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Constant pain in legs and hips: Top 5 Causes of Hip and Leg Pain

Top 5 Causes of Hip and Leg Pain

The pain in your hip or leg can result from various medical issues, ranging from problems with muscles and tendons to diseases affecting nerves and bones. As with any pain, it’s essential to understand what could be causing your symptoms so you can get the appropriate treatment as soon as possible. 


Tendinitis is an inflammation resulting from the degenerating tendon and tendon tears. When the tendons attached to the thigh bone are irritated and inflamed from injury or overuse, it causes pain and aches in the affected area.

Individuals participating in sports or occupations that require repetitive movements are at higher risk of tendinitis. It is more common among the older populations.

  • Pain that increases as you move
  • Difficulty moving joints
  • Swelling in the joints
  • Grating and crackling when moving joints
  • Weakness in affected areas

Doctors can use four methods of pain management to treat tendinitis.

  • Rest- Avoid frequent movement of the joint for 2-3 days
  • Put the ice on the affected area for 20 minutes in a 2-3 hour interval
  • Support the affected areas using an elastic bandage, soft brace, or tube bandage
  • Elevate legs above the heart during rest


Arthritis is the inflammation of the joints. It occurs when the shock absorber tissues begin to deteriorate. Though it is common among adults above 65 years, it can affect people of any age. There are many types of arthritis, with the most common being osteoarthritis.

  • Stiffness, pain, and swelling of the joints
  • The difficulty of joint movement
  • Fatigue

Arthritis has no cure. Different treatments can ease the pain and symptoms. They include;

  • Taking anti-inflammatory medicine
  • Eating healthy diet
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy


Sciatica is pain resulting from an injury or irritation to the sciatic nerve. It results from a herniated disk or bone spur, leading to pain in the lower back and legs. The pain can radiate and cause leg and hip pain.

  • Severe pain after accident or injury
  • Weakness and numbness in the legs
  • Inability to control bowels or bladder

The purpose of sciatica treatment is to increase mobility and reduce pain. Treatment includes

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxant drugs
  • Placing cold packs on the injured area
  • Hot packs- Apply 2 to 3 days after injury
  • Stretching
  • Surgery such as laminectomy or microdiscectomy


Dislocation is a blow on the joint that causes the ends of the bones to move out of their usual position. An example is when the knee strikes the dashboard in front during a vehicle accident and causes the hip ball to shift from its position. The dislocation can occur in the knees, fingers, shoulders, or the hip leading to intense pain and swelling that inhibits movement.

  • Hip dislocation symptoms
  • Clunking and popping sounds from the hip
  • Severe pain after injury
  • The joint socket appears loose
  • Knee dislocation symptoms
  • Pain
  • Ability to extend your knee by 30 degrees farther than usual angles
  • Swelling
  • Moving the bones to the right place through surgery
  • Repositioning- Manually moving the bones back to their position
  • Painkillers
  • Splint or cast to keep the dislocated area in place during healing


It is the inflammation or swelling of bursae, the little sacs between the body’s tendons, muscles, bones, and ligaments. It is a result of prolonged pressure on the bursa. Repetitive movements of joints can also lead to bursitis.

  • Increase in temperature of skin around the bursa
  • Pain
  • Decrease in joint movement
  • Swollen and red
  • Taking antibiotic- If it is caused by infection
  • Physical therapy or exercise to strengthen the affected areas
  • Corticosteroid drug injection into the bursa to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Temporary use of the assistive device to reduce pressure
  • Surgery

Get Help with Your Hip and Leg Pain Today

While there are many potential causes of hip and leg pain, the most common include arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, dislocation, and sciatica. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. With the proper care, you can find relief from your pain and get back to enjoying your life.

Contact the team at Southern Pain Clinic for help if you suffer from hip and leg pain. Fill out the form below to get started today. 

Hip and Leg Pain | Pain Management

Hip and leg pain can have many different causes. Because the movement of the hip joint, lower back, and leg bones are all connected, pain or inflammation in one area can cause problems in another. This is called referred pain.

Types of damage or injury that could be causing hip and leg pain are:

  • Bone fractures.
  • Nerve damage. Damage to the nerves can lead to neuropathy [noo-ROP-uh-thee], a tingling sensation radiating into the legs and extremities.
  • Muscle injury or inflammation [in-fluh-MAY-shun]. Muscle sprains, tears or strains in the lower back, buttocks, pelvis, and thighs can cause hip and leg pain.
  • Joint problems. Arthritis [ahr-THRAY-tis] can lead to pain in the hip, lumbar or lower spine, and the knee, causing pain that can be felt throughout the lower body.

Symptoms of hip and leg pain can differ depending on the cause of the pain. The type of symptoms can help in determining the condition that is causing your discomfort.

