Pain in the leg: how do you know if it's serious?

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Pain in the leg: how do you know if it's serious?

A leg pain can have many origins: a fall, a stroke, a fracture, a circulatory problem, a muscular problem, ligamentous, tendinous ... The self-diagnosis is very complicated, so it is better to quickly make an appointment with his doctor (in case of acute pain) or in an osteopath (in case of pain in movement) or in a physiotherapist.

First thing to know: if your leg seems swollen, if it is warm to the touch and if it has a red appearance (possibly with pain in the calf), you must go to the ER as soon as possible! "It's an indication of a medical emergency," says Dominique Blanc, an osteopath. a circulatory problem and maybe even a beginning of phlebitis. "

Phlebitis (also known as "vein thrombosis") occurs when a blood clot blocks blood flow, mostly in the lower limbs. In the absence of management, phlebitis can evolve pulmonary embolism if the clot moves to the heart and obstructs the pulmonary artery. Pulmonary embolism causes 20,000 deaths each year in France.

Pain in the leg: the traumatic track

You have acute pain in your leg and you can not get on the ground? You recently suffered a fall / a blow? Caution, this may be a fracture, at the level of the foot, the tibia or the fibula: an appointment (quickly) at the doctor is required.

"Be careful, not all fractures cause an acute pain: the fatigue fracture (which concerns athletes and people who have a lot of physical activity, and which often affects the fibula) causes average pain that persists over time, In case of doubt, make an appointment with your doctor or an osteopath.

You present a superficial hematoma (a "blue") in the leg and a mild / moderate pain occurs when you press it? Have you had a fall or recently been hit? You have no difficulty walking? Wait 15 days: the pain and hematoma should disappear. Otherwise, you have to consult!

My leg hurts: what if it's muscular?

If the pain occurs during the effort (that is to say: when you walk, run, climb stairs ...) it can be a muscle problem, ligament or tendon.

"If your calf is painful to the touch, for example, one may be in the presence of an elongation or a tear in the triceps: a visit to the osteopath or the physiotherapist will confirm the diagnosis," says Dominique Blanc.

Themuscle stretching triggers a sharp pain in full exertion (or just after): the muscle is hard to the touch, and the pain worsens when trying to stretch the calf. The muscle tearas for it, it is manifested by a brutal and acute pain (like a "stabbing") in full effort: in the hours that follow, an edema and / or a hematoma can appear in the zone.

Less serious, the cramp is an involuntary contraction of the muscle: during the effort, it is manifested by a brutal pain (in the foot, the calf or the thigh, in general): to the touch, the muscle is stiff and contracted. Finally, the stiffness causes only moderate pain that appears several hours after the physical activity: to the touch, the muscle is rigid. The pain associated with aches normally disappears after 2 to 3 days.

Thanks to Dominique Blanc, osteopath in Lyon (69) and president of the association Osteopaths from France.

Read also :

>>> Varicose veins, heavy legs ... 3 tips to never have sore legs again!

>>> How to have tapered calves?

>>> Stretching: 3 exercises to stretch well after the sport

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