How to Treat Leg Pain and Swelling from Neuropathy
Have you been dealing with persistent leg pain and swelling? Does it seem like the pain is worsening no matter what medicine you take?
You may be suffering from neuropathy. Neurological disorders can affect anyone, but they are most common in older adults.
Fortunately, there are treatments available to reduce the intensity of neuropathy symptoms such as leg pain and swelling. In this article, I'll provide information on how to treat neuropathy-related leg pain as well as tips on lifestyle changes that can reduce inflammation and discomfort.
Leg swelling Causes
There are many different causes of foot swelling, including trauma, injury, cancer, pregnancy, diabetes, and even genetics. Some people experience swelling in one part of their body while others swell throughout their entire bodies. Leg pain at night or swelling can occur due to a variety of reasons. Knowing the cause of your swelling can help you determine the best course of action.
If the swelling was sudden, there might be a cause of bleeding or infection that can be treated immediately. However, if the swelling began gradually over time, it could indicate something else entirely. It is very important for patients to seek medical attention if they notice any signs of blood or pus in their urine or stool.
Let's look at some of the biggest causes.
Things That Cause Fluid Buildup
Congestive heart failure causes fluids to build up in your body because it doesn't pump enough blood out of your veins. This makes you feel short of breath, tired, and weak. You might also notice swollen ankles, feet, hands, arms, face, neck, and/or tongue. Your doctor will likely check for other conditions that could cause similar symptoms.
Pregnancy causes fluid retention in your legs and feet as well as your abdomen. The extra weight puts pressure on your joints and ligaments, which may lead to swelling. If you're pregnant, talk with your doctor about how to manage this condition.
Diabetes causes fluid buildup in your body. In addition to causing high levels of sugar in your bloodstream, diabetes can damage nerves and arteries, making them less able to regulate blood flow. As a result, your blood vessels become leaky and allow excess fluid into tissues.
Infections like Lyme disease, shingles, and mononucleosis can cause swelling in your lymph nodes (small glands located near major organs). These infections often go away on their own, but they can leave behind painful spots where the lymph nodes were infected.
Leg swelling related to inflammation
A swollen leg can indicate something serious like a broken bones, cancer, or heart trouble. But it can also mean something less severe, such as swelling due to inflammation in the leg muscles and tendons.
A swollen leg can develop during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. This is because the body produces extra fluid to help nourish the baby.
Another cause of leg swelling is excess sodium consumption. Salt makes up about half of our bodies' total water weight. The extra liquid moves into our legs when we eat foods high in sodium. In addition, some medications, including diuretics used to treat hypertension and congestive heart failure, can make us retain fluids.
If you suspect that your leg swelling is caused by one of these conditions, consult your physician. He or she can recommend ways to reduce leg swelling, such as changing your diet or taking medication.
Medical conditions and other causes of leg swelling
Leg swelling occurs when fluid accumulates in the legs. This happens because small blood vessels throughout the body carry excess fluids away from the tissues and into the bloodstream. When these veins become blocked, fluid builds up inside the tissue and compresses it.
The most common cause of leg swelling is venous insufficiency. Venous insufficiency occurs when one or both valves fail to function properly. These valves prevent blood from flowing backward from the lower extremities into the heart and lungs. Blood flows backward into the lower limbs if the valves do not close completely. As the volume of blood increases, the pressure rises and the surrounding tissue swells.
Another possible cause of leg swelling is lymphedema. Lymphedema is a chronic condition characterized by an abnormal accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the arms, hands, legs, feet, ankles, and toes. Lymph nodes collect lymphatic fluid and send it to the lymphatic system. In lymphedema, the lymphatic system does not drain properly and lymph fluid collects in the affected area.
A third potential cause of leg swelling is cellulitis. Cellulitis is an inflammation of the skin caused by bacteria. Bacteria enter the skin through a cut or scrape and multiply rapidly. The infection spreads along the skin's surface layers and eventually reaches deeper layers.
Infections can spread from the skin to the muscles, bones, joints, and even organs. The most serious infections can lead to sepsis, a life-threatening complication of bacterial infection.
If you notice swelling in your legs, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor may recommend compression stockings, elevation, medication, physical therapy, or surgery.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), commonly known as "blood clots", forms when there is a problem with the blood flow in one of your large veins. A blood clot can travel from the deep veins in your leg up into your lungs, which can block off small airways and cause life-threatening complications. DVT is most common in people following major surgeries, such as knee replacement, hip replacement, heart bypass, or lung cancer surgery. People who are overweight, pregnant, elderly, or those who smoke cigarettes are also at risk.
Thrombophlebitis is another type of blood clotting disorder. These blood clots form around the skin's surface, rather than inside the body. The ankles, calves, knees, elbows, hands, feet, and face are common places.
Varicose veins are swollen, twisted, bulging veins that develop in the legs due to poor circulation. Often times varicose veins become painful and unsightly. In many cases, varicose veins can be treated with simple home remedies. However, varicose veins could lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Symptoms of varicose veins include:
- Painful, tender, red, blue, purple, or brown discoloration of the skin
Acute kidney failure occurs when you have too little blood flow to your kidneys. Your body needs healthy blood vessels to filter waste products out of your blood. If your kidneys are damaged, it could cause acute kidney failure. This happens most often because of a blockage in one of your arteries.
Chronic kidney disease occurs when your organs don't work properly. Kidneys help regulate water balance and control levels of minerals such as calcium and phosphorus. When your kidneys aren't working well, you might have symptoms like those listed above.
