summer. Lack of clear pulsation on the big toe. In men – the disappearance of hair on the toes and problems with potency.
What to do. Stop smoking and see a vascular surgeon. For diagnostics, ultrasound, magnetic resonance contrast angiography is used.Timely treatment will save you from gangrene and amputation.
Symptoms. Acute “twisting” pain in the joints when walking or standing for a long time, the joints themselves are deformed and begin to “click”. The pain is worse when the weather changes. Soreness, swelling, redness in the joint area.
What to do. Visit a rheumatologist as soon as possible, have an X-ray of the joints and take a general clinical blood test.The diagnostic, and at the same time also the therapeutic method, is arthroscopy. Treatment is only complex, therefore, in addition to taking medications, you will need special orthopedic devices, physiotherapy, diet, exercise therapy, etc.
Symptoms. Pain in the hips.
What to do. Ultrasound of the pelvic organs.
Symptoms. In the calf muscles – constant throbbing pain, often turning into a burning sensation.Redness and swelling, painful lumps along the veins.
What to do. Go to a vascular surgeon immediately. Do an angioscanning – to assess the veins along their entire length, to determine the degree of their “blockage”, to identify the threat of a thrombus rupture. Pass a blood test for nonspecific factors of inflammation. Most patients can be treated on an outpatient basis under the supervision of a physician.
Consequences of fractures
Symptoms. Severe pain when walking.
What to do. Wear special orthopedic devices – orthoses. They allow the injured limb to move, and the muscles to remain in good shape, but at the same time take on some of the load.
Symptoms. Sharp, sudden pain in the heel, usually while walking or running. Often, the only medicine that can heal your heel pain is time, and while awaiting relief, go swimming and cycling.
What to do. Wait is just the case when time heals. Lose weight: being overweight is a risk factor. See a podiatrist and have an x-ray done. For treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs, special transverse massage and laser therapy, orthopedic insoles and heel tabs are used.
Symptoms. Cramps occur in the legs (especially at night), swelling, weakness and pain, the skin on the legs becomes dry, peeling and itching appear. Often the legs “go numb”, they have a feeling of crawling, tingling.
What to do. Donate blood for sugar.
Symptoms. Leg cramps and severe pain in the calves are some of the manifestations of calcium deficiency. The problem is more typical for women over 40. Blue-eyed blondes are at particular risk.
What to do. Make a painless study – densitometry (measurement of the level and density of bone tissue in the body). If it is found to be deficient, the doctor will prescribe special calcium preparations.
Symptoms. Pain in the muscles of the thighs is twitching, pulling or cutting. It can increase with physical overload, in damp or cold weather.
What to do. See a neurologist. For treatment, anti-inflammatory drugs are used, as well as pain relieving ointments and gels.
Symptoms. Sharp throbbing pain in the big toe at any time of the day or night, regardless of the load.The thumb is swollen, reddened, hot and very sensitive.
What to do. A simple examination by a rheumatologist and a blood test from a vein is sufficient to make a diagnosis. Gout is treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and drugs that inhibit uric acid production. At the initial stage of the disease, it is enough to simply change the diet: limit alcohol, meat and fish dishes, rich broths, spicy snacks and seasonings, mushrooms, legumes, tomatoes, spinach, coffee, cocoa, chocolate.
Symptoms. Drawing unpleasant pains intensify towards the end of the working day. Legs “buzz” so that you want to lie down and throw them higher.
What to do. Wear compression hosiery. It will relieve pain and slow down the development of the disease for a while. But this does not solve the problem. Therefore, at the first alarming symptoms, you need to go to a vascular surgeon and do an ultrasound scan of the veins (Doppler ultrasound). Further treatment will be prescribed by a doctor. In the early stages, the disease is treated conservatively: injection sclerotherapy.
Symptoms. “Shooting” pain in the legs can be troubling even at rest, but intensifies with increasing load and sudden movements. However, rest does not lead to relief. Pain along the back or side of the leg from heel to buttock is a sign of sciatica (sciatica) inflammation.
