If you are one of those people who occasionally feel very sharp shooting pains in your lower extremities?
If the spread of sharp pain in your legs occurs occasionally and this issue has caused you concern and you want to get acquainted with the causes of the above pain, we recommend that you read the following article below.
Doctors say there are a number of reasons that can cause occasional, sharp and shooting aches and pains in the legs.
Some of the causes of the above pains can be due to interference with blood flow in the arteries of the legs. In addition to vascular causes, other causes may also cause these pains. In rare cases, these pains are usually considered a medical emergency.
If you have pain that has started very suddenly and severely and you have a history of vascular disease, it is better to think about the existence of a disorder in the arteries of your foot. This is a serious issue and needs to be investigated and treated immediately.
What are the causes of occasional leg pain?
Here are some common causes that may cause excruciating and deadly sharp pains in the legs that you may experience, and we will explain a little about each of them.
- Peripheral arterial diseases
According to medical authorities, we must say that peripheral arterial diseases are one of the most common causes of intermittent leg pain.
The above conditions are actually caused by the process of atherosclerosis of the arteries in their walls. Most people with the disease are people who have had other arterial diseases, such as a history of heart attack, or chest pain caused by cardiovascular disease.
These diseases belong to the group of disorders that affect the walls of arteries outside the heart and brain. In fact, these narrow arteries cause narrowing of the inner wall of the arteries that supply blood to the legs, arms, stomach, intestines, and kidneys.
There are two main types of this disease, which are described below:
Functional peripheral arterial diseases:
in which the disease is not physically present, ie it is not associated with defects in the structure of blood vessels and the vessels are physically completely healthy. These conditions are often accompanied by symptoms of vascular spasm that occur and then stop. Among these diseases:
Rail and hand disease??????. In rhinitis, due to cold weather, emotional stress, and smoking and other stimuli, blood flow may be temporarily restricted due to temporary spasm of the vessel wall. Another type of peripheral arterial disease occurs due to Structural defects in the blood vessels, and a clear example of this condition is inflammation and damage to the tissue that forms in the inner wall of the arteries. In fact, this condition occurs following the process of atherosclerosis in the inner wall of the arteries.
Peripheral arterial disease is a condition that is similar to coronary artery disease. Sediments form in the inner wall of the arteries and cause narrowing and blockage in the inner wall of the arteries, which are mainly in the general arteries of the legs, arms, and stomach .and if left untreated, it can lead to ischemia in the organ and can lead to the death of the organ. Usually, as we have said, these people also have fatty deposits in the inner wall of the arteries of the heart and their discussion. In other words, in these people, sometimes peripheral arterial disease is the first sign and warning in them, and also these people are at higher risk of dying due to heart attacks and strokes.
Symptoms following a decrease in blood flow to the legs in the early stages include:
Feeling tired, heavy legs, cramps, pain, discomfort in the legs and buttocks that occurs during physical activity.
These symptoms will subside when you stop the activity, and they sometimes referred to as intermittent lameness.
When there is a reduction in blood flow to the kidneys, a sudden rise in blood pressure and the uncontrollable management of high blood pressure with previous medications can be due to a disorder of the renal artery disorder.
If the cause of intermittent leg pain is peripheral vascular disease, the pain that is felt has the following characteristics: sharp pain that shoots in the legs and worsens when walking and running. Other accompanying symptoms and manifestations include numbness in the area, unpleasant pain and soreness, or a feeling of heaviness in the leg muscles, especially the muscles in the back of the leg. The pain usually subsides with rest and cessation of activity.
This pain and discomfort can affect any part of your lower limbs, the thighs, buttocks and legs, or even yourself, may feel discomfort in these areas, or you may notice that the wound does not heal well in these areas.
A discoloration of the skin can also lead to the possibility of this complication, or the slow growth of the nails of one foot relative to the other can also be seen in this disorder.
If the cause of intermittent leg pain is peripheral vascular disease, the pain that is felt has the following characteristics.
Another cause that can cause intermittent leg pain that occurs occasionally can be a variety of neuropathies and most commonly diabetic neuropathy.
- Diabetic neuropathy
Diabetic neuropathy can cause very sharp and shooting pain in the lower part of your legs. This injury is usually one of the chronic injuries that occurs in people with long-term diabetes with irregular and weak control.
