While there are a plethora of possible causes of leg and ankle pain, some causes are more common than others. For example, fractured bones that are caused by underlying conditions, stress injuries, or direct physical injuries commonly cause leg and ankle pain. In addition, genetics and certain lifestyle choices can lead to gout, which commonly presents with tenderness, inflammation, and pain. Another common cause of leg and ankle pain is osteoarthritis, also known as joint break down, which can be caused by certain medical conditions and physical activities.
A bone fracture is one of the most common causes of leg and ankle pain. While minor bone fractures may have few symptoms, some symptoms, such as muscle spasms, are commonly observed as the body attempts to right the situation. There are essentially three possible ways that a bone fracture can occur. They are either caused by an underlying condition that weakens or damages the bone and leads to failure by physical stress or by a specific external injury. Stress fractures are a common sports injury and are caused by consistent high-stress use of specific parts of the body instead of a specific injury.
Another condition that commonly involves leg and ankle pain is gout, which results in inflammation, tenderness, and pain. Gout is caused by having an abnormally high amount of uric acid in the bloodstream, which in turn is caused by factors relating to genetics, diet, and overall health. General genetics often make it more likely to have high levels of uric acid, as well as the presence of specific inherited conditions. Certain foods, particularly some meats and seafoods, can lead to an increased presence of uric acid in the bloodstream. Proper diet and exercise are believed to help reduce uric acid levels.
Osteoarthritis is another condition that commonly causes leg and ankle pain and involves the components of joints in the body breaking down. Osteoarthritis is typically caused by physical actions that put undue stress on the body’s joints, eventually damaging them and leading to degradation. In addition to physical actions, osteoarthritis can be the result of other medical conditions. One common cause of osteoarthritis is obesity, which can put undue stress on the body’s joints through normal everyday functioning. Even common exercises such as running have been considered a potential cause of osteoarthritis, though this may be exacerbated by a lack of proper muscular support and nutrition.