While your feet are often the reason for ankle, shin, and thigh pain, sometimes, other parts of the body are responsible for the pain, as well. Some examples include your heart, back, or lymphatic system. Sometimes, pain in these areas of the body can stem from your lifestyle. At Baylis & Brown Orthopedics, we can teach you about the underlying cause of your pain and deliver the proper treatment you need.
Sciatica is a condition that causes nerve-related pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness that travels along the sciatic nerve – from the lower back, through the buttocks, and down one or both legs.
In most cases, sciatica develops when a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or bone spur puts pressure on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. Pregnancy can also cause sciatica, either from hormonal changes or the unborn baby placing pressure on the nerve. Diabetes could lead to sciatica, as well, because uncontrolled blood sugar levels can damage nerves.
Lymphedema causes swelling in the legs and sometimes in the arms. This leads to pain in the upper or lower extremities. The swelling stems from blockages in the lymphatic system. Your lymphatic system consists of organs, tissues, nodes, and vessels that help your body eliminate toxins. This system also transports white blood cells throughout the body, which are necessary for fighting off infections.
Sometimes, you develop a blockage in your lymphatic system that prevents the lymph fluid from exiting your body. As a result, you have swelling. An infection, certain diseases, cancer, or surgery on your lymphatic system could lead to lymphedema.
If you’re overweight, the excess pressure on the lower body can contribute to the thigh, shin, and ankle pain. The weight also puts extra stress on your spine, which can trigger sciatica. Additionally, excessive pressure places additional stress on your legs and feet, increasing the risk of conditions like bursitis, tendinitis, and arthritis. You’re also at a higher risk for lymphedema. When you’re overweight, you could also have heart problems – such as peripheral artery disease (PAD) or chronic heart failure – which can cause leg swelling and pain in your lower extremities.
If you lead an inactive lifestyle, you have a greater chance of developing health conditions that can lead to ankle, shin, and thigh pain. For instance, when you’re not active, your blood can pool in your legs, which can lead to swelling in the legs and ankles.
When you’re not active, you’re more likely to develop sciatica, which can cause leg and ankle pain.
You could also develop deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which may develop when you’re inactive and a blood clot forms in one or multiple deep veins in your legs. You may notice that you have swelling and leg pain from this condition.
Issues with your feet can lead to ankle and leg pain, too. Sometimes, the pain will even extend into your back. For example, supination and pronation describe how you bear weight on your foot. Supination means you walk with most of your weight on the outside of your foot, while overpronation means you place more than an average amount of weight on the inside of your foot. When you wear unsupportive footwear, it could interfere with how you walk and place extra stress on your ankles and legs.
Experienced Orthopedic Doctors in Plantation, FL
The reason for leg, thigh, and ankle pain isn’t always easy to determine, but one of our practitioners will take the time to figure out what’s causing your discomfort. We offer treatment for injuries as well as chronic conditions. We don’t just prescribe medication or perform surgery – we also help you find ways to manage chronic conditions through lifestyle changes.
Book an appointment with Baylis and Brown Orthopedics, serving Plantation and the nearby area. Call us at (954) 476-8800, or use our request-an-appointment tool.