Leg pain can be mildly annoying or debilitating depending on the root cause. Most of the time, leg pain is the result of sprains of the tendons and muscles in the leg or structural problems in the lower half of the body.
However, there are other issues, such as growth spurts, blood pressure issues and infections that can make it uncomfortable to walk or stand for any period of time. If your legs hurt, it is important to be aware of the possible causes and if the situation is serious to seek medical help to diagnose the problem and find the best treatment program.
In some cases, leg pain just goes away after a day or so. Other conditions may require physical therapy, pain relief or long-term lifestyle changes to relieve the pain. In many instances, these aches and pains go away on their own, but if they don’t, it is essential to seek medical attention.
1. Muscle Cramp
If your calf or lower leg hurts suddenly in the middle of the night, you may be suffering from a leg cramp. Cramps involve a spontaneous and involuntary contraction of muscles. They can be caused by exercising or working for long hours, particularly in hot weather.
Cramps can result from being dehydrated, because they are caused by a loss of essential electrolytes in the body. Sodium and potassium can help replenish these electrolytes. Try eating a banana before working out or enjoy a baked potato after going to the gym. Make sure you are well-hydrated especially in the summertime and consider drinking a sports drink with electrolytes to refresh your system and prevent muscle cramps.
Most cramps are not a cause for alarm and don’t usually need medical attention unless they keep happening or won’t go away. Chronic cramps could be a sign of a mineral deficiency or issues with the blood chemistry.