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What Could Be Causing The Pain In Your Legs?

Discomfort or pain in the legs can range from a dull ache to an extreme stabbing sensation. Most leg pains are a result of overuse or minor injuries. The discomfort in the legs often disappears in a short time and can be relieved with simple home remedies. Sometimes, a serious medical condition can also cause pain in your legs; so it is advisable to consult doctor if the leg pain is severe or persistent. Getting any underlying condition diagnosed and treated promptly can help to prevent the pain from worsening, and improve its long-term outlook. Suffering from leg pain? Want to know what could be causing the pain in your legs? Read on to know about the most common leg pain triggers.

What Could Be Causing The Pain In Your Legs?

What Could Be Causing The Pain In Your Legs?

Some of the common causes of pain in your legs are temporary or minor conditions which can be treated effectively. These include:

Cramps: Common Cause For Pain In Your Legs

One of the main reasons behind leg pain is a spasm or muscle cramp which is known as a charley horse. A leg cramp usually triggers a sharp and sudden pain when the leg muscles get contracted. The tightened muscles often form a visible, hard lump under the skin with some swelling and redness in the surrounding area. Dehydration and muscle fatigue can lead to leg cramps, specifically in the calves. Certain medications, like statins and diuretics can also cause leg cramps in some people.

Pain In Your Legs from Injuries

Pain in your legs is often a sign of injury, like tendinitis, muscle strain, shin splints, knee bursitis and stress fractures.

Medical Conditions: Important Causes For Pain In Your Legs

Certain medical conditions which commonly lead to leg pain include: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), atherosclerosis, arthritis, varicose veins, gout, bone or tissue infection, and nerve damage due to diabetes.

Other Causes For Pain In Your Legs:

Although rare, but certain other conditions and injuries which can also lead to leg pain are: slipped (herniated) disc, legg-calve-perthes disease, Osgood-Schlatter disease, non-cancerous or benign tumors, slipped capital femoral epiphysis; and cancerous or malignant bone tumor in the leg.

How Can Pain In Your Legs Be Treated At Home?

Pain in your legs can easily be treated at home if it is caused due to cramps or a minor injury. Certain home treatments, which can prove helpful when the leg pain is caused due to muscle cramps, overuse, or fatigue, include resting the leg as much as possible, and elevating the leg with pillows, wearing compression socks or stockings with support; and taking an OTC pain reliever like aspirin or ibuprofen for helping ease discomfort as the leg heals. Applying ice on the affected area of the leg at least 4 times per day also helps in relieving the pain in your leg. This can even be done more frequently in the first few days after the onset of the leg pain. One can also take a warm bath and then gently stretch the leg muscles to ease the pain in your leg. For pain in the lower part of the leg, one should try pointing and straightening their toes while standing or sitting. For pain in the upper part of the leg, they scan bend over and touch their toes. This can also be done while standing or sitting on the ground. The individual should ease into each stretch, and hold every position for 5 to 10 seconds. However, stretching should be stopped if the pain in your legs worsens.

What are the Complications of Untreated Pain in the Legs?

A person suffering from leg pain must visit a doctor when experiencing swelling in the legs, pain while walking, discomfort due to varicose veins, or leg pain that continues to worsen or persist beyond a few days. Emergency medical treatment is required when the pain your legs is accompanied with fever, a deep cut on the leg, breathing difficulties, a leg injury, which has occurred with a pop and grinding noise, problem in walking, weight gain on the leg and sensitivity to touch. Since a number of serious conditions and injuries can cause leg pain, sufferers should never ignore this problem, especially if it is persistent or accompanied by other symptoms.

How Can Pain In Your Legs Be Prevented?

To prevent pain in your legs caused due to physical activity, one should always take time to stretch their muscles before and after exercising. Eating potassium rich foods, like banana and chicken, also proves helpful in preventing injuries in the leg muscles and tendons. Medical conditions, which can lead to nerve damage in the leg can be prevented by exercising for 30 minutes per day, on 5 days a week. Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and keeping the blood pressure and cholesterol level in check is also important for keeping pain in your legs at bay.


  1. Healthline. (2021). Leg Pain https://www.healthline.com/symptom/leg-pain
  2. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Leg Pain: Types, Causes, and Treatments https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5548-leg-pain-types-causes-and-treatments

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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 16, 2024

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