Do you have leg pain? Dull aches in the calves? Cold feet? These could all be symptoms of a serious condition.

Each year, 11% of U.S. adults suffer with chronic, daily pain but only a fraction of them seek a doctor's diagnosis for it. With leg pain, ignoring this early symptom could be a huge mistake.

Leg pain can occur in the foot, ankle, knee, behind the knee, thigh, down the back of the leg, or in any part of the leg. The pain can range from a dull aching to an intense stabbing sensation.

Leg pain can occur in one or both legs. It can occur at night, while lying down, or while running or exercising, depending upon the cause.

Common Causes of Leg Pain

Pain in your legs can be caused by a wide variety of reasons. Most often leg pain is caused by minor injuries or overuse and often eases with rest and non-use. Leg pain can also be caused by temporary conditions like cramping. In some cases, however, leg pain may be caused by a serious medical condition.


The most frequent cause of leg pain is from injury and overuse. This can range from minor sprains and strains to chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.

Leg pain injuries can include:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Shin splints
  • Knee bursitis
  • Osteoarthritis in hips and/or knees


Muscle cramps can be a common cause of leg pain. Often called a "charley horse" or a muscle spasm, cramps occur most frequently in the calf. A cramp occurs when the calf muscle contracts when it is flexed. This contraction causes sharp, sudden pain and can sometimes even be seen as a hard lump beneath the skin.

Cramps can be caused by dehydration or muscle fatigue, but certain medications can also cause muscle

Self-care: Physical exercise, Quitting smoking, Heart-Healthy diet
Medication: Statin, Vasodilator, Anticoagulant
Procedure: Angioplasty

Related Conditions

When to See a Doctor

For good health and peace of mind, schedule a consultation with a vascular specialist to rule out PAD, CVI, and other conditions. At Maryland Vascular Specialists, we can help you get to the bottom of your leg pain and see what’s causing it.