  • Sharp, shooting pains in the buttocks and lower back may be related to sciatica [sy-AH-tik-uh] or other nerve issues.
  • Burning or tingling sensation in the legs, especially in the lower legs and feet, can indicate neuropathy or nerve damage.
  • Pain in the lower back or down to the legs that is focused on one side could be a symptom of sacroiliac [SAK-roh-IL-ee-ak] joint dysfunction.
  • Pain on the inside of your hip or groin could be an indication that there’s a problem with your hip joint.
  • Pain occurring on the outside of the hip and upper thigh or outer buttock may be strained muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the hip area.
  • Shooting pains that radiate into your legs can be a sign of lower back strain or a hernia.

If your hip and leg pain does not improve after a few days of rest or seems to be worsening, you should contact your doctor.

You should seek immediate emergency care if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Unable to feel sensation
  • Can’t move your legs or feet due to weakness
  • Numbness in your genitals

Hip and leg pain can arise from a variety of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis. Inflammation of the joints that can cause pain and swelling.
  • Injuries. Fractures, tears, or dislocations can cause pain in the hip, knee, or back.
  • Tendonitis [ten-don-AY-tis] or bursitis [buhr-SAY-tis]. Inflammation of the sacs of fluid in the hip joint or tendons in the hip or leg can cause hip and leg pain.
  • Sciatica. Pressure or damage to the sciatic [sy-AH-tik] nerve can be a source of radiating leg or hip pain.
  • Bone cancer or leukemia [loo-KEE-mee-ah]. Some forms of cancer like bone cancer can cause pain in the limbs and hips.
  • Neuropathy. Damage to the nervous system can cause tingling or burning sensations in the legs, buttocks, and other areas.
  • Osteoporosis [OS-tee-oh-puh-ROH-sis]. Bone loss can be a source of pain the legs and hips.
  • Sacroiliitis [SAH-krow-il-IY-tis]. Inflammation of the joints where the spine connects to the pelvis can cause hip and leg pain.
  • Hernia. Pain in the groin can also radiate into the leg and hip.
  • Pregnancy. The hormones during pregnancy cause widening of the pelvis and may result in joint pain felt in the hips, legs, or pelvis.

Hip and leg pain may worsen with activity and prevent a full range of motion. In some cases, long-term pain can cause a limp or difficulty walking.

Your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical exam. A variety of tests may also be used to diagnose the source of your hip and leg pain. These may include:

  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • X-ray
  • Blood tests

The tests your doctor recommends will depend on the likely cause of your pain, as well as your age, overall health, the severity of your symptoms, and your preference.

Treatments for leg and hip pain depend on the cause of the pain and any underlying conditions. Your doctor may recommend some combination of the following:

  • Ice or heat therapy
  • Rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Medicines for pain and inflammation

In some cases, surgery may be needed to replace a hip joint that has been damaged by a fracture, dislocation or arthritis. Your doctor can discuss which treatment is the best fit for your symptoms, age, and overall health.

If you have a condition that causes persistent leg and hip pain, you may be able to take some of the following preventative measures to avoid symptoms.

  • Use a cane to relieve pressure on the hip
  • Do strengthening exercises to improve muscle and build support around painful joints
  • Avoid sudden movements or repetitive impact
  • Eat a healthy diet to reduce inflammation
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep

Talk with your doctor about what you can do to avoid leg and hip pain and improve your mobility.

© 2018 Intermountain Healthcare. All rights reserved. The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.  

Copyright ©2023, Intermountain Health, All rights reserved.

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Muscular pain in the legs

A person has many diseases associated with upright posture. This natural feature, which is not typical for other animals, has led to changes in the musculoskeletal system, the circulatory system of the limbs. Therefore, already at a young age, many people notice that leg muscles often hurt or other unpleasant symptoms appear. They cannot be ignored, otherwise severe pathologies may occur that will require expensive treatment.

There are pains in the legs when walking

If movement is accompanied by pain in the muscles of the legs, vascular pathology may be the cause. Older people often develop atherosclerosis of the femoral arteries. This is a disease in which, due to an imbalance of different types of cholesterol, fatty plaques are deposited in the wall of blood vessels. They gradually narrow the diameter of the artery and slow down the blood flow in it.

Symptoms of atherosclerosis appear when walking or exercise. Due to a violation of blood flow to the muscles, severe pain appears in the thigh area. The person begins to limp or is forced to stop. If you stand a little, the pain gradually disappears. But the disease is constantly progressing and without treatment leads to severe complications.

During moderate walking, the legs should not be too tired. But with flat feet, the load on the musculoskeletal system is redistributed, and it does not function correctly. Therefore, fatigue appears faster, sometimes pain in the knee, hip joint, and at the end of the day – lead heaviness. The risk of flat feet is higher in people with systemic connective tissue pathology, with excess weight, as well as in women after pregnancy.

