Pain Management

Published on August 15th, 2013 | by Tom


Lower Leg Pain Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

If you are a sufferer of lower leg pain, you may question how serious it is or what you can do to ease the discomfort at home. Here in this article, you will have an overview of some causes, common symptoms and treatment for lower leg pain.

Symptoms of lower leg pain

The severity of the pain shows in many varieties, ranging from mild to burning and intensive pain, depending on the underlying causes of it. Common symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty moving or lifting
  • Sudden or constant pain on your lower part of the leg
  • Pain that radiate to your buttock or the groin
  • Muscle weakness and spasms
  • Soreness upon touch
  • Severe pain after activity, go away with rest
  • Dullness, numbness and tingling

Lower Leg Pain Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

image @ thighpain

Causes and treatment of lower leg pain

Lower leg pain can be caused by many factors, involving health problems related to bones, joints, muscles, veins and arteries and nerves etc. common reasons for lower leg pain include:

1.  Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Muscle cramps. Muscle cramps are usually common among old people and athletes. Resulted from muscle weakness, dehydration or poor physical conditions, muscle cramps can cause sudden and intensive lower leg pain.. Pain often goes away by stopping the activity that triggered them. Symptoms may be eased by applying ice pack or gentle massage

shin splints. The inflammation on the muscles along the edge of the shin caused by repetitive use of muscles and tendons will also trigger lower leg pain. Pain often disappears with rest. Applying an ice compress is always helpful. Take anti-inflammatories or painkillers to control pain and discomfort. Minimize your movement and have a good rest. When the pain lightened, do some gentle stretches to make your lower leg stronger. Wear comfort or protective shoes and warm up before exercising to prevent further injury.

Fractures or sprained knee or ankle. A fracture or sprain can also lead to a sore leg. For mild injures of knee or ankle, rest, ice compress and elevation are effective. For more severe cases, go to your doctor for medical help.  You may try a physical therapy to improve your physical conditions to prevent you from future injury.

2. Veins and arteries

Blood clot. DVT, which mostly occurs in the lower leg or thigh, is an abbreviation used to describe the blood clot forms in a vein deep in the body. Smoking, overweight, taking certain medications may result in a blood clot. If you are suspecting a blood clot, reach the doctor immediately. Usually, medications, weight loss by regular exercise are available treatment to prevent clots.

Varicose veins.  Varicose veins refers to dark blue or purple veins on the surface of the skin which caused by weak vein walls. This can cause pain, especially after a long period of standing. Wearing support stockings is proved to be effective, try to minimize your movement and have a good rest.  But if you are experiencing unbearable pain, go to your doctor for other treatment.

Arterial disease on the lower leg.  If the arteries along your legs become damaged, hardened or blocked, the blood supply to the muscles in your legs will be halted, resulting in leg pain or cramping when you are doing activities. The pain will go away with rest.  But pain reoccurs as long as the arteries are being narrowed or blocked, in this condition, go to the doctor for some prescriptions or other types of treatment. Changes in lifestyle, such as regular exercises, quitting smoking, keeping a healthier diet and managing your weight will do you good.


Narrowed spinal canal (stenosis) and sciatica.

Leg pain is a very common symptom of narrowed spinal stenosis and sciatica, caused by compression of the nerves. Pain usually starts in your lower back or hip, and then radiate to your leg. To treat leg pain caused by spinal stenosis and sciatica, first step is to have a good rest and avoid intensive exercises. Cold and hot compress to the pain area may act as a pain relief. You can also take anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants to ease the symptoms. The doctor may recommend physical therapy and stretches to improve your physical conditions. And for the long-term, you have to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol, which may delay your healing, keep a balanced diet and do regular exercises. If your symptoms are very severe, consider a surgery.

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