Lower Leg & Calf Pain

Updated February 21, 2017

Pain in the calf muscle of the lower leg is often associated with an injury. The severity of these injuries can vary greatly, as will the treatment and recovery time. Consult a physician--a sports-medicine practitioner if possible--in all cases.

Calf Strains

A calf strain occurs when the muscle is pulled or stretched but not torn. In minor cases recovery can take as little as two weeks. Severe cases can require up to four months. The standard treatment for muscle injuries--rest, ice, compression and elevation--is usually advised.

Pain in the Back of the Leg

Pains low in the back of the leg can indicate Achilles tendinitis. This often occurs in athletes with well-developed muscles in the back of their legs that are not balanced by a similar strength in the front. However, it can also be caused by nerve damage associated with diabetes.

Swelling and Pain to Both Legs

If both feet or lower legs are swollen and painful, there might be a systemic problem rather than an injury, which probably would affect only one extremity. Fluid build-up in both legs might be a symptom of heart disease or kidney failure.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome can cause pain in the legs. Usual symptoms include legs that feel uncomfortable in any position, along with a need to constantly move. There is no known cause.

Broken Bones

A leg that will not support the normal weight of walking might have a broken bone. Other signs include pain, a grinding sound when moving, or a deformed leg if the break is severe. Immediate medical attention is required.

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About the Author

Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.