What are the Most Common Causes of Foot and Leg Pain?

Article Details
  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article

Foot and leg pain may be the result of several conditions, some serious and some fairly minor. One of the most common causes of foot and leg pain is sciatica, or irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve. Muscle, tendon, and even ligament injuries also commonly cause foot and leg pain, especially among athletes. People who suffer from arthritis are also likely to experience pain throughout the feet and legs, as well as the rest of the body in some cases. Soreness from overuse of the joints and muscles can also cause pain anywhere in the legs and feet.

Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve becomes compressed or damaged. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back through the buttocks and hips, and down the length of the leg to the foot. If the nerve becomes compressed or pinched anywhere along its length, it can cause foot and leg pain as well as lower back pain. The nerve can become compressed due to several conditions, including a herniated disc in the spine, injured muscles, tight muscles, or joint problems. Treatment for sciatica varies according to what is causing the condition. Simple rest and regular exercise is often enough to keep the pain at bay, while in certain situations, surgery may be necessary.


Injuries are the most common cause of foot and leg pain; this is a broad category that can refer to any type of damage to the bones or tissues of the legs and feet. Impacts very often cause foot and leg pain, and commonly occur during athletic activities, car accidents, or other situations in which a direct trauma to the lower body is likely. The treatment for such injuries will vary significantly depending on the type and severity of the injury.

Overuse of the muscles of the feet and legs can lead to pain as well. When muscles become tired, they tend to tighten, causing pain or discomfort. Tight muscles can also affect the normal functioning of joints in the leg, which may lead to an altered gait. This in turn can cause soreness or tenderness in the feet and legs. In most cases, tight and tired muscles will heal on their own given adequate rest and light stretching, though in some cases, muscles may become tired due to a lack of conditioning. In this case, the person suffering from such pain may want to consider a regular exercise routine that will strengthen the muscles of the legs and feet.



Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?