Pain in your legs may occur as a result of problems that affect the bone, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves or skin of the leg, or sometimes due to problems in your lower spine. The most common cause for pain is inflammation or infection of the tissues, due to wear and tear, injury or diseases. Leg pain can also occur due to nerve compression or blockages in the flow of blood to the legs. Since the leg contains a number of different structures and tissue types, various conditions and injuries can cause leg pain; some of them include a fracture, arthritis, muscle cramps, sprains, strains, varicose veins and peripheral neuropathy.
Leg pain can be persistent or intermittent, develop gradually or suddenly, and can be felt on your whole leg or to a specific region. It can be characterized as stabbing, sharp, dull or aching pain. Severe leg pain can affect your ability to walk or put weight on your leg.
Leg pain is a common symptom and usually resolves with rest, application of ice, elevation of your leg or taking pain medication. However, when you experience severe leg pain, or your symptoms do not improve but instead get worse, you need to visit your doctor. You should seek immediate medical intervention after any leg injury with a deep cut or bone exposure, when you are unable to bear weight or walk, or have swelling or redness in your calf. Do not ignore signs of infection such as redness and fever, swelling, calf pain after sitting for a long time, or swelling in the legs along with breathing problems. These may indicate serious problems that would require medical treatment.
Your doctor will evaluate your leg thoroughly and treat the underlying cause of your leg pain, which may include pain medication, massage, manipulation, exercise or surgery.