The condition of the lower extremities is affected by the health of the lumbar spine. Large nerves depart from it, which are directed along the back of the thigh to the popliteal fossa and calf muscles. With osteochondrosis, the nerve endings are infringed, a pulling pain appears from the lower part of the buttock to the calf. Sometimes this occurs with a spasm of the piriformis muscle located in the pelvis.

If your legs hurt after a workout, the cause may be the wrong level of exercise, too much exercise or minor injuries. Painful sensations that appeared after a few hours or the next day are a natural process of restoration of muscle cells. Lactic acid has accumulated in them, which irritates pain receptors and gives discomfort. Gradually, it is removed and the condition improves.

Aching feet causes and symptoms

The following factors can cause aching, pulling pain in the lower extremities:

  • varicose veins;
  • arthritis or arthrosis of the joints;
  • myositis;
  • micronutrient deficiency.

Veins are not able to contract on their own, so the blood flows through them due to the work of the muscles of the legs and negative pressure in the chest during inspiration. Backflow is prevented by venous valves. If they do not close completely, blood accumulates in the vessels, presses on their walls and gradually expands. First, small capillaries in the form of stars appear under the skin, and later blue veins appear.

The risk of developing varicose veins is higher in women during pregnancy, as well as in sedentary or standing work and insufficient physical activity, excess body weight. Varicose veins have many symptoms depending on the stage of the disease:

  • heaviness and feeling of fullness in the legs at the end of the day;
  • swelling up to the knee;
  • spasms of the gastrocnemius muscle;
  • dry skin, hair loss on legs;
  • accession of a fungal infection of the feet;
  • spider veins;
  • prominent veins;
  • leg ulcers.

If muscle pulls, cramps or painful spasms appear during sleep, it is possible that this is a lack of potassium and calcium. These trace elements are needed for contraction and relaxation of muscle fibers. Deficiency can occur in pregnant women, as well as with malnutrition.

A serious cause of pain in the calf muscles is myositis. What causes it is not exactly known, but viral infections, injuries, and physical activity can be provoking factors. At the same time, the calves gradually swell and increase in size, hurt, dense nodules appear in them. The skin turns red over them, and some people have a high body temperature and chills for several days.

If the pain is localized in the knee, hip, occurs after a long walk, this is a sign of arthrosis – a degenerative chronic disease of large joints. Less commonly, these joints are affected by arthritis, an inflammatory pathology associated with the production of antibodies to articular cartilage. Why this happens, doctors do not know exactly. In this case, the pain is accompanied by redness, swelling, and in the morning after waking up, it is impossible to take a step due to stiffness.

Patient examination

If you experience pain in the knee or hip, calf muscles, you need to contact a therapist. He will conduct an initial examination and, if necessary, refer to another specialist. If there are signs of varicose veins, you need to consult a phlebologist. One examination is not enough to make a diagnosis. The doctor will conduct an ultrasound of the veins to make sure that the blood flow and the vascular wall have changed.

Examination and treatment of patients with diseases of the joints, flat feet, is carried out by an orthopedic traumatologist. To make a diagnosis, you need to do:

  • Ultrasound of the joints is a quick and painless procedure that allows you to assess the severity of inflammation, changes in the lumen of the joint space, cartilage surface;
  • radiography – a picture is taken in several projections to see deviations from the norm, often with arthritis in women, rarefaction of the bone is observed – osteoporosis;
  • MRI – used in difficult cases for a detailed examination of individual elements of the musculoskeletal system.

Patients with suspected lower extremity atherosclerosis undergo angiography. A radiopaque substance is injected into the femoral artery and a picture is taken after a few minutes. On it you can see the places of narrowing and the degree of occlusion in order to choose a treatment method. A similar diagnostic method is used for suspected phlebothrombosis, but the contrast is injected into a vein in the leg.

Blood tests are ordered to clarify the patient’s condition. In a general clinical study with arthritis, myositis, signs of inflammation may appear – an increase in ESR, neutrophils. Sometimes a biochemical blood test is also required.

Treatment of pain in the legs

The doctor will select the treatment method individually, taking into account the cause of the symptom. If arthritis or arthrosis of the joints is diagnosed, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to reduce inflammation. It can be tablets or ointment based on nimesulide, diclofenac sodium or ketorolac. In severe cases, these drugs do not help and the disease progresses. Then prescribe glucocorticoid hormones.

Some clinics offer PRP joint therapy. This is a method of treatment with your own blood plasma enriched with platelets. Before manipulation, a thorough examination is carried out. Then the doctor takes a portion of venous blood, processes it with special means, centrifuges and filters until the remainder is a mixture of plasma and platelets. This biological fluid is injected into the knee by inserting a needle between the articular surfaces. Several treatments are required for the effect of PRP therapy to appear. The technique is contraindicated during pregnancy.

