Where Does it Hurt?


Pains in the legs can arise from a variety of causes, ranging from overuse to sudden injury or a serious medical condition. Leg pain often occurs in conjunction with conditions that affect other parts of the body. Leg pain can interfere greatly with your daily life, making it difficult to move, walk, climb stairs, sleep, work, or enjoy hobbies and recreation. Shasta Orthopaedics can help with your leg problems and get you moving around again.

Common Leg Problems

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain that shoots down the leg from the hip or lower back
  • Weakness in the leg
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Pain may increase with prolonged sitting, standing, or movement
  • Strain or heavy lifting may also intensify symptoms

Sciatica describes pain resulting from irritation or pressure against the nerve roots of the sciatic nerve, which originates in the spinal cord and extends into the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, ankles and feet. A ruptured spinal disc that pushes against the sciatic nerve commonly causes this condition. Sciatica can also result from pregnancy, bone spurs, injury, compressed nerve roots, and tumors.

Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain in the affected leg, especially with motion or pressure
  • Swelling in the leg
  • Redness and warmth

Bursae are fluid filled sacs that create a cushion between the bones, ligaments, tendons, muscle, and skin. Bursitis describes a condition in which one or more of these sacs become inflamed. This condition is commonly caused by repeated movement or prolonged pressure on the affected area. Bursitis can be caused by overuse, injury, or conditions like arthritis or infection.

Tendon Injury
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain in the leg
  • Tenderness
  • Decreased strength
  • Decreased movement

Tendons are the tough, rope-like fibers that connect your muscles to your bones. Tendon injuries can be caused by repeated activity, wear and tear, or aging. Common conditions related to tendon injury include tendon inflammation, known as Tendonitis, and Tendonosis, which describes tiny tears that occur in the connective tissue in or around the tendon. Tendinopathy describes the occurrence these two conditions simultaneously.

Muscle Cramps
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Strong pain in a muscle of the leg
  • A feeling of contraction or tightening accompanied by pain
  • Pain and tightening that occur suddenly
  • Symptoms lasting a few seconds to several minutes
  • Soreness in the leg muscle after more intense symptoms have stopped

Muscle cramps in the legs can be caused by activity or dehydration. Muscle cramps in the legs can be caused by a variety of activities and conditions, including injury, overuse, poor posture, pregnancy, or exposure to hot or cold temperatures. Medical conditions, including blood flow problems, kidney disease, thyroid disease, and multiple sclerosis, can also cause muscle cramps in the legs. Nighttime leg cramps are common muscle cramps that occur as you are waking up or falling asleep.

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Painful, swollen or stiff joints in the leg
  • Symptoms commonly affect the same joints on both sides of the body
  • Stiffness in the morning or after period of inactivity
  • Appearance of bumps on the knees or ankles
  • Fatigue
  • General ill feeling
  • Mild fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which the tissue lining, or membranes, of the joints become inflamed. It is important to seek medical treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, as the condition may destroy the joint tissues, causing permanent disability.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • Pain and tenderness in front of the knee
  • Mild swelling or a bump below the kneecap at the top of the shin
  • Symptoms get worse with exercise or activity

Osgood-Schlatter disease is a condition in which inflammation affects the top of the shinbone, or tibia, where the tendon attaches to the bony mound in the knee called the tibial tubercle. This disease commonly affects children between the ages of 10 and 15, and usually flares during growth spurts.

Restless Legs Syndrome
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
  • An intense, irresistible urge to move the legs while going to sleep
  • Interruption of sleep
  • "Pins and needles" sensation
  • Prickling, creeping, crawling, or tingling sensations in the legs
  • Sometimes painful feelings in the legs
  • Moving the legs provides short-term relief

Restless legs syndrome is a condition in which uncomfortable sensations in the legs cause an intense and irresistible urge to move. This condition often leads to sleep disturbances and tiredness that can interfere with daily activities. Certain medications, pregnancy, lack of exercise, iron deficiency or anemia can contribute to restless legs syndrome.

It is very important to seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing symptoms in your legs.

Symptoms in your legs can indicate serious medical conditions that require immediate medical attention, including blood flow problems, kidney disease, thyroid disease, vascular disease, blood clots, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Symptoms in your legs can also indicate serious problems with any medications you are taking. Read warning labels and side effects carefully, and be sure to contact your health care provider immediately.

Seek emergency medical care immediately if you have been injured or if your symptoms are severe. In the context of all leg problems, early diagnosis and treatment are necessary to prevent further damage and complications.

Once emergency care has been administered, orthopaedic medicine may be able to help immensely with pain symptoms that can arise from a variety of conditions, or linger long after an injury.