Your hips and legs are made up of many small joints, which means those areas are packed with nerve endings. This makes them especially sensitive to pressure and stress. If you have pain in your hip or leg, you’re not alone. Hip, leg, and nerve pain are among the most common reasons people visit the doctor.
Fortunately, many people find that a hip and/or leg cast or brace can help relieve their pain. But, in order to get the most relief, you need to know how to properly care for your cast or brace.
Symptoms of nerve pain in your hip and leg.
Pain in your hip or leg can be a sign of a number of conditions, but the two most common are bursitis and tendonitis. With bursitis, you have inflammation in the hip joint. With tendonitis, you have inflammation in the tendon that connects your thigh muscles to your foot. While these conditions don’t usually affect the nerve itself, they can cause pain due to the way that the nerve is connected to the muscle or tendon.
Other symptoms of nerve pain may include a feeling of heaviness in your leg or hip, numbness or tingling sensations, muscle spasms, and sharp pain that shoots down your leg or into your buttock. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor.
Common Causes of Nerve Pain in Your Hip and Leg
The good news is that nerve pain is something that you can learn how to manage. With the help of some simple natural treatments, you can get back to normal and put your life back on track. Keep reading to discover the top 8 common causes of nerve pain in the hip and leg.
- Too Much Sitting
We’ve all heard the advice to move more, sit less, but what does it actually mean? Simply put, sitting too much can cause damage to your hip and leg muscles. If you spend your days in an office chair, slowly but surely, your hips and legs will begin to feel stiffer and weaker. The tissues that make up your hips and legs will start to become less mobile, which can lead to a host of additional problems. Arguably the two most common problems that stem from sitting too much are sciatica and lower back pain.
- Muscle Tightness
Similar to sitting too much, muscle tightness can also be caused by a lack of movement. If you spend your day standing or walking around with tight muscles, you’re asking for trouble. Muscle spasms and contractions are common when we’re tense. However, if the spasms are frequent and/or intense, they can cause damage to your hip and lower back muscles. According to the American Council on Exercise, one of the most common problems associated with muscle tightness is low back pain.
- Stretching Issues
There are a few muscles in the hip and lower leg that can get easily stretched out. These include the hamstrings on the back of the thigh, the quadriceps (the thighs’ main muscles), and the calf muscles. If you’re not actively stretching these muscles, you’re likely causing them to become chronically weakened. As these muscles become weaker, they’re more likely to get injured, especially if you spend your day sitting or walking around with your legs extended.
- Wobble Syndrome
Wobble syndrome is a condition that causes pain and numbness in the legs, groin area, and pelvis. The good news is that wobble syndrome is almost always treatable. The condition is brought on by a combination of factors. The main causes of wobble syndrome are poor posture and muscle weakness in the pelvic-floor muscles. To treat wobble syndrome, you’ll want to work on improving your posture, strengthening your pelvic-floor muscles, and performing daily stretches.
Like inflammation of a joint, bursitis is characterized by pain and swelling in a particular area of the body. However, bursitis is an irritation of a bursa, which is a small sac filled with fluid located near the hip. A bursa is located where two or more bones meet, such as inside the hip joint. The pain caused by bursitis is usually sharp and severe, and is often accompanied by a burning or shooting sensation. The good news is that bursitis is usually very treatable.
Like bursitis and tendonitis, tendonitis is an irritation of a tendon. However, unlike bursitis and tendinitis, the tendons that are affected are those that connect muscles to the bones. Tendonitis is characterized by pain, swelling, and stiffness in the affected area. The good news is that tendonitis is also highly treatable.
How to relieve nerve pain in Your hip and leg
If you’re experiencing nerve pain in your hip or leg, the first step is to rule out an underlying medical condition. You may need to see your doctor to get a diagnosis and start treatments for an underlying condition. Afterward, you can try these natural remedies to ease the symptoms and get your life back on track.
Here are seven steps you can take to relieve nerve pain in your hip and leg.
