Leg pain

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

Your provider may ask questions such as:

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

References

Ginsberg J. Peripheral venous disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 81.

Marcussen B, Hogrefe C, Amendola A. Leg pain and exertional compartment syndromes. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR, eds. DeLee & Drez's Orthopaedic Sports Medicine: Principles and Practice. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 112.

Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 420.

Silverstein JA, Moeller JL, Hutchinson MR. Common issues in orthopedics. In: Rakel RE, Rakel DP, eds. Textbook of Family Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 30.

White CJ. Atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 79.


Review Date: 8/26/2017
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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