Countless injuries and conditions can cause pain when walking, depending on where that pain is occurring. Pain may occur in the feet, legs, hips, and even in the back, so in order to isolate the cause of pain when walking, it is important to determine exactly where that pain is occurring. Muscle injuries in the legs can lead to leg pain, as well as pain in the lower back as the body moves differently to compensate for the injury. Joints can begin to ache due to arthritis, tendinitis, or cartilage damage, leading to pain when walking as well.
Injuries to muscles are perhaps the most common causes of pain when walking. These injuries may be the result of a direct trauma, overuse, or even a lack of conditioning. When muscles become tired, they tend to tighten, which can in itself lead to pain throughout the legs and lower back. If those muscles become tight enough, they can tear, causing a muscle strain. Depending on the severity of the strain, the pain may be mild to moderate, or quite severe. If the muscle tears completely from itself or the tendons that secure it to bone, a rupture has occurred; this is extremely painful and will incapacitate the injured person.
Other common causes of pain when walking are arthritis, poor posture, and an improper gait. Arthritis occurs when the ligaments and cartilage in a joint begin to break down, leading to inflammation and excess movement of the joint. It is often treated with anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and other pain management techniques, since there is no cure for this condition. Poor posture can lead to an improper walking gait, which can put strain on muscles, ligaments in the joints, tendons, and cartilage. Posture correction devices can sometimes help alleviate pain when walking due to an improper gait, and specially designed shoes can be purchased to help correct the gait.
Shin splints commonly occur in runners as well as obese people. This condition can be the result of several conditions, including tendinitis, muscle strains, and even small fractures in the bones in the legs. Shin splints commonly occur when the legs must endure strain it cannot handle; obese people are more at risk for shin splints because the legs must endure more weight being placed on them. Shin splint braces and sleeves are available to help alleviate such pain and promote blood flow to the affected area.