Blood thinners help prevent blood clotting, antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, and cellulitis is an infection of skin tissue.
Cellulitis can be caused by a number of different bacteria including:
- Staphylococcus (staph) aureus – the most common cause of cellulitis in children
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Escherichia coli
- Clostridium spp
The symptoms are similar to preeclampsia, another dangerous pregnancy complication. However, peripartum cardiomyopathy is a different disease. It is a rare disorder that occurs during pregnancy or six months after delivery. In women with PCM, the heart muscle weakens and cannot pump blood effectively. This causes fluid buildup in the lungs and abdomen, leading to congestive heart failure.
Things That Cause Inflammation
Leg swelling can happen due to various causes including an injury or illness. When you experience swelling in one part of your body it often affects another area. This is called edema. If you are experiencing pain, redness, warmth, tenderness, stiffness, or numbness in your legs, you could be experiencing leg swelling.
Several things cause inflammation. Some of these include infections, autoimmune diseases, allergies, cancer, and trauma. You might notice swelling around your ankles, knees, or feet. Your doctor can help determine what caused the swelling.
Arthritis and Other Joint Problems
Gout is an acute form of arthritis. Symptoms include joint pains, redness, swelling, and fever. Knee bursitis occurs when there is excessive friction between the kneecap and the surrounding tissue. This often happens because of injuries, such as a fall, or overuse. Osteoarthritis is caused by wear and tear on the knee joint, usually due to age or obesity. As the cartilage wears away, bone rubs against bone causing pain and stiffness. Treatment includes rest, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy.
Injuries - Strains, Sprains, and Broken Bones
Cellulitis is an infection that begins as a small bump or sore on the skin. You might think it looks like a bruise, but cellulitis isn't a bruise. If you see a red spot on your leg, don't assume it's a spider bite; it could be cellulitis. Cellulitis is a serious infection that can spread throughout your entire body.
A sprained ankle usually heals without treatment within four weeks. But if you break a bone, you'll need surgery and will likely need to wear a cast for six to eight weeks. A strained muscle usually feels better within one day.
What Should You Do About your Swollen Legs?
Swollen legs are a common problem for women. It is caused by the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy. The leg swelling can be quite painful and uncomfortable, especially when you have to walk or stand for long hours. But many natural remedies will help you get rid of this problem quickly. These remedies are very effective as they do not cause any side effects. Here we discuss some easy methods for treating swollen legs.
Here are some ideas that can help.
Home Treatments for Leg Pain and Swelling
Leg pain and swelling are common ailments, especially among older adults. While it’s important to see your physician if you experience severe symptoms, there are some things you can do at home to ease your discomfort. If you suffer from leg pain and swelling, try one or more of the following methods.
Apply Heat Therapy
Heat therapy works best when applied directly to the painful joint or muscle. You can use a heating pad, hot water bottle, or warm bath to provide relief. Try alternating heat applications throughout the day to prevent burning yourself.
Use Ice Packs
Ice packs work well to relieve inflammation and decrease swelling. Wrap a baggie filled with crushed ice around your knee or ankle and place it in a plastic bag. Keep it in place for 20 minutes up to three times per day.
Drinking plenty of fluids helps keep your body hydrated, reduces swelling, and promotes healing. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar because they increase fluid retention.
Take a Salt Bath
Epsom salt is an ingredient often used in shampoos and conditioners. When you soak in a warm salt bath, it helps reduce stress and tension. This is especially helpful during the winter months when we are dealing with cold weather and snow storms.
A salt bath is a great relaxing experience. You just need to make sure that you don't overdo it. If you're stressed, take a few minutes to sit down and enjoy a nice warm salt bath.
Massages help relax tense muscles and promote circulation. They also stimulate lymphatic drainage, which flushes toxins out of the body. Ask your massage therapist about different techniques that may be beneficial for your specific problem area.
Massages are one of those things we take for granted, but they're actually pretty amazing. They can relieve stress, improve blood flow, and increase flexibility. You can do them at home if you'd rather save money. But what exactly does it mean to massage someone? And how do you know if you're doing it correctly? Here's everything you need to know about massages.
Get Moving - Exercise is essential to keeping your muscles strong
If you’re suffering from arthritis, it might help to consider moving around regularly. A study published earlier this month in Arthritis & Rheumatology found that people who sit or stand for prolonged periods are more likely to experience joint stiffness. Researchers tracked nearly 2,500 adults over five years and found that those who sat for six hours or more each day had twice the risk of developing painful swelling compared to those who spent less time sitting. Those who stood for four hours or longer were three times as likely to report symptoms.
The researchers speculate that being sedentary could lead to increased levels of inflammatory cytokines like interleukin-6, which causes muscle tissue damage. They suggest that increasing physical activity could reduce cytokine produced and decrease the likelihood of joint stiffness.
When Sitting and Sleeping Are Bad For Your Joints
Sitting for long periods of time can be bad for your joints. In fact, research has shown that sitting for eight hours or more increases the risk of osteoarthritis by 50 percent. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that you get up every 90 minutes to move around and stretch. It also suggests that you avoid prolonged periods of sitting while driving, working
Treating leg pain and conclusion
To stay healthy, you should try to maintain good posture and limit your overall sitting time. Try these tips to help ease chronic pain and discomfort caused by arthritis:
- Eat a well-balanced diet
- Drink plenty of water
- Take regular breaks throughout the day
- Get enough sleep
- Engage in aerobic exercise
- Limit your use of medications
- Seek medical care if necessary