Leg pain can be due to a muscle cramp (also called a charley horse). Common causes of cramps include:
- Dehydration or low amounts of potassium, sodium, calcium, or magnesium in the blood
- Medicines (such as diuretics and statins)
- Muscle fatigue or strain from overuse, too much exercise, or holding a muscle in the same position for a long time
Other common causes of leg pain include:
- Atherosclerosis that blocks blood flow in the arteries (this type of pain, called claudication, is generally felt when exercising or walking and is relieved by rest)
- Blood clot (deep vein thrombosis) from long-term bed rest
- Infection of the bone (osteomyelitis) or skin and soft tissue (cellulitis)
- Inflammation of the leg joints caused by arthritis or gout
- Nerve damage common in people with diabetes, smokers, and alcoholics
- Varicose veins
Lower Leg Pain
Most deep vein blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) occur in the lower leg or thigh. They also can occur in other parts of the body. Sitting for long periods when traveling can increase the risk of DVTs. Not having enough water in your body (dehydration) also causes blood clots.
With varicose veins, one of the symptoms is swelling and lower leg calf pain after you sit or stand for long periods of time.
In the summertime, it’s common for people to sit for long periods of time, either because of long road trips or because it’s too hot to do physical activity. It’s also easier to become dehydrated because we are sweating more than normal. It’s important to remember however that leg pain can be a symptom of a serious vein issue, and sometimes it’s “not just a cramp.”
If you are experiencing lower leg pain or swelling, call Bunker Vein at (512) 726-0599 to make an appointment.