Leg problems may be minor or serious and may include symptoms such as pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, or changes in temperature or colour. Symptoms often develop from exercise, everyday wear and tear, or overuse. Older adults have a higher risk for leg problems because they lose muscle mass as they age. Children may have leg problems for the same reasons as adults or for reasons specific to children. Problems are often caused by over-activity or the rapid growth of bone and muscle that occurs in children.
Problems can occur when you “overdo” an activity, do the same activity repeatedly, or increase your exercise. This may be called an overuse injury even though you did not have an actual injury. Examples of overuse injuries includes bursitis, tendinitis, shin splints, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, or other muscle strains or tears. Muscle cramps can be caused by activity or dehydration, especially when you exercise in the heat. Problems that affect the blood vessels (vascular disease) can include peripheral arterial disease, inflammation of a vein (phlebitis), or a blood clot (thrombophlebitis). A blood clot near the surface of the skin may cause only minor problems, while a clot in a deep vein may be more serious. Recent surgery, especially on bones or the pelvic or urinary organs, increases the risk of blood clots, especially in deep leg veins. Prolonged bed rest and inactivity, including sitting or standing in one position for long periods of time, or prolonged immobilization of a limb, such as in a cast or splint, also may increase the risk of blood clots. Problems affecting the arteries (peripheral arterial disease) can cause cramping pain that occurs with predictable amounts of exercise, such as walking a short distance, but improves with rest. Other diseases, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a stroke can cause numbness, tingling, or loss of function in one or both legs. Many of these issues can be discussed with our practitioners at the Premier Footworks.