Aching Legs

Aching Legs and Feet

Injury is the most common cause of leg pain (aching legs). However, even a simple back pain can cause your legs to ache depending on the degree of  pain. Usually, elders and diabetics and people with poor circulation are the ones who experience leg pain especially at night.

In the active world of today, though, there are a number of non-traumatic factors that can cause legs to ache. Chronic pain or persistent pain without trauma may be caused by problems in the bones, muscles, ligaments, joints tendons, nerves, nerves, blood vessels, and skin. The root cause of the pain is the inflammation of the tissue of the affected area.

Woman having knee pain isolated on a white background

Woman having aching leg

Leg Pain (Aches) Causes

Causes of leg aches can be classified into the following:

  • Traumatic
  • Non-Traumatic


Injuries, falls, and twisted muscles and bones are the most common cause of leg ache. This is what we call traumatic cause. If you ignore the pain and try to continue using the injured area the pain will become worse and damage to the bones and surrounding tissues may increase.

  • Fractures

Fracture means broken or cracked. These normally happen to the bones. What happens is the muscles are being stretched until the bones get affected resulting in being broken or cracked. External physical force from sports or from an accident may also result in broken bones.

  • Shin splints

Jumping running, and dancing are the most common causes of shin splints. When an injury happens during these activities pain develops. It is the shin bone or tibia that is affected with this type of pain. This is known as tibial stress syndrome.

  • Sprain and strains

Injury of ligaments can also be called as sprain and it happens when the fibers of ligament gets stretched. Stretching of muscles and tendons can also cause strain. Whether it’s a sprain or a strain, both cause inflammation that results in leg ache.

  • Bleeding

When there’s a severe injury, bleeding also occurs. If there’s high pressure with the blood flow, pain occurs. The higher the pressure in the blood flow, the more painful the leg is.


Non-Traumatic Leg Pain

Aching legs brought by non-traumatic causes are quite difficult to diagnose. A patient may undergo series of medical tests before the doctor can identify the true cause of the pain. There are  some causes that can be easily determined by just knowing which leg is aching. Since non-traumatic causes are difficult to diagnose, it helps to know some of them so you’ll be more aware. Here are some of them:

  • Low back pain

Low back pain caused by sciatica (inflammation of nervous ischiadicus). Pain can radiate from the cheeks down to the leg. The complexity of pain depends on the root of the nerve involved. That is why the pain is felt in the shin, thigh, or foot.

  • Leg pain in children

While the aching legs of children aren’t usually something serious, this type of pain must not be underestimated.  Often this kind of leg pain is overlooked and considered to be “growing pains”.   However, if it is  due to joint infection that causes lower back pain, injury damaging plates of growth, or pain due to systemic illnesses  it can become a serious concern.

Three of these are:

  • Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is not contagious but can be quite painful and may result in significant deformities if left untreated. Aches in joints and loss of motion are among the symptoms of this autoimmune disease.[5]
    Aching Legs in Children

    Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Rheumatic fever is caused by a Streptoccus bacteria and is highly contagious though not as common as it once was. It can be treated with antibiotics and often follows a Strep Throat infection. [4]
  • Henoch-Schonlein purpura  [1]. Henoch-Schonlein purpura   is a skin condition that is the result of an unexplained systemic inflammation of blood vessels. It usually happens in children and unless it persists for a long time it is benign. In some cases it may involve joint pain and it may progress to the kidneys. At this time it becomes a serious condition.Aching Legs
  • Polio is caused by a highly contagious virus (Polio myelitus). The last reported case in the USA was in 1979 due to an intensive eradication and immunization program in the 1950’s-1960’s. Nonetheless, it can still be found in India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Afghanistan. [2]
  • Muscular dystrophy is inherited and there are many kinds. All of which cause muscular weakness and atrophy and show as at least one of the symptoms, aching legs. [3]Aching Legs
  • Diabetes –  Because the blood glucose level is not regulated, this causes the nerves and blood vessels to deteriorate hence causing pain in the legs of the patient.

Symptoms of Aching Legs

Depending on the severity of pain, symptoms of aching legs have various medical presentations. The pain could be explained in varying ways, e.g.  as  sore, sharp, heavy, dull, aching legs, or burning. Pain can be constant or occasional. There are pains that can be alleviated by rest or activity. Each cause may provide varying symptoms. Be aware that some pains are acute and others are chronic.

Remedies and Treatment for Aching Legs

Legs are very important to all people.  We use them 24×7 whether in standing, sitting, and even lying positions. Aching legs or interfere with all of our daily activities. For this reason, caring for them should be part of your daily health regimen. If not, eventually you may experience any of the traumatic or non-traumatic causes discussed in this article.

Physical therapy can often relieve aching legs or feet. Massage is another method of minimizing or relieving pain.

Herbal remedies can be helpful for soothing aching legs by reducing stress and inducing relaxation.  You can try ‘fenugreek’ powder, along with your normal meal. Treat it as your supplement. Take just 2 spoonfuls of this. Bathing in rosemary is also a good herbal treatment.

Maintaining normal hydration is also one of the easiest and effective.  In order to prevent blood clots, you might take a steam bath or periodically move your legs to regulate blood circulation.

Finally, elevating your legs after a day’s work is a good habit to develop. This restores blood circulation making the vessels restore normal function.





4. › … › rheumatic fever index


Published on June 18th, 2010 by under Diseases and Conditions.
Article was last reviewed on September 22nd, 2016.

Comments (6)

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  1. Margaret says:

    I was in a car accident just over 2 years ago and
    had the back of my legs injured . the right one was cut in the calf. I have had pyhsio & have been taking accupunter for over a year but i am still having aching in my legs. It is really bad a night.
    My doctor has given me 50 mg Pregabalin (Lyrica)
    it helps for a while to relax me at night but doesn’t work all night.
    What natural thing can I take?

  2. Randy says:

    I have been suffering with foot, ankle,and now leg pain for several months now.
    To the point of having trouble walking on my left foot.and its gets worse after sitting
    for a period of time or driving and then getting up is very painful with stiffness.
    I was diagnose with Lyme disease 8 months ago, My doctor said it appears that
    i have had it a while. But after the 14 day course of doxycycline i felt better then
    i have in several years.But now i am having problems with my legs and feet.
    Is it possible that i am developing arthritis from the Lyme Disease??I am a 46 year old male and never dream of having this and it is very rare in my area. So i am letting
    people know if your having these problems it would be a good idea to get checked out
    espeically if your docotor is going to do blood work anyway.

  3. Jawad says:

    I have got relatives who suffer from leg pain. most of them are over 35 some younger then that as well but mostly over 35, they never had any injuries or anything its just he muscle pain, there is no good doctors back home. I was wondering if anyone can advice on what the treatments are?
    Many thanks

  4. Fauziah says:

    I’m 50. my legs have been hurting a lot more lately,day or night. i have got no health not overweight.i exercise in moderation.i cannot sleep unless the legs are massaged. i am not on any medication and i dont take any supplements.please advise

  5. Lily says:

    Is it possible for bunions and the crossing toes to cause pain in your knee joints and cause aching legs?

  6. Waleye says:

    ok…so my legs have ached since I was maybe 7yrs old and they do still now? It will go from one leg, and then die off a bit and then the next minute it will be in the other leg? any ideas?

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