What Causes Leg Pain While Walking?


Quick Answer

Causes of leg pain while walking include medical conditions such as peripheral artery disease, chronic venous insufficiency and lumbar spinal stenosis, according to Harvard Health Publications. Peripheral artery disease is a type of atherosclerosis, which occurs when the arteries are narrowed due to a build-up of plaque.

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What Causes Leg Pain While Walking?
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Full Answer

In people with peripheral artery disease, the affected arteries are usually the ones that supply blood to the leg muscles, notes Harvard Health Publications. Pain is due to lack of blood flow, and is typically located in the muscles below the affected artery, particularly the calf. Additional signs of peripheral artery disease include bruises and wounds that don't heal, pale, cool skin and a diminished pulse below the narrowed artery.

Chronic venous insufficiency occurs when the valves that prevent venous blood from flowing backward are damaged, explains Harvard Health Publications. The condition causes blood to accumulate in the legs and feet, causing tightness and pain in the groin or thigh while walking. Chronic venous insufficiency also causes skin inflammation, open wounds and achy legs.

Lumbar spinal stenosis occurs due to pressure on the nerves of the lumbar spine or from a lack of blood supply to the nerves, according to Harvard Health Publications. People with lumbar spinal stenosis typically have thigh pain that increases with walking, numb or weak legs and lower back pain.

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