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Overview

Leg pain may be defined as any kind of discomfort or pain in the leg, ranging from the hip joint to the heels. Leg discomfort is a very frequent problem among people of all ages.

Leg pain may be persistent or intermittent, develop rapidly or gradually, and affect the whole leg or a specific region, such as the shin or knee. Leg discomfort may be diffuse or localized, for example, in the shin or knee. It may have a sharp, dull, stabbing, unpleasant, or tingling sensation.

While mild leg pain is unpleasant, aching legs may make walking and bearing weight difficult on the affected limb.

Legs are made up of a variety of tendons, ligaments, joints, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels, all of which are susceptible to injury, infection, and other diseases that may result in leg pain. Leg pain can be caused by a variety of factors. Leg pain may be caused by a number of diseases ranging from unintentional injuries to nerve disorders. Leg pain is often produced by a muscular cramp, in the absence of trauma or other symptoms. Discomfort may sometimes start in another area of the body, such as the back, and then radiate down the leg.

It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you are having any additional symptoms in addition to sore legs. This information will be used to assist your doctor in making a diagnosis.

The course of therapy will be determined by the underlying reason for the leg discomfort.

Pain in the legs may frequently be managed at home; but, if the pain is sudden, severe or chronic, or if there are any additional symptoms, it is recommended that you seek medical care.

Causes

Leg aches and pains are often caused by normal wear and tear, overuse, or damage to the joints or bones, as well as the ligaments, tendons, muscles, and other soft tissues in the leg and foot. Certain types of leg pain may be the result of lower spine problems that may be identified and addressed. If your legs hurt, it may be due to different reasons as leg pain may be caused by a number of causes, including varicose veins, blood clots, and poor leg blood circulation.

Leg pain at night is a sign of peripheral artery disease. PAD may produce pain anywhere on your leg, but the most frequent locations are the calves, thighs, and buttocks muscles. The pain is due to the obstructed blood flow as a result of PAD.

It is possible to feel tightness or discomfort in the calves after overworking them. Calf muscle tension causing sore calves occurs after engaging in physical activity such as jogging or participating in sports.

Cramps: Muscle cramps may cause leg discomfort. Cramping may be caused by a variety of factors, including dehydration or low potassium, sodium, calcium, or magnesium levels in the blood, muscle tiredness or strain that may occur as a result of overuse, excessive activity, or keeping a muscle in the same posture for an extended period of time.

Injury: Leg discomfort may also be caused by an injury in which the muscle can be ripped or overstretched. There could be a hairline crack in the bone (stress fracture) that causes bone pain in the legs. Tendonitis which is an inflammation of the tendon also results in leg pain.

Sciatica: One of the most common reasons for a restricted spinal canal is spinal arthritis. A herniated disc may put a strain on nearby nerve roots, causing sciatica symptoms. It results in leg pain that seems like burning and cramping while you are standing or sitting. It is often accompanied by numbness, fatigue, and weakness and tingling. Pain may start in the back and hip region and then spread down the leg.

Other conditions that cause leg pain are:

·         Arthritis

·         Gout

·         Deep vein thrombosis

·         Varicose vein

·         Diabetes

When to see a doctor

If you have any of the following symptoms, go to the nearest emergency:

·         Leg injury that includes a deep cut, exposed bone, or a torn tendon

·         Difficulty walking or bearing weight on the leg

·         Calf discomfort, swelling, redness, or warmth

·         Popping or grinding sound

If you experience any of the below symptoms, visit your doctor immediately:

·         A fever higher than 100 F or signs of infection such as redness, warmth, and soreness

·         A bloated, pallid, or abnormally cold leg

·         Calf discomfort, especially after sitting for an extended period of time, such as on a lengthy car or plane journey

·         Swelling in both legs, along with breathing difficulties

·         Any severe leg problems that appear out of nowhere and for no apparent reason