Drug therapy is complemented by training. They should be carried out by an exercise therapy doctor who will select exercises that do not overload the limbs.

If a person has myositis, painkillers are also used for treatment. But antibiotics may be required if an infection occurs.

Varicose veins at an early stage can be treated with phlebotonics based on diosmin, as well as rutin. Your doctor may prescribe a heparin ointment to help reduce swelling in your legs. These drugs can also be used by pregnant women.

If the conservative treatment of varicose veins did not help or the patient applied at an advanced stage, the doctor will suggest minimally invasive surgical treatment:

  • sclerotherapy;
  • laser ablation;
  • cryoablation;
  • radiofrequency sclerosing.

What to do if the muscles in your legs hurt

Sometimes there are simple ways to deal with leg pain. For those who suffer from inflammation of the knee, but want to continue training and playing sports, there are special knee pads and bandages. They limit the intensity of classes, and experts recommend avoiding deep squats, running and doing exercises at an average pace.

If problems with limbs are associated with osteochondrosis, you can wear a corset that supports your back. There is a female version for pregnancy, which supports the stomach and lower back at the same time. At the same time, the back is much wider than the front.

If there is no time for full-fledged training, and you have to work most of the time sitting, you can do simple exercises:

  • roll standing from heel to toe;
  • roll pencils on the floor with feet;
  • put your feet on the stand, pull on your socks;
  • lie on your back and twist your bent legs in the air, simulating a bicycle ride.

Helps unload the veins of the limbs and train the muscles to move the ball from left to right, holding it with the feet.

During pregnancy, you can also perform these exercises, but be careful not to strain the abdominal muscles. To eliminate seizures, you may need vitamin-mineral complexes that contain potassium and calcium, as well as vitamins.

How to treat heavy legs

If the main symptom is a feeling of heaviness, it can be treated with special compression stockings. These are tights, stockings and stockings with a special weave of threads that put pressure on the muscles of the limbs and increase venous outflow, maintain vascular tone. Compression underwear differs in the degree of elasticity, so it should be selected by a phlebologist after a thorough examination.

Pregnant women can wear stockings or pantyhose, specially designed models with a low waist that do not pinch the stomach. Wear such underwear immediately after waking up. At this time, the degree of filling of the veins with blood is minimal. Tights or stockings are worn all day.

Due to a certain force of pressure on the vessels, the swelling on the legs decreases, the feeling of heaviness disappears. This won’t get rid of varicose veins, but it can stop them from progressing and give them time to prepare for more serious treatment.

Why legs hurt causes and treatment

Pain in the legs, unfortunately, is familiar to many, and it worries not only the elderly. It is impossible to unequivocally answer the question of why the legs hurt so much. What to do in this case? – There can be many causes of pain – from simple fatigue with high physical exertion or uncomfortable shoes to injuries and serious illnesses. In the first case, it is enough to rest or change shoes, and everything will pass. In the event of an injury, a recovery period is required. If the pain in the legs is constantly disturbing, you should undergo an examination in the clinic. Moreover, the sooner you see a doctor, the easier it will be to cope with the disease.

Possible causes of pain in the legs:

  • Trauma (contusion, fracture, sprain, etc.).
  • Disease of the spine, accompanied by pinching of the nerve roots, leading to shooting pains in the leg.
  • Arthritis or arthrosis resulting in damage to the joints of the legs.
  • Disease of the blood vessels of the lower extremities. One of the most common disorders of the vascular system is varicose veins. With untimely treatment, it can develop into thrombophlebitis, the final stage of which is vessel thrombosis. Thrombosis is not only accompanied by a sharp pain in the leg, but also threatens with more serious consequences – blockage of the veins of the lower extremities or even pulmonary embolism. Atherosclerosis of the arteries of the lower extremities is also widespread, accompanied by pain in the calf muscles. Instead of pain, cramps may develop, heaviness in the legs can be felt.
  • Damage to muscle tissue (muscle inflammation, fibromyalgia, etc.).

The nature of pain in the leg may differ in various diseases, it can be aching, acute, appear below the knee or in the thigh area, etc. To determine the cause of the pain, it is necessary to analyze other symptoms, as well as undergo certain diagnostic tests. To do this, you need to see a doctor. If spider veins appear or other manifestations of blood vessel diseases are obvious, you should make an appointment with a phlebologist. If it is impossible to determine the cause of the pain on your own, you can contact a therapist, after examination he will refer you to a neuropathologist, phlebologist or other doctor.

The First Phlebological Center in Moscow provides diagnostics and treatment of vascular diseases.