Legs Can Ache for a Reason

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What are some causes of leg pain?

Legs Can Ache for a Reason

Leg pain causes run the gamut, from sore muscles to nerve damage due to systemic disease. The more general causes can be easily remedied with an ice pack or hot bath and some stretching. Other conditions require medical attention. Here are common leg pain symptoms and their causes:

  • Muscle cramps: These may occur as a result of dehydration, usually after exercising hard and not replenishing lost fluids. Depletion of potassium, sodium, calcium, or magnesium will cause muscles to tighten up spontaneously. Another cause is extreme muscle fatigue or strain from overuse.
  • Injury: An actual strained muscle, not just sore and overworked, will result in leg pain. So will a stress fracture (hairline crack), tendinitis (inflamed tendons), or shin splints (lower leg pain).
  • Inflammation: Arthritis and gout are inflammatory conditions that will cause leg pain.
  • Nerve damage: This can occur as a result of diabetes, smoking, or alcoholism.
  • Atherosclerosis: Blood flow in an artery in the leg becomes blocked, resulting in increased pain during movement and decreased pain at rest.
  • Infection: Infection in the bone itself, the skin, or underlying soft tissue can be a leg pain cause.

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