Often people do not pay attention to recurring pain in the muscles of the legs. Writing them off for the result of a long walk or wearing heels, they postpone treatment for long months until the symptoms cause a lot of inconvenience. Pain in the gastrocnemius muscle, the causes of which may have different causes, often becomes a precursor of vascular diseases, myositis (inflammation of the muscles), as well as problems with the spine.
In order to avoid serious consequences, it is important to consult a doctor in time. If the cause of pain while walking is not just fatigue, it should be eliminated by special methods. How pains arise in the gastrocnemius muscle: is there a reason, how to treat it, can it be prevented?
Muscle aches when walking can appear suddenly, last several hours or even days. They are accompanied by cramps, reddening of the skin, sometimes – fever and general malaise.
Often there is pain in the lower back. Such symptoms indicate the need to consult a doctor.
Causes of pain associated with physiological and pathological processes occurring in the body. Depending on the group of diseases, special treatment is prescribed. The gastrocnemius muscle on one leg often suffers. This is due both to limb overstrain and serious diseases.
If the calf muscles hurt, the reasons may lie in the banal overwork. In such cases, the intervention of doctors is not required. Pain caused by natural processes. Swelling of the ankles, muscle pain when walking, as well as fatigue signal that you need to relax. During intense loads, lactic acid accumulates in the muscles, which is removed only after the cessation of physical work. A few hours of rest can restore the performance of muscles and save a person from pain.
To speed up the process of getting rid of unpleasant feelings, it is necessary to lie on the bed, throwing your legs higher. It improves blood circulation and enriches the arterial blood supply. Lactic acid outflow is faster.
Another physiological reason for which the gastrocnemius muscle hurts is its stretching. In this case, peace and rest are also needed. The muscle can stretch if a sudden movement occurs on the background of the previous load. The pain appears both in athletes and in those who like to engage in physically active activities. Before each workout should be lightly warm up.
There are also a number of reasons caused by serious diseases of the blood vessels, the spine and the nervous system. The main ones are:
- varicose veins;
- leg inflammation, thrombus formation;
- infectious pathology;
- atherosclerosis of the arteries of the legs;
- spinal pathology;
- pathology of nerve fibers.
Such diseases manifest themselves long before the appearance of pain in the calves. Unpleasant symptoms that appear in the evening, most often accompanied by swelling of the ankles and serve as the first signs of varicose veins. The blood stagnates in the lower limbs, which causes pain – swollen tissues put pressure on the nerve endings. You can avoid complications with timely treatment. What to do if the calf muscle hurts for several days? It is urgent to consult a specialist.
Thrombosis and inflammation
The appearance of blood clots and inflammation of the muscles of the leg can cause painful symptoms in the calf. The pain is often severe, throbbing. There are other symptoms. With inflammation along the path of the affected vein, the temperature of the skin rises, the integuments become reddish. Ailment appears, the temperature rises. The main sign of thrombosis is pronounced swelling of the legs. There is a dark red and bluish skin color.
The treatment of such diseases is carried out by a phlebologist in the hospital. It is not recommended to eliminate the symptoms on your own – it threatens the development of gangrene.
A common cause of pain is the development of atherosclerosis. Plaques appear in the arteries of the legs that interfere with normal blood flow. Sometimes pains in the calf muscles are symptoms of the disease that should be treated immediately.
Artery disease has the following symptoms:
- due to oxygen starvation, the calf muscles of one leg may atrophy;
- the skin on the ankle becomes dry;
- hair falls from the shin;
- nails are affected by fungus;
- severe vascular lesion causes gangrene of the limb.
Such diseases of the arteries are treated only with the participation of a doctor.
Osteochondrosis is a frequent reason for pain in the gastrocnemius muscle. Often, the symptoms appear with various distortions, intervertebral hernia. Such a pain has a special character – it sharply “shoots” the muscle after the start of movement. It is accompanied by sharp pain symptoms in the lumbar region.
Pain in the lower leg region may indicate direct muscle damage. It may be:
- myositis – inflammatory processes;
- rheumatic fibromyalgia – is a disease of autoimmune nature (associated with a violation of the immune system);
- parasitic ailment.
- myopathy – idiopathic pain, the cause of which cannot be established;
Often, pain in the calf muscles is not associated with damage to the muscles and blood vessels. In this case, damage to the nervous system is possible.
Often the pain occurs suddenly and also abruptly passes. This is called cramp. The reasons:
- climate change;
- deficiency of vitamins and minerals;
- thyroid disease;
- prolonged tension of the gastrocnemius muscles;
There are convulsions after hypothermia, a sharp increase in the amplitude of the movements of the legs. The attack lasts for a few seconds or minutes. When the calf muscle hurts after a spasm, you need to massage it.
To get rid of pain, you should first consult a specialist, as soon as he is able to establish the true cause of the ailment.
If pain occurs when walking, treatment may well be only symptomatic, because often the cause lies in flat feet or osteochondrosis.
In cases where pain causes problems with the veins, you should definitely consult a phlebologist. In accordance with the stage and type of the disease, he will prescribe the necessary ointments (for example, heparin, ichthyol ointment, Troxevasin), gels (Lioton, Fastum-gel), oral preparations (Phlebodia 600, Detralex, Venarus), or recommend surgical intervention ( usually such operations are easy and without serious consequences).
It is also worth wearing the right shoes. It should be comfortable and practical. Women should not wear high heels and stilettos.
For treatment, special bandages are often prescribed. Treatment of pain in the gastrocnemius muscle that occurs when walking, is carried out exclusively under the supervision of a professional.
For prevention, several recommendations should be followed:
- reduce sugar and coffee consumption to a minimum;
- stop smoking and alcohol;
- use vitamins and minerals daily;
- consume foods rich in calcium and magnesium;
- to temper.
Such recommendations will help prevent pain in the calf muscles, will contribute to a speedy recovery.
Pain in the calf appears as a result of overstrain, diseases of the muscles, nerve fibers and vessels of the lower extremities. Determining the cause and treatment of pain in the calf muscles should be trusted to a professional. Elimination of pain is the treatment of diseases that caused an unpleasant symptom. Prevention includes wearing comfortable shoes, putting together a proper diet, hardening.
If you follow the recommendations of the doctor and do not engage in unreasonable self-treatment, the pain will quickly disappear, and the performance of the muscles will be restored.