Endometriosis is a chronic condition where cells that resemble the uterus lining grow outside the uterus therefore causing chronic inflammation that leads to pain and scarring.
Usually, endometriosis goes undiagnosed but it is estimated that 1 in 10 women in the United States has endometriosis. Endometriosis comes with numerous symptoms. One of the most prevalent symptoms, because of the pain, is endometriosis leg pain. It is usually and commonly called as such mainly because of the nature of the pain concentrating around the legs and thighs.
What is Endometriosis Leg Pain?
This pain is a direct pain attributed to endometriosis. Endometriosis affects the outside of the uterus causing inflammation and thus pain in the local region. However the leg pain comes because of endometriosis affecting the pelvic nerves, particularly the sciatic nerve.
The sciatic nerve is found near the pelvic region and it is the longest running nerve in the entire body! It runs from the lower back, through the pelvis, and down the leg into the foot branching into smaller nerves along the way. Pressure on this nerve can cause pain in the lower body.
Symptoms of Endometriosis Leg Pain
When triggered by the sciatic nerve, usually you will feel pain or tingling in the following regions:
- Outside of the leg
- Back of the thighs and calf
- sole, heel and top of the foot
Is Endometriosis Leg Pain Common?
Endometriosis only affects about 1 in 10 women, which is actually rather high. However endometriosis leg pain is very common in women diagnosed with endometriosis. It is actually one of the main symptoms women suffer with endometriosis.
How to treat Endometriosis Leg Pain
There are 3 ways you can treat Endometriosis Leg pain and that includes muscle stretching, diet and medication.
1. Stretching for Endometriosis Leg Pain
The first “go-to” when it comes to leg pain related to endometriosis is to do some leg stretches and lower body stretches overall. If you regularly suffer from leg pain, make sure you adopt this stretching technique on a daily basis. This will definitely help with circulation in your body to avoid cramping and just pain overall that endometriosis can cause.
2. Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet has been reported by many women to reduce inflammation and pain in the legs associated with endometriosis. Eating a gluten-free diet has been proven to reduce symptoms of endometriosis overall. You can also try diets to increase fertility if this is your end goal.
Try to minimize eating the following to help your endometriosis leg pain:
- Red Meat
- Corn Oil
- Refined flour products
- Foods heavy on preservatives
Instead, try eating more greens, olive oil and fatty fish in your daily routine. Swapping out Coffee with Green Tea may also help with inflammation in the legs causing your pain.
Over the counter medication is usually the first option when it comes to dealing with pain relating to Endometriosis. In some cases, prescribed medication can be given to you. It is ultimately up to your Doctor so talk to your Doctor to figure out what options you may have.
Since Endometriosis leg pain relates to inflammation, some anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to you such as:
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Oxaprozin (Daypro)
- Prescription-strength Ibuprofen
You can also take Triptolerin (Trelstar) to decrease the amount of estrogen in your body and thus decreasing the pain associated with Endometriosis.
Danocrine (Danazol) can also help regulate your hormones to prevent tissue buildup.
When to Go See your Doctor
You should visit your Doctor whenever you begin feeling the pain to begin with. It may prevent further damage or just prevent the pain from escalating any more. However, if you would like to try the tips listed above before seeing the Doctor, you may but we recommend you go as soon as the pain is noticed.
If you decide to not visit the Doctor, there are some other signs that you shouldn’t ignore. You should see the Doctor right away if:
- Your leg pain is so severe that you are unable to walk anymore. Having endometriosis doesn’t necessarily mean that any leg pain is due to that condition. However, your Doctor will be able to make that determination best.
- If your leg pain is triggered by your menstrual cycle and occurs consistently every month, you should see your doctor. They may be able to recommend specific therapy strategies and lifestyle changes, or refer you to a physical therapist. Hormonal treatment or other pharmaceutical options are available.
- If your pain persists, your doctor might recommend laparoscopic surgery to remove tissue buildup. This may help relieve your symptoms.