There are a great many things that can cause lower leg muscle pain. Some health conditions like diabetes and arthritis can be culprits, and of course sports injuries and physical problems can contribute as well. However, regardless of what is causing leg muscle pain, there are some crucial mistakes that are commonly made during treatment that can delay healing, reduce the effectiveness of pain relief techniques and even exacerbate the discomfort. We’ve put together a list of the top 5 mistakes often made during treatment for lower leg muscle pain that should be remembered and avoided:
1. Not Identifying Underlying Injuries if Present: It may seem like common sense, but it’s actually not uncommon for actual leg injuries to be brushed off entirely if there seem to be other logical or less serious explanations for lower leg pain. For instance a break may be disregarded as a mere sprain, and a serious problem like a blood clot could be excused for simple cramping. Because pain in the legs can be indicative of serious problems, it’s best to have it checked out if it becomes severe, unusual or concerning in any way.
2. Not Reducing or Eliminating Risk Factors: There are many risk factors associated with an increased risk of muscle and joint pain in the legs that can be surprising to some individuals. Smokers for instance are at a higher risk for developing blood clots that can cause pain in the legs. And, those who are overweight are greatly at risk for pain in the muscles and joints as well as diabetes, which can also lead to muscle pain. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is very important to preventing the risk of or reducing the recurrence of leg muscle pain due to a wide range of health conditions that can lead to symptoms.
3. Not Resting the Affected Area: Although physical activity is incredibly important to maintaining good health and helping painful legs feel better, resting the affected area is almost as important from time to time. Most cases of leg muscle pain benefit from the R.I.C.E. method that includes resting, icing, compressing and elevating the area. This practice can provide both short and long term relief and in most cases, daily resting is important to allow painful muscles time to relax and unwind. The ice therapy is also useful and is useful in cases of inflammation. It also provides an interesting nod to the aforementioned alternative treatment of cryotherapy, furthering the potential benefits for cold therapy for pain relief.
4. Not Taking Medications or Using Prescribed Devices: Even though there are a great many sources of pain relief available that don’t involve medications or the use of devices like braces and compression socks, it’s still crucial to follow the advice of health care providers as given and speak to them about any alternative treatments or therapies that you might be considering instead. Some conditions and sources of leg muscle pain absolutely require medications and devices to treat properly and not employing them can lead to a severely elevated risk of complications.
5. Not Considering Alternative Treatments: Anyone who has seen the recent rise in cryotherapy Toronto based clinics may be wondering what all the fuss is about. And, the recent increase in cryotherapy’s rapidly rising popularity is thanks in part to the treatment’s success in dealing with lower leg muscle pain. The process involves supercooling the skin’s exterior to prompt a wide variety of healthful physiological processes that work to both immediately relieve pain and provide longer term effects that can gradually reduce pain in some individuals over time. The cold sauna therapy method was first incepted as rheumatoid arthritis treatment, but since it’s appearance decades ago, it’s been used for many conditions and many types of pain. Alternative therapies like these if deemed safe by a healthcare provider can be an excellent source of pain relief, especially in individuals who prefer not to regularly use pain medications.
6. Not Stretching and Warming Up: Regardless of what is causing painful lower leg muscle pain, whether it be a sprain or inflammatory arthritis, stretching or warming up prior to excessive or strenuous physical activity is very important. Not doing so can lead to an increased risk of injuries and more pain and it also helps prevent pain and discomfort following a workout or exercise. Even activities that seem low stress should begin with some gentle stretching or warming up.