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What is the Best Way to Treat Chronic Leg Pain?

By April S. Kenyon
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best way to treat chronic leg pain most often depends upon the cause of the pain. It can be caused by any number of underlying conditions, including fibromyalgia, arthritis, gout, Achilles tendinitis, or an injury. Once the underlying cause has been determined, the best treatment might be as simple as rest and home therapy methods. If the cause of the chronic pain is more serious, however, physical therapy or even surgery might be the best form of treatment.

Some ways of relieving chronic leg pain include hot baths, drinking plenty of water, and applying heat to the area. Leg cramps and pain are often the result of dehydration. Drinking adequate amounts of water will help to keep the body cool and hydrated. A hot bath might help to ease chronic leg pain and relax the muscles. Heating pads applied to the area might also relieve pain.

A hot bath with Epsom salts added is a common method of relieving leg pain. Epsom salts contain high amounts of magnesium, which is useful in treating pain. Some natural oils can also be used to treat chronic leg pain. These include coconut, camphor, eucalyptus, ginger, and mustard oils. Gently massaging the leg with these oils may help to relieve chronic leg pain.

In the case of a pulled muscle, torn ligament, or sprain, rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE method) is often recommended to both treat and relieve leg pain. Rest and elevation are essential to allow the injury to heal. An ice pack should be applied to the area to relieve swelling and reduce pain. Many people also find that applying gentle compression to the area will provide some pain relief.

Certain pain relievers and medications can be used to treat chronic leg pain. A number of over-the-counter pills and ointments can be purchased to assist in relieving pain. Depending upon the underlying cause of the pain, a doctor may prescribe a stronger pain reliever that can only be obtained through a pharmacy. Special care should always be taken to follow dosage directions carefully.

The best way to treat chronic leg pain is to discover and treat the underlying cause. Individuals suffering from leg pain should note all symptoms and keep a record of when the pain seems to occur and when it is worse. A physician should be consulted to determine the exact cause of the chronic leg pain. In some instances, the best form of treatment may be surgery or physical therapy.

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Discussion Comments

By anon946296 — On Apr 18, 2014

I have definitely noticed when I don't drink water and green tea, like on weekends when I just drink beer, I have bad leg pain Monday and Tuesday until I get fully hydrated with water and tea. Then the pain goes away !

By literally45 — On Mar 29, 2013

@SarahGen-- I'm not an expert but I think chronic pain requires treatment with oral pain relievers. If what you're on right now isn't working, that means you need something stronger.

I also suggest massage with natural oils and balms that have pain relieving properties like camphor, peppermint and lavender. But make sure to dilute them, never apply them in pure form.

By SarahGen — On Mar 28, 2013

I have fibromyalgia which causes chronic pain in my legs. My doctor has given me various different muscle relaxants and pain killers until now but they haven't relieved my pain completely.

I'm just wondering how other people are dealing with this. What are you doing for pain management?

By burcinc — On Mar 28, 2013

Epsom salt baths really do help a lot. I think heat in general is also good for leg pain. The main thing that resolved my lower leg pain however was switching to orthopedic shoes.

My job requires me to stand eight to ten hours a day and I can't say that I've been wearing the best shoes. So naturally, my legs were taking most of the pressure and would ache terrible at night. Switching to orthopedic shoes have made a huge difference.

I rarely have leg pain now. When I do, I soak my feet and legs in hot water with Epsom salt and sometimes I use a heating pad to keep them warm at night. I think heat helps relax muscles.

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