What Causes My Leg Pain?

Have you been experiencing unexpected leg pain recently? Leg pain can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know what the underlying cause of you discomfort could be. Here are some common conditions that can cause leg pain, as well as some things you can do about it.

Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are those sudden jolts of pain that I call “charley horses.”  They can affect any part of the leg, but tend to occur more often in the lower part. If you’ve ever been woken from a deep sleep by a muscle cramp, you know how awful they can be. When the pain strikes, it usually happens very quickly and often gets worse before it gets better. The pain can be debilitating.

Muscle cramps often occur when your muscles are dehydrated or very tired. If you’re prone to leg cramps, make sure you’re getting enough water every day. You may also want to use a foam roller after working out to help relax your muscles.


Pain in your lower calf (near your heel) may be an indication of tendinitis. This injury is fairly common in active people or older people and can cause the Achilles tendon to swell or tear. This type of injury often occurs after overworking the calf muscle or after taking a lot of stairs because you’re trying to prove to your grandkids that you’re tougher than you look.

Unfortunately, tendinitis can be slow to heal, so it’s important not to get impatient and injure yourself again. Apply ice to the area to relieve swelling and talk to your doctor if your pain is severe and you think you may have a tear. You may be able to relieve the pain with medication, or you may need surgery to repair the torn tendon.

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Varicose Veins

Varicose veins are very common, and they usually don’t cause much discomfort. I have them all over and they don’t always bother me. However, in some cases, varicose veins can cause a dull ache in the legs, especially after physical activity or after standing for long periods of time.

I have found that support stockings help relieve my pain. I also try to alternate frequently between sitting and standing. Wiggling your feet and legs regularly may also help prevent some of the discomfort varicose veins can cause. If your veins are very painful, make an appointment with your doctor. He can recommend treatments that will help.

Sciatica and Narrowed Spinal Canal

If you have sciatica, a herniated disc or a narrowed spinal canal, you could experience pain all the way down in your legs. Here are some of the common symptoms of these back conditions:

  • Tingling

  • Numbness

  • Cramps or leg pain while standing or sitting

  • Weakness

  • Pain in the leg, hip, and lower back

Resting may help relieve some of the pain, but this is a problem for which you’ll likely need professional care. Physical therapy may help relieve the symptoms, as well as other treatments recommended by your doctor. He or she can also prescribe medication to help you deal with the pain from sciatica or narrowed spinal canal.

Blood Clots

Sometimes as you get more “mature,” your blood can become thicker and get clumped up in your veins. When this happens, it forms a clot. A clot that forms in a deep vein is called a deep vein thrombosis, and it’s more likely to occur when you are inactive for long periods of time, if you smoke, or if you’re overweight. If you think you have a blood clot, visit your doctor or the emergency room immediately.

These are just a few of the more common causes of leg pain. Hopefully you’ve learned some things about what could be causing your pain and how you can treat it.

11 Replies to “What Causes My Leg Pain?”

  1. I hv Intermittent Claudication Pain in my right leg due to Arterial Narrowing. I take prescribed drug Cilosta & Aspirin. Due u hv any recommendation?

  2. I have Siatica along with back pain, legs and pinch nerve. How do I get rid of it? Please

  3. Good day I have read your email and would like to ask if having spinal surgery can affect your legs.
    I have been having cramp feelings in my left leg mostly my toes.
    Can this be the cause. Appreciate your response
    . Elizabeth

  4. I have leg pain in my joints upper leg and behind my knees and beside my knees went to the vein doctor he says it’s my joints working on losing weight with a prescription from the doctor

  5. Just went thru going to check out for a blooodclot at the hospital yesterday!untrasound, Thank God no Blood clot! I have a problem with medication and statins! So the Doctor is trying to balance me for cholesterol meds.,

  6. Hello I have swollen feet, that itches like bites at times. This specific area of both hands(back of palm) & feet that feels electricity when touched. These sensitive areas feels numb and lifeless at times. Is this poor circulation?

  7. I have terrible arthritus in my knees, and fluid behind one knee. I have had bad neuropathy in both legs for over 30 years. It’s so painful, I can hardly walk even in the house.

  8. i keep a milk crate or box with a large firm pillow on top laying flat on the bed feet up on the box 20 -30 minutes to drain the blood and sediment out so the circulation has the best chance to work all night it helps me

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