Archive for "August, 2018"

What Is Causing My Radiating Leg Pain?

Pain Management Aug 20, 2018 No Comments

Radiating leg pain means you are hurting in one place on the body that is also causing pain to move to other parts, such as your leg. For instance, you may have a back problem that causes referred pain in your legs.

All pain can be troublesome. But when it radiates to other places on your body, it can feel overwhelming.

Radiating leg pain is more common than you may think, and many times comes from an ailment in the back, spine or some place other than your actual leg.

The best way to treat your leg pain is to work with your doctor in finding the root of the problem.

You need to discover the starting point of the pain, so you can then find out why the pain moves to your legs.


Identify Exact Symptoms of Radiating Leg Pain

To help your doctor determine what is causing your leg pain, it’s important you describe your symptoms accurately.

Your doctor is not able to feel your pain, so they need to hear from you exactly what you are feeling and where.

When describing your leg pain, be able to tell the doctor if you feel a burning sensation, weakness, numbing, tingling, or heaviness.

Is it a constant pain or come and go depending on whether you are moving or sitting still?

Tell your doctor if the pain starts in one location and moves to another, or if it starts and stops in the same place in your leg.

Tell them if it feels painful on the inside or outside of your leg.

In addition, inform your doctor of the location on your leg that is in pain.

Radiating leg pain can create agitation in the front or back thigh muscles, knees, shins, the calf, your toes, and even your groin.

Tell them every specific detail you can about your symptoms, so they can make an accurate diagnosis.


Risk Categories of Pain

Your doctor will assess the category in which your pain falls.

These categories help them determine probable causes of your leg pain.

The categories include low-risk, low-medium-risk, medium-risk, medium-high-risk, and high-risk.

Low-risk pain refers to pain that is easily manageable. You may find taking over the counter medications like ibuprofen ease the pain. Or, avoiding use of the area in pain helps you feel relief.

Low-medium-risk is pain that needs to be managed by a prescription medication, while medium-risk may require a more emergent visit to your doctor or hospitalization.

Medium-high-risk means you have a problem that is urgent and needs immediate attention. You may go to an emergency room for help relieving the pain. While the pain is not life threatening, it can feel as if it is.

High-risk, on the other hand, is life threatening and may even require intensive care in a hospital environment.


Common Sources of Pain Associated with Risk Category

Pain determined to be of high-risk are sometimes associated with major organ malfunction, such as kidney failure or infections.

When the organs are not working properly, other body parts, such as the legs, can feel pain.

Bone cancer, or other types of cancers, can also create radiating pain.

There is a connection between diabetes and leg pain. Any pain of this type is critical and should be hospitalized for treatment.

Medium-risk types of pain are most often associated with pinched nerves, inflammation, herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, muscle tears, spinal or disc infections, and even tumors.

It’s important to seek advanced medical treatment immediately to avoid further damage and more intense pain.

While not life threatening, these causes of pain can become worse over time.

Lower-risk causes of pain can be related to the sciatic nerve, pulled hamstring muscle, pulled muscles in the back and arthritis, to name a few.


Other Sources of Radiating Leg Pain

Does your pain get worse when you are moving around, like walking or running?

This should be discussed with your doctor.

There are types of radiating pains that happen while moving, and there are pains that occur when you are still.

Even worse, there are pains that take place whether you are still or moving.

An example of a pain that happens when you are moving around could be the result of your blood vessels being in distress.

This problem can result in blood clots or deep vein thrombosis.

When you have been inactive for a while, and if blood supply is not circulating in your legs properly, a blood clot can develop. This can be very painful.

Neuropathy happens when the nerves in the spinal system that connect to muscles or organs become dysfunctional.

The result is numbing, tingling feelings and even lack of feeling at all in the legs.

Furthermore, radiating leg pain can appear when there is a lack of electrolytes in the body.

Meaning, your body is not receiving important minerals and vitamins such as potassium and calcium needed for proper functioning.

Arthritis and back injuries or diseases are also known to cause radiating leg pain.


Getting Help

The steps involved in relieving your pain begin with obtaining an accurate diagnosis from your doctor. To do this, your doctor should give you a physical exam, as well as utilizing x-rays and other testing such as MRIs.

The diagnosis will also be made through an analysis of the fluids in your areas of pain when necessary.

Doctors will also use the process of exclusion of other diseases to help determine the cause of your pain.

Treatments for your pain will depend on the level of severity.

A minor injury can be prescribed a rotation of heat and ice, with over the counter analgesics.

On the other hand, severe cases can involve surgeries and pain management for any chronic symptoms.

The best thing you can do to get to the root of your radiating leg pain is to be honest with your physician about your symptoms, how long you have experienced pain, and any potential reasons for the pain.

Allow your doctor to conduct all the tests they need to provide you with an effective treatment plan.

Your doctor’s goal is the same as yours, to relieve your pain as soon as possible.



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