What is leg pain?
Leg pain is any type of discomfort in the leg, beginning at the hip joint down to your heels. Your legs are made up of joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. Leg pain can be brief or ongoing, and can affect your entire leg depending on how serious the injury or condition is you may have.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms inside a large vein, often in the calf of thigh. If this clot becomes dislodged, it can travel to the lungs or brain, causing a stroke or pulmonary embolism. DVT in the leg causes redness, tenderness, and swelling of the leg. The pain has been described as feeling like a muscle cramp or as soreness.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency
Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the leg veins do not allow blood to travel back to the heart. Problems with the valves in the veins can cause the blood to flow in both directions, and causes blood in the legs to pool. If chronic venous insufficiency is left untreated, pain, swelling, and leg ulcers may result.
Varicose veins are enlarged, twisted veins that often develop as you age. Circulation slows down in your veins and causes these veins to appear twisted and bulge. Symptoms of varicose veins include muscle cramping and swelling in your lower legs, worsted pain after sitting or standing for a long period of time, as well as itching.
When to Seek Medical Care
Seek immediate emergency medical care if you are experiencing inflammation, discoloration, or ulceration of the skin or swelling of the calf. If you have trouble breathing, you may have a blood clot. If your doctor confirms that your aching legs are the result of varicose veins or deep vein thrombosis, then they may refer you to a vein specialist. Convention treatments for varicose veins range from wearing compression stockings or tights to a number of surgical options. For DVT, medication such as blood thinners may do the trick, but in some cases, you may need surgery. At The Vein Centre, our surgeons have over 100 years combined vein expertise and are here to help you look and feel your best. To find out more, give us a call at 615-271-9013!