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Leg Pain and Common Causes

Our legs go through a lot while we are busy running around and getting things done. While they are usually strong and provide the much-needed mobility and support, legs may suffer from minor aches to severe pains. There are plenty of reasons related to trauma or disease that may be the cause of pain. Leg pain can also result from a problem in other parts of the body. Wear and tear of muscles or bone loss due to ageing can also lead to painful conditions.  

Causes

Dr Vijay Kumar Sohanlal, a senior specialist in joint replacement and orthopaedics at MGM healthcare and Mahi Clinic – Chennai, enlightened us about some of the common causes.

Tendinitis

This is a very common condition that results from injury, overuse or rheumatoid arthritis. The tendons in the affected joint, like the knees, may experience some tearing. The patient usually experiences pain and stiffness in the joints. The mobility also gets affected.

Bursitis

In this condition, a bursa sac gets inflamed or irritated. Our body has these sacs in several places and their main function is to reduce friction between bones and muscles that move against each other. Caused by frequent pressure or overuse of joints like hip or knee, the condition leads to pain and stiffness.

Osteoarthritis

In this condition, the cartilage on the bone ends starts getting degenerated and breaks down. In the absence of a cushioning layer between the bone ends, they start rubbing against each other. This may occur in the hips, knees, toes causing pain and inflammation.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome   

This condition occurs in the ankle when the posterior tibial nerve, which passes through the narrow space between ankle bones, is compressed. The name of the syndrome is based on the canal, called the tarsal tunnel, through which the nerve passes. The condition may be caused by any of the reasons like a sprain, varicose veins, cyst. The patient usually experiences pain, numbness and tingling in the affected leg.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis   

Our backbone or spine consists of vertebrae separated by soft discs. The lower backbone, called the lumbar spine, has five of those vertebrae and discs. These discs may bulge due to one of the reasons and cause the narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal. When this happens, the nerve passing through the lower spinal canal into the legs gets compressed. The compression of the nerve may cause pain, weakness or cramping in the legs.

Achilles Tendon Rupture

The calf muscles and the heel bone are connected by the largest tendon in the body. These tendons, called Achilles Tendon, play an important role in our activities like walking, running, jumping, climbing stairs. It’s a strong tendon capable of managing stress from almost all of our activities. However, it may suffer from tendinitis when stress is sudden and intense. This is possible when the intensity of an activity, like a recreational sport or exercise, increases considerably. The tendon ruptures causing pain along the tendon and swelling. The patient usually experiences stiffness also.   

Osgood-Schlatter disease   

Adolescents usually suffer from this condition and experience knee pain. This condition is marked by inflammation of the patellar tendon near the knee. Children who are active participants in sports and athletics may experience a bony projection on the shin bone due to growth spurts. This happens when the thigh muscles pull on the patellar tendon. Due to repetitive action, a growth plate may get pulled by the tendon and cause pain and inflammation in the leg.

Consulting a Doctor  

Sometimes the symptoms may not be immediately noticeable. However, if you suffer from leg pain, numbness or tingling for an extended duration, it’s advisable to consult a specialist. Timely medical intervention prevents further damage and may help you recover completely.

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