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When might leg pain be a symptom of something serious?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
You may think that dull, mild twinge in your leg (sometimes known as a “charley horse”) is caused by sleeping in an awkward position or dehydration, but it can also be the sign of something more serious called deep vein thrombosis or DVT.
 
DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms in one or more of the deep veins, usually in the legs. The clot then blocks the flow of blood, causing pain. That pain can become life-threatening when the clot gets loose and travels to your lungs, blocking the flow of oxygen to the body.  
 
How do you know whether to see a doctor? If your leg pain is mild, say a 2 or 3 on a pain scale of 1 (very mild pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable), there's a good chance it is just a cramp. If it starts climbing the scale to an intense pain, say a 5 or 6 or 7 or even higher, squeeze the area. If it hurts more, and if you’ve been traveling by plane recently or have been more sedentary than usual, go to a hospital to ensure it’s not DVT.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.