Leg pain can be mild or very severe, and it can occur for a variety of reasons. If your leg hurts badly, it's best to make an appointment with your doctor or go to the emergency room right away. Mild to moderate muscle pain can be relieved with some home remedies. Remember to see a doctor if the pain persists or gets worse.
Method 1 of 3: Reduce Pain
Step 1. Get as much rest as possible
If your leg hurts, the best thing you can do is rest. Stop your current activities and rest your leg for a few hours.
- If you are doing physical work, it may be worth taking a short break. Talk to your doctor about sick leave.
- Consider taking a break from your sports for 1–2 days. If you exercise every day, try resting for a couple of days until the pain in your leg subsides.
Step 2. Lift the affected leg
This will help reduce swelling and possibly relieve some pain. If you notice that your leg is swollen, try to keep it in an elevated position. When sitting, you can place your feet and legs on an ottoman or ottoman and place a couple of pillows underneath them. You can also lie on your bed and use pillows under your feet.
Step 3. Apply ice to your leg
Ice packs can help relieve leg pain. Do not apply ice directly to your skin. Be sure to wrap the ice pack in a thin towel and then apply it to the sore spot on your leg. You can hold the ice for up to 15 minutes, after which you should take an hour break so that the leg moves away from the cold.
Step 4. Warm your feet with a soothing warmth
Warm compresses can also help relieve leg pain if it is caused by arthritis or excessive muscle tension. Try applying a heating pad to your leg to soothe aching muscles. Do not leave the heating pad for more than 20 minutes to avoid overheating the skin.
Step 5. Stretch lightly to release muscle tension
If you think your leg pain is caused by cramps or over-tensing of muscles, light stretching exercises can relieve your condition. To relax tense muscles, try one of the following exercises:
- Lunges. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, then take a wide step forward with one foot. The foot of the other foot should remain on the floor. In this case, the toes of both legs should be directed forward. Bend your front knee at a 90 degree angle and keep your other leg straight. Hold this position for about 10 seconds, then lunge with your other leg.
- Leaning forward. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slowly begin to lean forward. When doing this, keep your legs straight, but do not strain them too much. Try to reach your calves or toes with your hands, then count to 10. Even if you can only reach your thighs or knees, you should still feel a stretch in the back of your legs.
- Stretching the quadriceps. For this exercise, stand near a wall or stable chair and place one hand against the wall or back of the chair to maintain balance. After that, bend one leg at the knee and lift the foot to the buttock. If you can, grab your toes with your hand and hold them in this position to stretch the muscles. If you can't reach your foot with your hand, try pressing your toes against a wall to properly stretch your quads.
Step 6. Massage your muscles
After stretching, you can massage your leg muscles. Try using a little massage oil to help massage your muscles. Stroke your legs with wide strokes and apply firm pressure to relieve muscle tension.
- A professional massage can also relieve leg pain caused by excessive muscle tension.
- You can also use a Pilates cylinder to massage your leg muscles. Place the cylinder under the sore spot and roll your leg over it for 5-10 minutes.
Step 7. See an acupuncture specialist
In some situations, acupuncture can also help relieve leg pain. This method can be effective if leg pain is caused by muscle spasms or inflammation. Try to consult with an acupuncture specialist to see if this method is right for you.
Step 8. Take over-the-counter pain relievers
If you still feel pain after using other methods, try pain relief with an over-the-counter pain reliever. For example, you can take paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin.
- Read the instructions for use carefully and follow them.
- If an over-the-counter pain reliever doesn't help you, see your doctor.
- If the pain is associated with inflammation, as is the case, for example, with arthritis, it is better to take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen because they reduce inflammation.
Step 9. Enrich your diet with magnesium, calcium and potassium
These micronutrients are essential for maintaining normal electrolyte balance and preventing muscle cramps. To increase your intake, eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, nuts, and legumes.
One way to ensure you get enough calcium, magnesium, and potassium is to follow a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This diet focuses on foods that are low in sodium and high in calcium, magnesium and potassium
Step 10. Try taking a multivitamin
If you want to make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and relieve leg cramps, you can take a multivitamin. Choose a multivitamin that contains 100% of your daily requirement for vitamins and minerals.
Method 2 of 3: Identify the causes of pain
Step 1. Maintain fluid balance in your body
Dehydration and imbalance in micronutrients can cause muscle spasms. To fix this common problem, try drinking more water and electrolyte drinks. Drink at least 8 glasses (2 liters) of water a day.
Step 2. Reduce the intensity of your training
Intense prolonged exercise can cause muscle soreness, which can subside after a few days of rest. Try lowering the intensity of your workouts to relieve leg pain. Remember that even light exercise can cause muscle pain if your body is not used to exercise. Therefore, it is better to start with light activities in order to gradually accustom your body to a new level of physical activity.
Step 3. Check for injuries
Injuries, such as tears or strains of muscles and tendons, can also cause muscle pain. After an injury, you may experience severe pain when moving. This pain can last for days, weeks, or even months after the injury. If you suspect that you have been injured, be sure to see a doctor.
Step 4. Pay attention to possible circulatory problems
Leg pain can be caused by poor circulation. Circulatory problems and leg pain can result from conditions such as gout, diabetes, atherosclerosis, or varicose veins. If you suspect or suffer from one of these conditions, see your doctor as soon as possible for appropriate treatment.
- If the problem is poor circulation, compression stockings may help. Talk to your doctor about whether these stockings are right for you.
- If you frequently feel pain and tingling in your feet and toes, have weakness in your calf muscles, and have sores on your feet and toes, your leg pain may be related to peripheral arterial disease.
Step 5. Consider if your leg pain is due to less common causes
Leg pain can also be associated with more rare conditions that are more difficult to identify. It can be bone cancer, cyst, or sciatica. Please note that in this case, you need to see your doctor to determine the exact cause of your leg pain.
Method 3 of 3: See a doctor
Step 1. Make an appointment with your doctor to determine the exact diagnosis
If home remedies fail, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes leg pain can indicate a serious problem. Call your doctor immediately if:
- the leg is black or blue;
- the leg is pale and feels cold to the touch;
- pain increases with movement or playing sports;
- your leg is red and swollen and / or you have a fever;
- your legs are swollen and you find it difficult to breathe.
Step 2. Tell your doctor where your pain is, the type and nature of your pain
The doctor will ask you various questions about the type of pain you are experiencing. Think about the nature of the pain before visiting the doctor so that he can more accurately determine the diagnosis. Consider the following factors:
- where you are experiencing pain (top, bottom, front or back of your leg, and so on);
- What type of pain you are experiencing (for example, sharp, dull, stabbing, persistent, or intermittent pain);
- what aggravates or alleviates pain;
- other symptoms.
Step 3. Ask your doctor about a possible treatment
After the doctor determines the cause of the pain, he or she will advise you on possible treatment options. In some cases, physical therapy may be needed. If you've tried any of the treatments and they haven't worked for you, ask your doctor about other treatments.