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Leg pain

Pain - leg; Aches - leg; Cramps - leg

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

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Lower leg muscles
Leg pain (Osgood-Schlatter)
Shin splints
Varicose veins
Retrocalcaneal bursitis
Lower leg muscles

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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.

Related Information

Foot pain
Hip pain
Knee pain
Muscle aches
Joint pain

References

Anthony KK, Schanberg LE. Musculoskeletal pain syndromes. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 193.

Hogrefe C, Terry M. Leg pain and exertional compartment syndromes. In: Miller MD, Thompson SR. eds. DeLee, Drez, & Miller’s Orthopaedic Sports Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 113.

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 Saunders; 2016:chap 30.

Smith G, Shy ME. Peripheral neuropathies. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 392.

Weitz JI, Ginsberg JS. Venous thrombosis and embolism. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 74.

White CJ. Atherosclerotic peripheral arterial disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 71.

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Review Date: 7/11/2019  

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. Editorial update 07/30/2020.

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