Growing older is a fact of life, and even the healthiest of souls will eventually start to develop age-related aches and pains. As we get older, it’s uncommon to develop leg pain directly related to certain medical conditions. However, it’s also not uncommon to suffer from leg pain and not find an underlying cause. Below are five of the most common causes of age-related leg pain and what you can do to ease the ache.
Pain from a herniated disk often presents in places you’d least expect. Depending on which level is herniated, you may experience pain in your thighs or calves. Since nerve root compression often accompanies disk herniation, it’s not uncommon to experience pain in other locations of the body.
Nerve root compression at L5-S1 can cause lower leg pain, whereas L5 radiculopathy can cause pain starting in the buttocks and radiating down into the foot. Treatment will depend on the severity of compression or herniation. Painful symptoms can sometimes be relieved by physical therapy, but if severe, surgical intervention may be warranted.
Varicose veins are another leading cause of age-related leg pain. As we get older, the valves in our veins can show signs of wear and tear, which can cause the blood to pool. While varicose veins typically don’t present much more than unsightly blemishes, they can be painful to the touch. If severe, varicose veins can rupture, so varicose vein surgery may be warranted.
Claudication results from too little blood flow, especially during exercise. Claudication is sometimes diagnosed on its own, but it is usually a symptom of an underlying condition, such as peripheral artery disease. People with claudication will often experience pain at rest, cold feet from lack of circulation, discolored skin and weakness in the arms or legs.
Treating claudication requires a thorough physical exam and diagnosis; the best intervention is medical treatment to avoid blood clots and other life-threatening problems. Medication and possibly vascular surgery are the primary courses of treatment.
Known also as “Jumper’s knee,” patellar tendinitis is caused by inflammation of the tendon that connects your kneecap to your shin. Knee pain is sometimes not linked to one particular diagnosis, and general inflammation can be equally frustrating and difficult to manage as patellar tendinitis.
To treat the condition, you can try a combination of physical therapy, analgesics such as ibuprofen and regular stretching. Wearing a patellar tendon strap may also help reduce pain and improve mobility.
Peripheral neuropathy happens when the nerve endings outside the brain are injured. The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy can range from mild numbness and tingling to excruciating stabbing-like leg pain. Some of the most common causes for peripheral neuropathy include diabetes, auto-immune diseases and connective tissue disorders.
Mild cases of peripheral neuropathy can be managed with lifestyle changes to include eating a healthier diet and increasing cardiovascular activity. If the pain is severe, there are medications that can help ease the pain.
While it’s true that we can’t outrun the aging process, there are things we can do to slow it down a bit. Incorporate daily exercise into your schedule as well as following a heart-healthy diet to keep the pep in your step.
Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.