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Firefighting Is One Of The Most Physical Jobs Around, So Leg Pain Is Common. But Is It Inevitable?

Firefighter gear

Firefighters need strong legs; fatigue, leg pain, or leg cramps can make all the difference when dealing with a blaze or saving lives. Some wear and tear is inevitable, but if leg pain is recurring or chronic, treatment is necessary. 

Firefighters Work Through The Pain

Firefighters often call themselves the “working wounded.” Some three-quarters of all firefighters report working while in pain. Injuries on the job are common, and even without injury, the job of fighting fires is so physical that all sorts of musculoskeletal pain in common. Leg fatigue, leg cramps, and leg pain might be the most dangerous for firefighters, who have to move dexterously through hazardous environments, use heavy equipment, and even lift and carry people to safety.

While some pain is unavoidable, chronic pain can be treated. Leg cramps and pain are often caused by chronic venous insufficiency, a condition in which the valves that control blood flow through veins weaken, leading to blood that should be pumped into the heart instead pooling in the legs.

Diagnosing Venous Insufficiency

Not all leg pain is due to chronic venous insufficiency, and given the physical rigors of the job, doctors may not even think about circulatory issues when a firefighter presents a complaint of recurring leg cramps or leg pain. Luckily, diagnosis is easy—a diagnostic ultrasound takes less than half an hour, is entirely painless, and you’ll be able to walk out of the office and get back to the firehouse at your leisure. 

If your leg fatigue or pain is lingering, we may be able to help. For more information, and to schedule an appointment, contact us.

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