Hip And Leg Pain
Possible Causes for Hip and Leg Pain
Hip and leg pain are often intertwined with one another as a condition or disorder in one may end up affecting the other. There are many possible causes of pain in the legs and the hips, ranging from injuries to diseases. Diagnosing the specific causes of these disorders can be tricky as many of them will present inflammation and widespread pain.
Injury is one of the most common forms of leg and hip pain. Injures to these areas can affect the bones, tendons, joints and muscles, causing pain and inflammation to develop. The damage that occurs from such injury can include contusions, fractures of the bones, torn tendons or ligaments, and strained muscles. Often an injury to the leg area will cause pain to develop in the hips as well. This may be caused by a deformity or alteration of the posture of the patient or damage to the connections between the hips and the legs. Deformities will very often cause stress on the other joints, placing pressure on them that can lead to pain. Excessive bleeding within the legs can cause pressure to build and Compartment syndrome can occur. This causes pain and numbness to develop. Treatment for trauma to the legs and hips will vary depending on the severity of the condition. Rest and ice may work well for contusions and strains, but fractures may become a serious condition requiring medical intervention. Deciding when to visit a doctor with you are experiencing pain of the hips and legs may be tricky, but if severe pain, deformity of the bones or joints, fever, vomiting or heavy bleeding occurs then the injury requires medical attention.
Often the underlying causes of hip and leg pain can be from internal diseases and disorders. They may be harder to diagnosis than external injuries to the hips and legs. Peripheral artery disease occurs when a lack of blood supply causes the blood vessels to become smaller and narrower. This prevents adequate blood supply from reaching the muscles during exercise. Because of this, most pain felt by the patient will occur during exercise. Any of the arteries of the body can be affected by Peripheral artery disease, and pain will differ depending on the body parts connected to the narrowed artery. Blood clots are another type of problem that limits or completely cuts off the blood supply to the muscles of the body. Blood clops can originate from many different parts of the body and travel along the bloodstream until they cause a blockage.
Most often blood clots develop within the heart, and can affect both arteries and veins. If the blockage occurs in an artery or vein it can cause blood to pool behind the clot, which causes the muscles to hurt and turn cool and pale in appearance. In blocked veins, two serious conditions can develop: deep venous thrombosis can occur if the clots appear in a deep vein within the leg and a pulmonary embolism can occur if the clot breaks down and travels into the lungs. Deep venous thrombosis occurs as the trapped blood gathers in the muscle, causing swelling, pain and warmth. Superficial veins can also develop small clots that are painful, but these clots are not at risk for causing a pulmonary embolism. The exception to this are the superficial veins located in the groin, where they are in close proximity to deep veins. Superficial veins of the legs can also swell and create the condition known as varicose veins. These swollen veins can be painful as well. Diabetes can affect the blood vessels and can create blood supply problems that may lead to pain.
Damages to the nerves that travel to the legs through the hips can cause pain and numbness to develop. Neuropathy can affect many parts of the body and any damage to the nerves in the hips will often radiate into the legs. Inflammation of the sciatica nerves will also cause leg pain. Determining if hip and leg pain is directly related to injury, blood supply problems or due to nerve damage can be difficult. Diseases, disorders, cancers, vitamin deficiencies and even alcoholism may cause these types of problems to develop. Only a health care professional can properly diagnose the direct cause of pain that radiates through the hips and legs.