What is leg pain?
Leg pain is pain that arises from the structures of the leg. These structures include joint, muscle, ligament, nerve, and bone.
What causes leg pain?
Leg pain is a result of damage to the structures of the leg. The most common cause of leg pain is due to repetitive over use, overloading of the structures in the leg, or complex forceful and quick movements like explosive jumping and direct trauma. Repetitive loading occurs with simple non-painful movements. Constant repetition of these movements leads to damage and eventual failure of the structures in the leg, leading to leg pain and tissue inflammation.
Where is leg pain felt?
Leg pain is felt over the structure that has been damaged. Therefore, if you injured a structure that is at the back of the leg, your pain will often be felt more over the damaged region. If your leg pain is due to nerve irritation in your back, the pain will be more vague but also felt more at the back of the leg. Leg pain is commonly described as a dull or strong ache and felt over the affected structure. In more severe cases, the pain can be sharp, shooting, and associated with significant swelling of the leg. This will result in the significant restriction in movement available at the foot and ankle and made worse with simple movements that require loading the leg and foot like walking.
What should you do?
If you have leg pain due to trauma/accident you should consult your doctor/emergency department immediately to ensure it is nothing more serious. Otherwise, if you have leg pain you need to consult our professional therapists for an appropriate assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. By treating your problem immediately, you decrease the chances of having any long-term effects and benefit from a quicker recovery. If poorly managed you do increase the risk of the problem becoming chronic and requiring long-term treatment.
What should you not do?
If you have leg pain, you should not ignore the problem and continue to participate in activities that aggravate your problem. This may lead to the problem increasing in severity resulting in other regions being affected by altered movement patterns to avoid pain and ultimately result in a prolonged recovery.
What is the treatment and management of leg pain?
Appropriate treatment and management require prompt assessment and diagnosis of the problem. This may require a referral for diagnostic imaging such as x-ray or MRI. Once a working diagnosis has been established, treatment will commence to reduce your pain and inflammation. Once your pain has settled, a rehabilitation and management program will be given to help you take control of your problem. With your participation, the treatment and rehabilitation program will help get you back to your daily activities and reduce the chances of your knee pain re-occurring.
Other conditions related to the knee that we can also help you with include:
- Calf strain and tears
- Shin splints (tenoperiostitis of shin)
- Compartment syndrome
- Achilles tendinopathy
- Calcaneal bursitis (heel bursitis)
- Sever’s lesion
- Leg cramps
- Calf and leg tightness