Measure your pain
The first step to relieving nerve pain in your hip or leg is to measure your pain. Use a pain scale of 1-10, and write down how often you experience pain, what causes the pain, and how bad the pain is. This will give you an idea of what to expect and how to better care for your pain.
Keep your hip and leg as level as possible
If your leg is higher than your hip, you are more likely to experience pain. When you’re at home, try to keep your leg and hip joints as level as possible. This will help to avoid pressure on your hip and knee joints.
Avoid direct pressure on your cast or brace
Your brace or cast might have a hard plastic or metal cup attached to it. Make sure this is always kept away from your skin. Your brace or cast might also have Velcro straps on it that can cause friction on your skin. Try to keep these away from your hip and leg as well.
Warm up before you exercise
If you’re going to do any kind of high-intensity activity, it’s a good idea to warm up your leg and hip joints. This will help to prepare your body for activity and increase your comfort level. A good way to do this is with a tissue paper-rolling massage.
Switch to a different pair of running shoes
If you have plantar fasciitis, try switching to a different pair of running shoes. While running on concrete might feel better to begin with, it can actually cause more irritation in your foot. Try to run on a softer surface or invest in a pair of running sandals instead.
Use ice packs or compression wraps
Warmth can actually increase the transmission of nerve signals in your body. This can make your pain worse, so you want to make sure you’re using ice or a compression wrap correctly. Make sure the ice is cold and not hot, and that you’re wearing the compression wrap correctly.
Stretching and foam rolling
Stretching is important when it comes to relieving nerve pain, but it shouldn’t be done too long or too hard. You want to avoid putting too much pressure on your leg or hip joints. But your hip flexors and extensors are also key muscles that can become tight. Do 20 seconds of stretching, followed by 10 seconds of releasing the muscle, three times daily.
If you’re interested in a more holistic approach to relieving nerve pain, consider buying a therapeutic wrap. These can help to reduce inflammation in your body, which can help with pain. They’re also lightweight and portable, which makes them easy to take with you when you’re on the go.
Talk to Your Doctor
If you’ve tried these tips and are still experiencing pain, you should talk to your doctor. Your doctor can check your mobility, see if there is any damage to your joint, and recommend ways to reduce the pain. In some cases, you might need to make adjustments to your brace or cast.
If you’re experiencing any numbness or tingling in your leg or foot, you should also mention it to your doctor. Numbness or tingling in your foot or leg can be a sign of nerve damage, which is why it’s important to get it checked out. Your doctor can perform a nerve exam to check for any issues with your nerves or recommend exercises to help improve your mobility.
What happens when you can’t treat nerve pain?
If you have nerve pain and you can’t treat it, you should reach out to your doctor. This could be a sign of an underlying condition that needs to be treated. There are a few conditions that can cause nerve pain, including diabetes, a pinched nerve, and neuropathy. Neuropathy can be either caused by a condition like lupus or caused by use of certain medications, like chemotherapy.
If you’re experiencing neuropathy and you can’t treat it, the progressive pain can continue to get worse. This is because neuropathy develops slowly, which means you can’t always tell if you have it or not. In some cases, neuropathy can cause you to lose your foot or leg, or it can cause your foot or leg to become numb.
Preventing nerve pain
There are a few things you can do to help prevent nerve pain, including:
- Exercising your leg and foot regularly
- Wearing proper footwear when you are outside
- Keeping your leg and foot warm when you’re outside
- Not wearing high heels at work or when you’re outside
- Not sleeping on your stomach
- Staying hydrated (both drinking water and using a hydration back)
- Wearing support hose when you’re running
If you’re experiencing nerve pain and you’ve tried everything you can think of, consider seeing a podiatrist. A podiatrist can examine your foot and leg, and see if anything is out of place. They might also be able to recommend some exercises that can help you strengthen your leg muscles.
A podiatrist can also help you with any underlying conditions that might be causing your nerve pain. While nerve pain can be incredibly frustrating, you don’t have to live with it. By following these seven steps, you can treat your pain and get your life back.