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Leg Pain – Common Causes of Leg Pain

Trauma and injury

One of the most common causes of leg injury is trauma but this doesn't have to be a one- time traumatic event. Injury from trauma can also be due to overuse injuries which commonly happen when people adhere too strictly to a strenuous exercise regimen. Be sure to work your way slowly into a hard-core exercise routine and to warm up adequately beforehand. Aggressive workout regimens can contribute to leg pain. Similarly, frequent overuse injuries can result in tendinitis which is inflammation of the tendons. Shin splints are also a common overuse injury in runners which are not always easily identified.

Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps are usually sharp pains which result from sudden tightness of a muscle or group of muscles in the leg. Muscle cramps usually resolve on their own but knowing the root causes can help in their prevention. In Florida, dehydration is a common cause of muscle cramps. Be sure to hydrate regularly to avoid any electrolyte imbalances which can result in muscle spasms. Stretching muscles regularly or engaging in a gentle yoga program can also reduce the chances of leg pain from muscle cramping.


Arthritis refers to degeneration and inflammation of the joints. The two major joints in the leg, the hip joint and the knee joint, are especially susceptible to arthritis. This can result in leg pain and swelling as well as joint stiffness, particularly in the knees. Unfortunately, pain due to arthritis is a common effect of aging however maintaining a healthy weight can go along way in terms of arthritis prevention.

Peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy refers to nerve damage in the arms and legs. This usually results in numbness and tingling in the arms and legs, as well as occasional weakness. There are many causes of peripheral neuropathy, but the main culprit is usually diabetes or medication side effects. To keep leg pain from neuropathy at the at bay it's best to target the root cause of the neuropathy. For example, if the leg pain and neuropathy are thought to be due to diabetes, make sure you're checking your glucose levels at home and keeping them within a normal range to prevent any further nerve damage.

Spinal causes

Very often leg pain, as well as arm pain, can result from problems in the spine. These include disc bulges or spinal stenosis which can affect the nerve roots that originate in the spine. This is what is commonly referred to as a “pinched nerve” or "sciatica. " Leg pain from this problem requires treatment at the source of the pain in the spine.


Call Pain Medicine Group today to find out why you have leg pain and what your treatment options are.


Mauna Radahd, MD

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