The foot and leg are complex and specialized structures that must support the weight of the body while also providing flexibility and movement. They are subject to a variety of injuries and health conditions. Foot and leg pain can be mild or severe, limiting daily activities. It can affect the entire foot or a specific part of the leg, such as the ankle or calf.
It’s important to understand the causes of foot and leg pain in order to find relief. There are many factors that can lead to this discomfort, from common overuse to serious medical conditions like diabetes or blood clots. Taking care of your feet and legs by stretching regularly, wearing supportive footwear and massaging painful areas can help keep them healthy and limber.
Causes of Foot and Leg Pain
The most common cause of foot and leg pain is muscle cramps, which occur when a muscle involuntarily tightens and doesn’t relax. This can cause burning, stiffness, tenderness, or an intense sensation of pins and needles. Other types of leg and foot pain are caused by problems with the blood vessels or nerves in the legs and feet. Problems with the blood vessels may include a blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) or poor circulation, which can cause swelling, heaviness, and itchy skin over the ankles and legs. Nerve problems, such as diabetic neuropathy and compartment syndrome, can also cause a burning sensation, numbness, and tingling in the legs and feet.
If you’ve injured your foot, a good way to relieve the pain is to soak it in a warm bath or use a gel pack that you can freeze or heat in the microwave and then apply to the affected area. You can also gently massage the painful muscles and joints to help increase the blood flow. If the injury is not healing, speak with a doctor at the Foot and Leg Pain Centre as soon as possible to get the correct treatment for your condition.
Other causes of foot and leg pain include osteoarthritis, which can cause aching, heat, redness, and stiffness in the feet; plantar fasciitis, which is irritation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot; and tarsal tunnel syndrome, which happens when the main nerve to the foot is compressed by bone or tissue. A pulled muscle can also cause pain that lingers and should be treated as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage. Visit your Beecroft podiatrist immediately when you observe any of these symptoms.
Other signs to look out for are a fever, bleeding in the legs or calf, and a sudden pain that doesn’t go away, which could be a sign of a more serious problem.