There are various causes why lower leg pain occurs in some individuals. The lower leg muscles are responsible for controlling foot movement and stability, thus an increase in the level of activity or changes in the footwear used can result to sore muscles or even tendonitis.
While an increased level of physical activity is the main cause of lower leg pain, there are other health issues that can trigger the pain in the legs. In cases in which the lower leg pain is intense, abrupt or accompanied by swelling, it requires assessment by a doctor.
Common causes of lower leg pain
Muscle fatigue or strain
Muscle fatigue or strain is the prevalent cause for lower leg pain and soreness. In most cases, the injury occurs due to increased level of activity and minimal amount of soreness.
The soreness is readily relieved by adequate rest and the application of a warm or cold compress. Nevertheless, abrupt or severe injuries can result to a muscle tear or ruptured tendon that causes intense pain. Proper stretching before exercise can help minimize the risk for muscle injury.
Tendonitis is a common overuse injury in sports but can affect any individual regardless of the activity level. This condition involves inflammation of the area surrounding the tendon. Any structural anomalies in the foot structure such as high arches or flat feet can trigger the development of tendonitis.
Tendonitis is characterized by pain that intensifies during activity or stretching of the affected tendon. The usual forms of tendonitis that can trigger lower leg pain around the ankle region include posterior tibial tendonitis and Achilles tendonitis.
One of the common exercise-related injuries include shin splints. The injury often affects runners and those involved in jumping or sprinting sports. The pain usually manifests along the interior and back part of the tibia bone where the calf muscles connect to the bone. Shin splints can be worsened or triggered by foot conditions such as over pronation or high-arched feet.
Stress fractures of the tibia bone is another condition that occurs among those who engage in jumping and running sports. A less common cause of exercise-related lower leg pain is compartment syndrome. This condition is often linked with a recent increase in the mass of the leg muscle that results to intense leg cramping, pain and tightness of the muscles during activity.
The veins of the legs flow back to the heart. Once vein issues develop, edema or leg swelling and oftentimes pain or tenderness can manifest. A common issue affecting the vein is venous insufficiency that can result to varicose veins, skin changes and recurrent swelling of the leg.
A serious and possibly life-threatening cause of lower leg pain is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). If is characterized as a clot in the leg vein that has the tendency to break off and travel up to the lungs or other bodily organs.