Pain on the side of the leg can be a symptom of meralgia paresthetica, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Other possible causes for side-of-the-leg pain are shin splints and tendinitis, according to Running Times.
Pain on the outside of the thigh can be an indication of meralgia paresthetica, a condition where the nerves in the leg become compressed, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Other symptoms include tingling, numbness, a burning sensation and sensitivity to touch. This can be a result of trauma to the leg tissue, bone abnormalities, tumors, tight clothing or weight gain. Doctors usually diagnose this condition with examinations, X-rays or CT scans. It the pain is due to tight clothing, the patient needs to avoid wearing restrictive items; other treatments are weight loss and anti-inflammatory topical treatments.
Shin splints can cause pain in the sides and front of the lower leg, says Running Times. Usually the pain is more intense when a person starts running but decreases when the muscles in the leg strengthen after continued training. Flexibility training can also help to reduce pain. Tendinitis on either side of the ankle can become inflamed and cause pain. Often, this occurs when athletes suddenly increase their exercise times.