What to do. Contact a neurologist or spine surgeon. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can help detect a strangulated intervertebral hernia.After analyzing the data, the doctor decides which treatment to choose – conservative or surgical.
Symptoms. Aching pain in feet and legs, which worsens towards evening. Fatigue when walking.
What to do. Consult an orthopedist. We’ll have to forget about high heels and shoes with narrow toes. Make foot baths with sea salt. Perform special exercises, wear instep supports prescribed by a doctor, and not purchased at the nearest market.
90,000 Muscle pain when walking
As soon as Homo sapiens straightened up and began to walk, obviously from that moment, muscle pain appeared when walking. Statistics say that during a lifetime (average duration 65-70 years), a person makes about 500 million step movements and practically covers the distance from the planet earth to its constant companion – the Moon, that is, about 400 thousand kilometers. Since 200 different types of muscle tissue are involved in the process of movement, it is quite natural that some of them are overextended and may hurt.
Simplified walking can be divided into two main movements – the transfer of the leg and its support, while the main load falls on the following muscles:
- Musculus quadriceps femoris – the quadriceps muscle of the thigh.
- Musculus biceps femoris – biceps femoris.
- Musculus tibialis anterior – tibialis anterior muscle.
- Musculus rectus abdominis – rectus abdominis muscle.
- Musculus peroneus longus – cephalic muscle (peroneal).
- The triceps muscle of the leg is essentially two muscles: gastrocnemius – gastrocnemius and soleus – soleus.
- Musculus semitendinosus – Semitendinosus muscle.
- Musculus tensor fasciae latae
- Musculus gluteus maximus – gluteus maximus muscle.
- Musculus gluteus medius – gluteus medius muscle.
- Musculus erector spinae – muscle that straightens the spine (the strongest and longest spinal muscle).
In addition, muscle pain when walking can occur in the square muscle of the lower back, in the muscles responsible for rotating the leg. A pain symptom can be caused by both physiological objective factors and diseases of the vessels, the musculoskeletal system, the spine, and even internal organs.
Causes of muscle pain when walking
Factors and causes of muscle pain – myalgia, which appears in movement, when walking, is primarily due to the type and condition of the muscles involved.Also, the way of walking affects the pain symptom, because a person can move in a simple way, that is, go for a walk, be an athlete engaged in race walking, or walking is part of his job (postmen, couriers, and so on).
First, you need to determine which muscles and joints are most involved in a particular type of walking, taking into account the articular connection:
- Hip joints
- Knee joints
- Ankle joints
- Leg Transfer Stage
- Musculus iliopsoas – iliopsoas muscle and rectus femoris muscle, which is in the quadriceps muscle of the thigh, as well as the comb and sartorius muscles
- Quadriceps (quadriceps) thigh
- The tibialis anterior muscle, the long extensor of the toes, and also the extensor of the big toe.
- Leg support stage
- The gluteus muscles, the thigh muscle group, and the muscles that rotate the leg in the hip joint.
- Femoral muscles, popliteal muscle, gastrocnemius and partially soleus muscle, thin and sartorius muscle.
- Triceps muscles of the lower leg (gastrocnemius and soleus), the long flexor of the big toe and the rest of the toes, the short peroneal muscle, as well as the long peroneal, plantar and posterior tibial muscles.
Accordingly, the first causes of muscle pain when walking relate to joint diseases, pathologies of the musculoskeletal system:
- Osteoarthrosis (gonarthrosis) of the knee joints, most often secondary, associated with anomalies in the structure of the lower leg (valgus, varus deformity). If osteoarthritis develops in the area of the patella, between the femur, a person experiences pain when walking up stairs, osteoarthritis in the area between the femur and tibia manifests itself as pain when walking long distances, at rest during rest, this pain goes away.
- Osteomyelitis, which is manifested by severe, sharp pain when walking.
