loose leg

Leg pain: psychological significance?

La leg pain can be mild, bothersome or severe. It affects our ability to walk properly. The cause of the discomfort can be pathological, physical following a trauma or related to vascular problems. But, can leg pain have a psychological significance ? You will learn more in this article.

Reminder: concept of leg anatomy 

The leg is defined as the region of the lower limb below the knee. It is made up of two bones which are the tibia and the fibula or fibula. They are connected to each other by a bone membrane.

The leg is made up of 3 muscle compartments, organized as follows.

  • The previous group which consists of the tibialis anterior, the extensor digitorum longus muscle, the third peroneus muscle and the extensor hallucis longus muscle.
  • The posterior group which has a superficial layer composed of the plantar and soleus gastrocnemius muscles, a deep layer composed of the posterior tibial muscles, the flexor hallucis longus, popliteus and the flexor digitorum longus.
  • The side group composed of peroneus longus and peroneus brevis.
leg nerves

The leg muscles produce different ankle and foot movements that are important for many activities such as walking, running and dancing. It is important to think of muscle groups as functional units.

When are we talking about a sore leg?

Symptoms of leg pain

A person says they have pain in their legs when they feel or experience the following signs:

  • tingling;
  • tingling;
  • pain in the calves;
  • leg stiffness;
  • a burning sensation;
  • a change in the way of walking;
  • muscle cramps;
  • a feeling of weakness.

What are the physical causes of leg pain?

Chronic or severe leg pain can be caused by:

  • of muscular pathologies which encompass aches, cramps, contractures, stretching, tearing, etc. ;
  • of bone pathologies such as bone tumor, inflammation of the periosteum, bone infection and fracture due to trauma.

Phlebitis or thrombosis cause blood clots and also promote leg pain. Both of these conditions are considered medical emergencies and require consultation as soon as possible.

There are also several mechanical, vascular and nervous pathologies responsible for leg pain. Those are :

anatomy3 leg pain psychological significance
A narrow spinal canal or facet osteoarthritis may indirectly irritate the crural nerve

Psychological causes of leg pain

La psychosomatic pain is a psychological condition that leads to physical symptoms, often without any medical explanation. It can affect almost any part of the body.

Leg pain and anxiety

Stress is how we react when we feel pressured or threatened. It usually happens when we are in a situation that we don't think we can handle or control. The body's autonomic nervous system controls heart rate, breathing, vision changes and more. The stress response helps the body cope with difficult situations.

When a person suffers from chronic stress, continuous activation of the stress response causes wear and tear on the body. Physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms develop. The physical symptoms of stress include aches and pains. Anxiety, a response to stress, can cause symptoms that sometimes seem inexplicable. Leg pain is an example.

emotions related to back pain

The underlying causes of leg pain and the types of pain may differ from person to person. We can cite :

  • Hyperventilation cramp : which is the most common cause of leg pain in anxious people. Although it can occur at any time, it is especially likely during panic attacks. Muscles are depleted of the correct balance of carbon dioxide, causing cramps.
  • muscle tension: results in a repeated contraction which makes the calves painful. Muscle tension is also a fairly common cause of leg pain following an anxiety attack. When a person feels a high level of stress, the muscles tend to tense up. Straining for long periods can lead to leg pain.

What to do ?

The best thing is to consult a doctor so that he makes a diagnosis and detects where the pain is coming from. Once diagnosed, it is best to treat leg pain with medication and dietary adjustments to relieve symptoms.

The next step is to deal with the psychological problem if it takes place. With a therapist, try to determine the underlying mental cause and take steps to treat it. Depending on the underlying psychological issue, some patients may find relief quite quickly, while others may take longer.

back pain psychological factors





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