Leg problems may be minor or serious and may include symptoms such as pain, swelling, cramps, numbness, tingling, weakness, or changes in temperature or color. Symptoms often develop from exercise, everyday wear and tear, or overuse. If you experience leg pain consult with your physician for a proper diagnosis. If they feel it may be biomechanical in nature or be coming from your foot alignment they may refer you to OKAPED for a gait analysis and biomechanical assessment.
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).
Some leg problems are seen only in children, such as swelling at the top of the shinbone (Osgood-Schlatter disease) and swelling and pain in the knee joint (juvenile idiopathic arthritis). Growing pains are common among rapidly growing children and teens and are probably caused by differences in growth rates of muscle, bone, and soft tissue. These pains often last for 1 or 2 hours at a time and can wake a child from sleep.
In some cases Leg Pains can be traced back to a specific event, increase in activity or change in footwear. Our Pedorthists can determine any Pathomechanics (a clinically-used term to describe abnormal movements) are causing or contributing to pain or dysfunction in an individuals legs.