- Chondromalacia of the patella is more likely not a disease, but a condition of irritation of the joint surface due to inconsistent work or overload of the leg muscles.
- Injury to the tendon of the knee – tendonitis, when pain is felt in the quadriceps muscle.
- Osteoarthritis of the joints of the big toes.
- Cartilage rupture, damage to the meniscus, when edema and swelling affects adjacent muscle tissue.
- Osteoporosis, when the bone tissue is not able to take the load, it is compensated by the muscles and overstrained.
- Rheumatoid arthritis, which provokes the development of myositis – inflammation of muscle tissue.
- Almost all types of osteochondrosis.
In addition, the causes of pain in the muscles when walking can be due to the following diseases:
- Infringement of the nerve endings of the spinal cord in radiculopathy, especially in the lumbosacral region of the spine.
- Inflammation of the sciatic nerve, sciatica, a disease affecting the pain symptom of the muscles of the thigh, lower leg, foot.
- Lumbago, entrapment of the femoral nerve, provoking atony of the thigh muscles, loss of the knee reflex.
- Atherosclerotic vascular pathologies.
- Venous congestion, varicose veins. Venous intermittent claudication due to blockage (occlusion) of the pelvic veins, provoking diffuse pain when walking and cramps in the calf muscles.
- Vasogenic intermittent claudication (muscle ischemia).
- Fibromyalgia, more common in women.
- Myositis is an inflammation of muscle tissue of various etiologies.
- Flat feet.
- Metabolic disorders, micronutrient deficiencies.
- Violation of the water-salt balance.
Surprisingly, but pain when walking can be experienced not only by those who are constantly in motion, it is these people who have more developed and trained muscles.Most often, pain symptoms in motion are felt by the following groups of persons:
- Everyone who drives for a long time is a driver.
- People whose work is associated with increased stress on the lower back.
- Persons engaged in prolonged static position of the body, especially standing work.
- Lovers of gardening work.
- Overweight and obese.
Symptoms of muscle pain when walking
Muscles when walking can hurt both constantly and periodically, and the nature of the pain is also varied.
Symptoms of muscle pain when walking depend on the following factors:
- As a person, the elderly experience more intense pain for quite understandable reasons – age-related deformity of the spine, musculoskeletal system gives an additional load on the muscles.
- Body weight.
- Walking time.
- Shoes that can cause a lot of discomfort and cause pain in their own right.
- Kind of walking – sports, tourism (obstacles), household.
- Muscle preparation, their condition (trained or atrophied muscles).
- Concomitant diseases and conditions.
Feelings, signs, symptoms of muscle pain when walking can be as follows:
- Vascular diseases are most often manifested by aching, pulling pain, a person describes the condition as “heavy” legs. Walking does not cause much discomfort, if the distance to be overcome is small, long-term movement makes a person stop, give rest to the legs and muscles.
- Diseases of the spine sometimes, in principle, do not allow a person to move, walking with sciatica or lumbago causes shooting, sharp pain.
- Osteoarthritis of the knee provokes hypertonicity of the muscles of the thigh and calf muscles, with tendinitis, the muscles of the lower leg and thigh hurt, especially when going up.
- Vascular atherosclerosis can cause a tingling sensation, a burning sensation in the muscles, venous insufficiency is felt as a bursting pain in the muscles, provoking a convulsive syndrome in the calves.
- Pathology of the coccyx may be accompanied by pain in the muscles of the abdomen, in the thighs and muscles of the perineum, the pain intensifies in movement, when walking.
- A heel spur primarily provokes pain in the heel itself, but is also felt as a pain symptom in the thigh area due to chronic pressure on the tibial nerve, pain also develops in the ankle.
- Polyneuropathy is felt as a pulling, aching pain in the muscles, burning, tingling, especially when walking.
