Medications may include pain medicines, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), anticoagulants (blood thinners) such as Coumadin if there is a blood clot.
Cellulitis and osteomyelitis are treated with antibiotics. For osteomyelitis you will need to take antibiotics for a long period of time.
For some causes of leg pain, your health care provider may recommend physical therapy. If you have a blocked artery, inserting a balloon catheter into the artery may improve blood flow.
To prevent claudication and nerve damage:
Don't smoke or use tobacco.
Limit how much alcohol you drink.
Keep your blood sugar under good control if you have diabetes.
Reduce other heart disease risk factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
To prevent overuse injuries, like shin splints, muscle cramps, and other causes of leg pain:
Warm up before physical activity and cool down afterward. Be sure to stretch.
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, especially before, during, and after exercise.
Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 30.
Bederka B, Amendola A. Leg pain and exertional compartment syndromes. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 24. Section B.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.