What Causes Leg Pain?

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Leg pain can be caused by muscle cramps or from injuries such as shin splints, nerve damage, stress fractures and muscle strains. Additionally, leg pain can be caused by medical conditions such as atherosclerosis, arthritis, gout, varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis, reports Healthline.

Muscle cramps, or charley horses, are caused by muscle strain or fatigue from overuse, dehydration and low levels of calcium, magnesium, potassium or sodium in the blood. Using diuretic or statin medications can also cause a muscle cramp. Leg pain may be due to an injury if the leg feels strained or inflamed, and pain in the front area of the leg is a symptom of a shin splint, states MedlinePlus.

If blood flow in the arteries is blocked due to atherosclerosis, pain may be felt while walking or exercising. Long-term bed rest, such as in a hospital after surgery, could produce a blood clot, or deep vein thrombosis, that causes leg pain. Additionally, for diabetics, smokers and alcoholics, leg pain may be a sign of nerve damage. Less common causes of leg pain include cancerous bone tumors, osteoid osteoma, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and sciatic nerve pain that radiates down the leg following a slipped disc in the back, says MedlinePlus.