It should be noted that pain can be felt not only in the muscles of the legs, thighs, sometimes a person’s neck muscles ache when walking with improper posture, curvature of the spine, arm muscles can hurt with myositis or fibromyalgia, and even chest muscles with pathologies of the broncho-pulmonary system and compensatory tension of the sternum muscles.
As a rule, all pain symptoms in the muscles subside at rest, as soon as the person gives the opportunity to resume blood circulation and nutrition in the muscle tissue.
Diagnosis of muscle pain when walking
In order to determine the root cause of the pain symptom, which intensifies in motion, it is necessary to conduct a series of examinations, and for this a person needs to consult a doctor in a timely manner – a therapist who may refer the patient to a phlebologist, rheumatologist, surgeon, agiosurgery or neurologist.
Diagnosis of muscle pain when walking involves the following activities:
- Taking anamnesis and clarifying the history of the development of a pain symptom – when it arose, under what circumstances it intensifies, what is the nature of the pain.
- Exclusion or confirmation of the inflammatory factor, the etiology of pain.
- Exclusion or confirmation of a vertebrogenic cause of pain.
- Search for a possible cause associated with compression-radicular syndrome, spinal pathology.
- Palpation of muscles.
- Perhaps the appointment of an X-ray of the joints, spine.
- Appointment of angiography of vessels is possible.
Diagnosis of muscle pain when walking is a rather difficult process, since the symptoms of muscle pain are not always specific, the most clearly differentiated are convulsive pain in the calf muscles and muscle pain associated with osteochondrosis. As a rule, the first stage of identifying the etiology of a symptom is the method of exclusion.The rest of the diagnostic steps depend on the results of the first stage and are already examined by narrow specialists who have practical experience in diagnosing a specific specific area – vascular, organic or musculoskeletal, spinal.
Treatment of muscle pain when walking
Treatment of muscle pain during walking that is not associated with serious pathologies is limited to compensatory rest, massage, and possibly physiotherapy.A more in-depth treatment may consist of the appointment of vitamin complexes, with an enhanced composition of B vitamins, which well strengthen and restore the state of muscle tissue. The prognosis of treatment in such cases is favorable and recovery occurs after a week, rarely 10-14 days.
All other cases, in which a pathological root cause is determined, are subject to more serious therapy. Treatment for muscle pain while walking is broadly as follows:
- Restriction of pain-provoking movement, immobilization of joints, muscles.
- Treatment of the underlying disease identified.
- Symptomatic treatment of pain symptom – the appointment of local anesthetics and ointments, depending on the nature of the pain (cooling or warming).
- Prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs – tablet and external form. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen, Diclofenac) are prescribed taking into account the state of the digestive system and the hematopoietic system.
- Prescription of muscle relaxants – Midocalm, Baclofen, Sirdalud.
- Appointment of applications, compresses is possible.
- Rehabilitation procedures – remedial gymnastics, correctional complexes (post-isometric relaxation), acupuncture.
Prevention of muscle pain when walking
First of all, it should be remembered that in more trained people, whose muscles are accustomed to a reasonable load, pain symptoms when walking are very rare. Therefore, the prevention of muscle pain in movement, when walking, is to maintain normal muscle tone, including muscle corset in the abdomen, back, and not just legs.
To avoid muscle pain during active movement, you need to follow these recommendations:
- In order not to develop vascular pathology, often provoking pain in the legs, it is necessary to build a reasonable diet and limit fat and cholesterol in the menu.
- Prevention of muscle pain when walking is maintaining a normal weight in accordance with the recommended index – BMI.
- With a constant static load, you should periodically stretch your muscles, change your posture.
- In case of joint or spinal disease, it is necessary to reasonably calculate your strength and resources when hiking long distances, but first of all you need to treat the root cause, that is, the disease.
- To maintain health, in principle, including the health of muscles, you need to regularly perform a set of exercises, engage in any kind of sport.
- If pain in the muscles when walking appeared one-time, you should not write it off as an accident, you need to pay attention to the symptom and try to identify and eliminate the cause, possibly with the help of a doctor….
