What Is Leg Pain?


Leg pain can affect the entire leg or a specific area, such as the knee, shin or thigh. Mild leg pain can be intermittent and sore after certain activities, while severe pain can limit weight-bearing or motion activities. Pain can be caused by wear and tear, overuse, or injuries to the joints, bones, muscles, tendons or ligaments.

There can also be serious culprits of leg pain, such as spinal conditions, pressure on nerves that causes numbness, burning pain, or tingling in the leg, etc. Medical attention should be sought if the pain is intense and lasts longer than a few days. Seek emergency medical attention if a crack is heard, range of motion is impaired, severe swelling occurs, or if accompanied by headaches, numbness, weakness or tingling.


The symptoms of leg pain can greatly vary depending on the cause. Leg pain itself is frequently the symptom of an underlying condition. Symptoms of leg pain include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Pain in any area of the leg
  • Pain that worsens during activity
  • Pain that is constant or intermittent
  • Pain that is sharp, sudden, numbing, tingling, achy or dull
  • Swelling of the leg, foot or ankle
  • Inability to bear wear


Leg pain may be caused by poor blood flow, blood clots, or varicose veins. Although it is often caused from overuse, injuries can result in leg pain. It may also be a symptom of other health conditions, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

When to seek medical attention

A health care professional should be consulted if leg pain is accompanied by other conditions. They include the following:

  • Fever
  • Pain worsens when walking or exercises and improves with rest
  • Discoloration in the leg, such as black and blue
  • The leg is cold or pale
  • Swelling or redness occurs
  • Medications are causing leg pain
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