Why the leg is swollen and aching, what to do in this case

The loads tested by the lower extremities are characterized by high intensity. This fact causes the appearance of a condition in which one or both legs are swollen and sore. This combination of two syndromes: pain and swelling - is not uncommon. Quite the contrary, this combination is one of the most frequent. Therefore, it requires due attention from both the common people and specialists.

Why the combination of an edema with pain

can arise. Pain in the legs is one of the first symptoms of both regular changes in the body against the background of a lifestyle or factors of the external environment and pathological conditions. In these cases, it arises almost always in combination with other symptoms. Pain can be either primary, appearing first, or secondary, arising as a subsequent symptom. Therefore, anamnestic data on the development of symptoms must be taken into account.

The main mechanisms for triggering the combined conditions in which the leg is swollen and aching can be:

  • trauma factor of the lower limb;
  • physical overstrain of the legs against a background of heavy loads;
  • failure of muscles, bones, tendons and joints in relation to the mode of activity to which they are exposed. The most characteristic for people leading a sedentary lifestyle;
  • joint damage by acute and chronic inflammatory-degenerative pathological processes( arthritis, arthrosis, post-traumatic effects);
  • inflammatory and post-traumatic conditions from the soft tissues( fascia, muscles, tendons, periarticular bags, ligaments);
  • bone disease( inflammation, destruction or suppuration);
  • pathology from the arterial vessels. Only in neglected cases leads to the fact that the leg is swollen and aching. In the initial stages, pain has no connection with edema;
  • lesion of the venous leg system. A fairly frequent mechanism of combining pain and swelling syndromes;
  • tumors of bones and soft tissues, affecting the knees, thigh and drumstick;
  • stagnation of blood in the vascular bed, due to severe heart failure;
  • fluid retention in the body against the background of organ failure of the kidneys( kidney failure).

It's important to remember! The relationship between edema and pain can be represented in different ways. The regularity is not always observed, the more the leg is swollen, the more intense the pain, and vice versa - the less the swelling, the less pain. Everything depends on the type of pathology, which is manifested by a combination of edematous and painful syndromes with leg lesions!

Local and widespread edema

One of the first criteria by which it is possible to tentatively determine the cause of edema and pain in the legs is the localization and prevalence. If only one leg has been swollen in a certain segment( shin, ankle, thigh), this indicates that the problem is related to any of the components of this area. These can be bones, joints, muscles, tendons.

Chronic venous insufficiency
Venous defeat and venous insufficiency is a common cause of pain and edema of the shins

The more limited the edema, the more it coincides with the localization of pain. Ocular syndrome of a common type on one leg is evidence of inflammatory changes( thrombophlebitis, fasciitis, osteomyelitis), formation of thrombi in the deep vein system( phlebothrombosis of the lower leg and thigh) or severe traumatic injuries( fractures, dislocations, muscle and tendon ruptures).If at the same time not one, but two legs is swollen, it is rather evidence of fluid stagnation in the vessels or delay in its removal from the body against a background of heart failure and kidney failure.

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Easy swelling and discomfort in the legs

In cases where the edematous and painful syndrome is manifested by pastovoznost( slight swelling) and a feeling of slight soreness or discomfort on the legs, this is evidence of regular changes. The cause of their occurrence is often the weakness of the muscles and the unreadiness of the legs to fulfill the loads that they experience in the course of life. Most often they appear in the evening on the background of a long stay on their feet, especially on heels, heavy physical work. The same symptoms are typical for the first stage of chronic venous insufficiency due to varicose veins.

Pain is stronger than edema

If the leg hurts very much, but is swollen slightly or locally, it is almost always a sign of serious illness. More often such pains are unilateral and affect a certain segment of the extremity( knee, thigh, etc.).Such diseases include cancerous bone tumors and distant metastases of other neoplasms of any site, arterial vascular lesions against the background of atherosclerosis or endarteritis, neuropathy or irritation of the nerve roots with herniated discs or spine tumors.

It's important to remember! In the same person, the combination of conditions in which both the lower extremity is swollen and hurting may be due to various causes. This means that one of these symptoms is a manifestation of one disease, and the second - of another!

Swelling of the feet from the shoe
The cause of pain and swelling of the legs can be the banal reasons associated with improper shoe selection

Edema is stronger than pain

Conditions in which there is dissociation between pain and swelling syndrome, in which the leg is swollen more than it hurts, can talk about the effect of the vascular component. First of all it is necessary to pay attention to the prevalence and localization of edema( on one or two legs).The defeat of bilateral nature in the form of pronounced edema of the shins speaks in favor of congestive heart failure. In its initial stages, the pain is mild or nonexistent. As the swelling progresses, the pain increases. Both symptoms peak at a critical skin strain, on which multiple ulcerative defects are formed. If the edema of the shins is due to renal insufficiency, they often combine not so much with pain as with painful cramps of the calf muscles.

Same severity of pain and edema

If the leg hurts and swells to the same extent, this must necessarily be compared with the localization of these symptoms. They can affect the joints, located in the area of ​​one or several of them, which will speak of the defeat of structures( cartilage, ligaments, menisci, periarticular bags).Multiple articular lesions always indicate polyarthritis( rheumatoid, rheumatoid, gouty, etc.).Approximately similarly expressed swelling and tenderness along the course of inflamed veins with thrombophlebitis. Such processes are more often localized on the thigh and tibia along the inner surface of these segments, accompanied by an expansion of veins and reddening of the skin. All inflammatory diseases localized on the leg( myositis, fasciitis, phlegmon) are one-sided and characterized by a synchronous increase in pain and swelling.

When assessing the combination of pain and edema of the lower limbs, you should pay attention to other symptoms( fever, general condition, dyspnea, etc.).Often they are the defining diagnostic criteria.

The doctor puts an armband on the ankle
  • Why the combination of edema with pain can occur
  • Local and widespread edema
  • Light edema and discomfort in the legs
  • Pain is more edema
  • Edema is stronger than pain
  • Equal severity of pain and edema