With constant pain in the muscles, it is necessary to undergo a comprehensive examination and follow all medical recommendations in order to avoid formidable complications, because some diseases can completely immobilize a person.
90,000 4 dangerous causes that can cause it
If pain in the calves of the legs appears when walking, running or resting at night, it can be caused by various reasons, including dangerous ones, such as thrombosis, varicose veins, atherosclerosis, – writes about this MedikForum portal.ru.
Calf pain can occur to anyone throughout their life without any serious cause. For example, excessive exercise, jogging, or climbing stairs can provoke it. In such cases, associated with overload or unusual, unusual types of stress, the pain is felt as pain in the muscles and often muscle tension and hardening are also observed. In addition, calf pain is often associated with leg cramps.
Dangerous causes of calf pain. The trigger mechanism for pain and muscle tension in the calves can be not only overload (as well as lack of movement), but also other circumstances. Including these can be dangerous processes, disturbances in the body.
Thrombosis. This is a dangerous condition that develops when a blood clot forms in the deep vein system of the lower extremities. Pain in the leg in some cases is the only manifestation of the disease, often such pain in the calf is sharp and severe.
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Restless legs syndrome. Its symptoms intensify during periods of rest or inactivity, mainly in the evening or at night – while people cannot sleep, they want to move their legs, get out of bed, walk. When a person tries to take a stationary position, tingling and unbearable itching occur in the legs, all this can be extremely exhausting, sometimes painful.
Varicose veins. Varicose veins are found in every third inhabitant of our planet, and it can begin at any age.Victims of varicose veins face phlebitis – inflammation of the vein wall. This ailment can cause blood clots (thrombophlebitis), inflammation, and other problems.
Atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, there is a deterioration in the conductivity of the arteries and blood vessels – this leads to the deposition of cholesterol plaques on their inner side of the walls, as well as a deterioration in the state of the vascular tissue, which loses its elasticity. Atherosclerosis is the cause of deadly cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.
Constant calf pain: clarification needed. If pain in the calves occurs more often, is unilateral (manifests itself in only one leg) and is not relieved by simple measures, it is necessary to consult a doctor to clarify the cause of this malaise. In rare cases, previously undetected heart diseases may be behind this.
Diagnostics of the vessels of the lower extremities in Germany, the cost of diagnostics
Diagnostics of the vessels of the lower extremities has become a real necessity for a modern person.
The reason for this is office work, and reduced physical activity, and the presence of bad habits.
All this leads to a decrease in metabolism and other functions of the body, as a result of which various diseases develop.
Leg diseases are becoming more common. And if the discomfort has already appeared, do not delay the visit to the doctor to diagnose possible causes.
Indications for Diagnosis
A number of factors can indicate problems with the vessels of the lower extremities.And you should definitely consult with a specialist at:
- leg pain;
- increased sensitivity of feet to low temperatures;
- the appearance of ulcers on the skin of the legs;
90,021 fatigue when walking and moving;
90,021 skin tingling;
90,021 visible varicose veins (varicose veins).
It should be noted that the main symptom of vascular diseases is not always pain: for a long time, a person may feel only squeezing or weakness, sometimes convulsions appear, especially disturbing at night and upon awakening.
For a pathology such as atherosclerosis, the most common symptom is intermittent claudication. In this state, the patient may experience discomfort or pain in the legs when walking, which disappears at rest.
Such lameness can occur with increased physical exertion (for example, when climbing stairs). And yet, this symptom of atherosclerosis may not appear in all cases, and a person can ignore discomfort, hair loss on the legs, dry and pale skin of the legs for a long time.But the state of the vessels does not improve due to the lack of treatment, and atherosclerosis can develop into stages that threaten health. The likelihood of manifestation of such a disease increases significantly with age.
That is why vascular diagnostics is so important, and it is mandatory for those people who:
- are sick with diabetes mellitus;
- often suffer from high blood pressure and cholesterol levels;
- are overweight.