Leg pain is common among people of all ages and can be caused by many things. Some of them are harmless while others may indicate certain diseases. Leg pain can vary from numbness and tingling to severe pain and cramps that can keep you awake. The good news is that in most cases, even severe leg pain is not dangerous.  

When to Call an Ambulance? 

  • If you feel acute pain when you’re walking 
  • If you have an open fracture or a deep cut
  • If you have several symptoms at once such as pain, swelling, redness, and a sharp increase in temperature in the limb
  • If you have symptoms of infection such as skin redness on the leg and high body temperature 
  • If your leg is swollen and cold
  • If both your legs are swollen and you have breathing problems

Why do my legs ache? 

1. Microtrauma

Microtrauma can sometimes be caused by a light injury that you may have not even noticed. Meanwhile, this trauma may lead to a slight sprain or rupture of a certain number of tendon fibers. Such injuries are not fatal and most often heal by themselves. 

2. DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness)

DOMS often causes leg pain, especially after a big physical exertion. Muscle soreness may also be caused by uncomfortable and tight shoes and eccentric exercise. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to treat DOMS, for example, massage, cold bath, topical analgesics, and anti-inflammatory foods.

3. Type 2 diabetes

This disease affects the peripheral nerves which can cause numbness, goosebumps, and leg, calve, and foot pain. In addition, diabetes often leads to itchy feet, therefore if you notice this symptom combined with leg pain and numbness, check your blood sugar levels and visit a foot doctor in order to confirm/disprove the diagnosis. 

4. Pregnancy

Almost all pregnant women experience painful cramps in their legs. They occur due to a violation of the mineral metabolism which often accompanies pregnancy. Most often, cramps occur due to a deficiency of potassium, calcium, magnesium or vitamin B6. In this case, doctors usually prescribe vitamins and minerals supplements.

5. Osteoporosis

Cramps and pain in the calves are the most common symptoms of calcium deficiency. Even if you suspect a calcium deficiency, consult a therapist and perform recommended tests before taking any medications. 

6. Varicose veins

In people with varicose veins of the lower extremities, the valves that pass blood through the veins are disrupted and because of this, the veins swell and blood outflow worsens. Varicose veins always cause edema and soreness. Varicose veins can be provoked by many factors including pregnancy, age, obesity, and injuries and always require an appointment with a phlebologist. 

7. Myalgia

Myalgia is a muscle pain that can get worse during physical exertion or in cold and damp weather. You need to contact a neurologist if you suspect myalgia. Doctors usually prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers, gels, and ointments to people with myalgia.

8. Flat feet

Flat feet are often accompanied by an increase in the size of the feet and/or bunions. This health problem also causes foot and leg pain which may get worse in the evening or when walking. 

Read more: Treatment for Neuropathy

9. Lumbosacral osteochondrosis

This disease is usually accompanied by acute pain in the lumbar spine. In this case, you need to visit a neurologist or spine specialist.