The pain that people feel in diabetic neuropathy is of the following quality:
a shooting or burning pain that comes and goes and often has nothing to do with physical activity and diabetic neuropathies can cause pain in your legs and feet. If you have this condition, it is very important to check your feet regularly for sores. This is because diabetic neuropathy can also destroy the ability to sense these areas due to damage to the sensory nerves.
Therefore, following anesthesia, people usually may not notice the sores on their feet and their wounds may not heal due to vascular damage.
- sharp and shooting pains in the legs
chronic exertional compartment syndrome
this syndrome is a common complaint in 30% of athletes who present with intermittent leg pain. Athletes who participate in sports, such as cyclists, runners, or professional swimmers, may develop the condition. The pain may be as follows:
If it exists with exercise and usually goes away when a person stops exercising or if there is only one pain during physical activity and the person involved may also experience numbness and some movement problems in the foot, as well as swelling and bulging of the muscles as they move. The most common site of pain is the front of the leg, which is usually involved.
Another cause of intermittent leg pain is:
- cystic adventitial disease
One of the rare disorders that can affect the arteries and sometimes the veins in your legs is this disorder. Most people with this condition have leg pain that comes and goes. These people usually have no risk factors for environmental disease of the arteries and veins, for example, these people do not have diabetes, are not overweight and do not smoke. And it usually causes cystic conditions in the foot that externally put pressure on the arteries of the foot and sometimes pressure on the veins of the foot.
And due to external pressure, the blood flow path is reduced. One of the characteristics of pain in these people is sharp and shooting pains that are created in the legs and come and go intermittently, and they usually have nothing to do with physical activity, and most of these cysts form near the active poplin artery in the lower legs, and the person usually feels the condition and pain in the leg.
Another reason is:
- popliteal artery entrapment
This disorder can overlap in terms of symptoms and manifestations with the previous case, and it is also this overlap that makes it very difficult for doctors to differentiate between the two conditions. The pain in this complication is cramping pain and a feeling of tightness.
In this case, numbness is more common than in the case of Compartment syndrome mentioned in the previous section.
The area where the pain is felt is usually in the leg and usually the most discomfort is felt in the back of the leg.
How to treat sharp and shooting pains in the legs at home?
Among the home remedies that can help you reduce the discomfort of intermittent leg pain at home, we can mention the following:
- Exercise regularly
It is true that exercise itself is associated with some leg pain, but it is recommended that you exercise at least twice a week according to your condition as recommended by your doctor, for example, you can walk a short distance.
- Quit smoking
If you are a smoker, you should know that the first advice doctors give you is to quit smoking.
Smoking is a very big risk factor for sharp pains that people feel in their feet when walking.
Smoking can cause vascular wall changes in your blood vessels and increase clotting in your body.
All of these conditions can lead you to experience leg pain.
- Follow a healthy diet
Choose a healthy diet that is right for your heart and arteries to balance blood fats and blood sugar.
This diet will help reduce the risk factors for peripheral arterial disease.
- Modify your type of exercise and physical activity
If doing some exercise exacerbates your foot pain and discomfort, it is best to discontinue your exercise on the advice of your doctor and switch to anaerobic and swimming.
When to see a doctor?
In the following cases, it is necessary to contact the emergency department immediately to go to the nearest medical center.
If there is a lack of Arterial pulse in the ankle or upper leg, if you feel that part of your leg is very cold, you must see a doctor immediately, and if you see a change in color to blue and bruising in your legs and severe pain in the legs that it does not improve with rest.
The doctor will choose the treatment based on the type of diagnosis he / she makes based on the description of your symptoms and condition. Medication may be needed to solve your problems. For example, if you have a blood clot in the arteries of your foot that is blocking more blood flow, your doctor may use blood thinners such as aspirin or Plavix.
If there are severe problems with blood flow to the arteries in the legs, you may feel the need for neurosurgery to open the affected areas with a balloon, or to remove the affected part of the vein from the body. usually, the decision to have surgery is made according to the individual’s condition.
The final word
sharp and occasional leg pains can impair a person’s quality of life and prevent him from engaging in physical activity. Many of these pains have nothing to do with injuries or accidents, but cause a pain that comes and goes intermittently.
However, if you have severe pain that is accompanied by signs and symptoms that indicate insufficient blood supply, such as impaired speech and excessive cold and discoloration, and sudden unbearable pain in one part of the foot, see a doctor urgently in this situation.