Printer Logo

Leg pain

Varicose veins
Retrocalcaneal bursitis

Definition

Leg pain is a common problem. It can be due to a cramp, injury, or other cause.

Alternative Names

Pain - leg; Aches - leg; Cramps - leg

Causes

Leg pain can be due to a muscle cramp (also called a charley horse). Common causes of cramps include:

An injury can also cause leg pain from:

Other common causes of leg pain include:

Less common causes include:

Home Care

If you have leg pain from cramps or overuse, take these steps first:

Other homecare will depend on the cause of your leg pain.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your health care provider will perform a physical and look at your legs, feet, thighs, hips, back, knees, and ankles.

Your health care provider may ask questions such as:

Your health care provider may recommend physical therapy for some causes of leg pain.

References

Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 30.

Bederka B, Amendola A. Leg pain and exertional compartment syndromes. In: DeLee JC, Drez D Jr., Miller MD, eds. DeLee and Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 24. Section B.

Ginsberg J. Peripheral venous disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 428.

Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 428.

White CJ. Atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 79.


Review Date: 8/19/2013
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.