Pain in the legs can occur as a result of conditions that affect bones, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, nerves, and skin. The pain is typically caused by an injury or a chronic disease, as a result of tissue inflammation. Since the leg contains a number of different structures and tissue types, a wide variety of conditions and injuries can cause leg pain. Leg problems that are not related to a specific injury can have many causes. Overuse injuries may occur when you do the same activity repeatedly and you overdo it, or when you increase your exercise. Problems that affect the blood vessels (vascular disease) can include peripheral arterial disease, inflammation of a vein (phlebitis), or a blood clot (thrombophlebitis). Other diseases, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus, can cause joint pain, stiffness, and swelling. A transient ischemic attack (TIA) or a stroke can cause numbness, tingling, or loss of function in one or both legs.
Shin splints are an example referring to pain in the front of the lower legs. Flat feet or a very rigid arch may place more stress on the lower leg, and may be one of the causes of shin splints. Wearing the proper shoes and getting orthotics for your shoes can help in this condition.
For most minor leg problems, home treatment will suffice to relieve symptoms and promote healing. However, serious leg problems may also occur and require prompt evaluation by a doctor.