Tuesday, 13 January 2015
LEG PAIN AND MUSCLE CRAMPS
Leg and muscle pains are very common. They often occur during exercise especially during hot weather or at night. Leg and muscle pains could be caused by various factors. Dehydration, low levels of potassium in the body, and using a muscle that is not well stretched are all causes of leg pain and muscle cramps.
Pain in the front of the lower leg may be due to shinsplints especially if you have recently increased your exercise. Arthritis can also cause leg pain. Leg pain that runs from the buttocks down the back of the leg and into the foot may be due to an irritation of the sciatic nerve which runs from the lower back down through the buttocks and to the feet.
Phlebitis, an inflammation of a vein also causes leg pain, usually in the calf of one leg. This condition can be serious if blood clots formed in the vein break loose and lodge in the lungs. It is most common after undergoing a surgery or a prolonged bed rest.
Hardening of the arteries in the leg can also cause pain that is worse during activity and is relieved by rest.
HOW TO PREVENT LEG PAIN AND MUSCLE CRAMPS
· Warm up well and stretch before any activity. Stretch after exercise to keep hot muscles from shortening and cramping.
· Drink extra water before and during exercise, especially during hot or humid weather.
· Include plenty of potassium in your diet. Bananas, orange juice, and potatoes are good sources.
· To avoid stomach muscle cramps during exercise, do side stretches before exercising and learn to breathe with your lower lungs.
· If cramps wake you at night, take a warm bath and do some stretching exercises before going to bed. Keep your legs warm while sleeping.
· Gently stretch, rub, and massage cramping muscles.
· To stretch the calf, straighten your leg, grab your foot, and pull it toward you.
· Drink some extra water. Cramps are often related to dehydration.
Your leg pain or muscle cramps may require immediate medical attention if ;
· You feel deep pain in the leg or calf.
· There is heat, redness and or pain along the course of a leg vein.
· Swelling of one leg.
· Leg is cold and looks white or blue.
· Shortness of breath or chest pain.
· Leg cramps worsen or persist in spite of preventive measures taken.
· If cramps or leg pain occur repeatedly during even mild exercise, such as walking, even if relieved by rest.