Leg Problems, Noninjury
Leg Problems, Noninjury
The following tips may prevent leg
General prevention tips
- Drink extra water or an electrolyte replacement
drink (such as Gatorade or Powerade) before, during, and after exercise,
especially during hot or humid weather.
- Warm up well and stretch
before any activity. Stretch after exercise to keep hot muscles from shortening
- Avoid exercises and activities that cause you to
point your toes, and do not wear high-heeled shoes.
- Use the
correct techniques (movements) or positions during activities so that you do
not strain your muscles. Use good posture while exercising.
equipment appropriate to your size, strength, and ability.
overusing your leg doing repeated movements that can inflame or irritate your
tendon. In daily routines or hobbies, think about
activities in which you make repeated leg movements, and change the way you do
the activities, if possible, to prevent leg problems from
- Consider taking lessons to learn the proper technique
for sports. Have a trainer or person who is familiar with sports equipment
check your equipment to see if it is well suited for your level of ability,
body size, and body strength.
- If you feel that certain activities
at your workplace are causing pain or soreness from overuse, talk to your human
resources department for information on alternative ways of doing your job or
to discuss equipment modifications or other job assignments.
cramps wake you at night, take a warm bath and do some stretching exercises
before going to bed. Keep your legs warm, and try not to point your toes while
- Cut down on the amount of salt (sodium) you use in your diet. Sodium can be hidden in
foods such as cheese, canned soups, and salad dressing. Consider making your
own salt substitute. Talk to your doctor before trying a
- Get up and walk around for a few minutes every
hour if you sit for long periods. Gentle motion may help reduce swelling in the
feet and ankles.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing or straps around the
waist or upper legs that may affect circulation and feeling in the legs.
Keep bones strong
- Eat a nutritious diet with enough
vitamin D. (Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium.)
Calcium is found in dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; dark
green, leafy vegetables, such as broccoli; and other
- Exercise and stay active. It is best to do weight-bearing
exercise (such as walking, jogging, stair climbing, dancing, or lifting
weights) for 45 to 60 minutes at least 4 days a week. Weight-bearing exercises
stimulate new bone growth by working the muscles and bones against gravity.
Exercises that are not weight-bearing, such as swimming, are good for your
general health but do not stimulate new bone growth. Talk to your doctor about
an exercise program that is right for you. Begin slowly, especially if you have
been inactive. For more information, see the topic
- Lose weight. Being overweight
increases your risk for leg problems and makes it more difficult to do
- Don't drink more than 2 alcoholic drinks
a day if you are a man, or 1 alcoholic drink a day if you are a woman. People
who drink more than this may be at higher risk for weakening bones (osteoporosis). Drinking alcohol also increases your
risk of falls.
- Do not smoke or use other tobacco products. Smoking
puts you at a much higher risk for developing osteoporosis. It also interferes
with blood supply and healing. For more information, see the topic
For information on how to prevent
blood clots from developing in the legs, see the topic
Deep Vein Thrombosis.
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
September 19, 2012
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