The legs bear the entire body's weight and help us in walking, running, jumping, etc. When they start aching, then you do not feel like standing up or move around. If it starts after long hours of standing, walking, or running then you know that the muscles are tired and have tightened up. You can easily recover from it by resting your muscles for a while. However, if the pain persists all the time, then it becomes bothersome. It may or may not be a serious issue, but it is debilitating and makes you weak and fatigued. There are certain reasons as to why the legs ache all the time, some of which are given below.
There are several reasons that can be held responsible for constant leg pain. It may result from a traumatic injury or it could be a symptom of underlying health problems. A few notable causes are discussed below:
The structure of leg consists of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, etc. All of them are susceptible to injury during various physical activities. When they are overused during sports activities, exercising, etc., for a prolonged period, then it badly affects the soft tissues. As a result, the muscles get overstretched, and tears develop on the muscle fibers and soft tissues of tendons get inflamed. Runners tend to get such pain due to shin splints. It is one such condition where the shin bone and the ligaments around it are overworked. This pain usually starts with the activities and continues even after the adequate rest. If there is a hairline fracture on the bones, then you may not even realize that a fracture exists, but you continue to experience a constant dull pain until it heals up properly.
The veins perform a major function of carrying the deoxygenated blood to the heart. The structure of veins consists of valves that enable the blood to flow only in one direction that is towards the heart. If these valves of the veins are not functioning properly, then a part of the deoxygenated blood is left behind inside the veins. As a result, the veins swell up and gives painful symptoms. This condition is known as varicose veins. Pregnant women often get pain due to this reason.
There is sciatic nerve that runs from lower back region to the legs. When this nerve gets pressed by a herniated disc in lower spine, then an excruciating pain is felt in one leg, which is often accompanied by tingling and numbness. Damage in other nerves can give you aches. This kind of nerve damage is mostly caused by diabetes, nutritional deficiency, excessive smoking, or heavy intake of alcohol.
Those who are under bed rest experience constant pain due to a circulation problem called deep vein thrombosis. In this condition, the veins in the legs get clogged up with blood. The pain can be triggered by atherosclerosis, where arteries of various parts of the body get blocked because of cholesterol build up in them.
Joint pain can be a symptom of arthritis where it is accompanied by swelling and stiffness. Osteomyelitis is an infectious disease that affects the bones and the bone marrow and gives painful symptoms. Growth of tumor in the bones, side effects of medicines, a bacterial skin infection named cellulitis, etc., are a few of the other factors that can cause this problem.
There are so many causes of a persistent leg pain that you cannot diagnose the problem on your own, and you have to consult your doctor. They first conduct physical examination to ascertain the location of the pain. It is followed by x-rays, imaging test, and blood test. Medical history, physical activities, and observable symptoms are also taken into account for correct identification of the cause. If you are physically active, then your doctor may ask you to take rest. Alternate warm and cold compression brings about soothing relief from the pain.
For treating a severe pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. Physical therapy is highly beneficial for the pain triggered by injury in the soft tissues, nerve damage, arthritis, etc. Bacterial infections are treated with the help of antibiotics. Nutritional deficiency is treated with suitable dietary supplements. If there is a severe damage in the muscles or nerve, then it may have to be repaired by means of surgery. Any other underlying health problem can be cured with suitable medicines.
There are treatment options for all possible causes of aching legs. Therefore, you should not neglect it and aggravate the problem further. Take an appointment with your doctor and start the treatment now.
Disclaimer: This WellnessKeen article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.