Legs ache from knee to foot

Why aching legs from the knee to the foot

Very often, seeking medical help from doctors of different specialties is associated with diseases in which the legs hurt from the knee to the foot. Such a complaint can not be regarded unequivocally, since there are more than enough reasons for its appearance. Their description and valuable advice on choosing the right treatment tactics are given in this article.

What can be caused by pain in the legs

The main causes of pain in the legs below the knee level are shown in the table.

Anatomical structures that are a source of pain Type of pathological changes List of diseases
Soft tissues( skin, fascia, muscles, subcutaneous fat) Inflammation
  • Dermatomyositis;
  • Myositis;
  • Fasciitis and fasciol cellulitis;
  • Suppurative diseases;
  • Erysipelas;
  • Trophic ulcers.
Traumatic lesion
  • Physical overwork;
  • Contusions;
  • Post-traumatic hematoma;
  • Stretch and tear.
Dense connective tissue formations( tendons, ligaments) Inflammation of
  • Tendonitis and tenosynovitis;
  • Ligament.
Injury Sprains and tears of tendon-ligamentous complexes
Bone-joint structures Inflammation of Knee joint injury with:
  • Arthrosis-arthritis;
  • Purulent bursitis;
  • Acute and chronic osteomyelitis.
  • Acute synovial rupture in the knee region;
  • Contusion of the tibia;
  • Complete and incomplete fractures of the shin bones.
Venous vessels Extension, inflammation, thrombosis
  • Varicose veins of the lower extremities;
  • Venous insufficiency;
  • Acute and chronic thrombophlebitis;
  • Postthrombophlebitis.
Arterial vessels Reduction of vascular lumen, formation of thrombi
  • Obliterating arteriosclerosis of the vessels of the legs;
  • Obliterating endarteritis;
  • Buerger's disease;
  • Diabetic angiopathy;
  • Reynaud syndrome;
  • Chronic arterial insufficiency;
  • Thrombosis and embolism of lower limb arteries.
Lymphatic vessels Lymphatic stasis Lymphostasis or elephantiasis on background:
  • Pathologies of veins;
  • Chronic erysipelas of the lower leg;
  • Postponed suppuration and trauma;
  • Inguinal lymphodissection after oncological operations.
Nerve structures Nerve irritation
  • Polyneuropathy of various origin;
  • The defeat of nerve structures in diabetes mellitus;
  • Discogenic radiculopathy;
  • Osteochondrosis of the spine;
  • Intervertebral hernia;
  • Injuries and inflammatory-degenerative diseases of the spinal cord.
Combined lesion of several anatomical formations Are of a varied nature
  • Periods of active growth of children;
  • Hormonal rearrangements in the body( especially in premenopausal women);
  • Osteoporosis;
  • Congestive heart failure;
  • Diseases of the endocrine system, accompanied by violations of the mineral-electrolyte metabolism;
  • Pregnancy and the puerperium;
  • Lesion of leg bones in leukemia;
  • Posture disorders( curvature of the spine, flat feet);
  • Insufficient level of physical activity.

It's important to remember! One of the common causes of pain in the legs is the surgical interventions on the arteries, veins, bones of the lower limbs and the spine. Damaged structures, despite the restoration of integrity, become a source of periodic pain!

Pain in the legs
Overfatigue and weakness of the leg muscles are common causes of pain in the legs

Basics of a differentiated approach to clarifying the most likely cause of pain

To determine why the shin is aching, it is necessary to follow such rules:

  1. It is compulsory to detail all the characteristics of the pain syndrome:continue where the pain is localized, its nature, under what conditions it decreases.
  2. Accounting for anamnestic data: age, gender, concomitant diseases, traumas and operations.
  3. Complete inspection. Not only pain zones should be inspected. Complex evaluation of all vital parameters of the body( temperature, skin color, pulse characteristics, blood pressure, palpation of the abdomen and lymph nodes, etc.).
  4. Evaluation of the results of additional research methods: clinical analysis of blood and urine, radiography, ultrasound, etc.
  5. Dynamic monitoring of pain syndrome. Very often it is impossible to correctly determine the causes of acute pain in the legs during a primary examination. Even a brief observation of the patient pushes the idea of ​​a correct diagnosis.

It's important to remember! The presence of persistent pain in the legs, especially in combination with any other complaints, is the reason for immediate appeal to specialists. Under the mask, at first glance, the usual harmless symptoms often hide serious diseases that can not immediately be recognized even by professionals!

Pain syndrome with soft tissue injury of the shins

To suggest that the pathological changes in the soft tissue of the lower leg( skin, muscle, fascia of the tendon) cause the pain of the leg, the following symptoms may occur:

  • In myositis and tendosynovitis, the legs ache in the projection of a specific muscle ormuscle complex of one of the extremities. Pain is enhanced by palpation and physical strain of the shin. Often an increase in muscle tone in the form of a dense strand is determined.
  • The presence of reddening of the skin with local edema of the lower leg speaks of inflammatory-suppuration changes in soft tissues. If they are combined with an increase in body temperature and the throbbing pain of the reddened area, which increases with palpation and walking, the cause becomes obvious. It can be an abscess, a phlegmon, a carbuncle, a suppressed hematoma.
  • Common reddening of the skin in combination with pronounced circular edema of the leg below the knee and foot, sharp hyperthermia to high figures( 39˚С-40˚С) is characteristic for two diseases: erysipelas and fasciitis.
  • The presence of injuries for a week before the onset of pain in the leg should be the reason for the exclusion of post-traumatic hematomas, sprain-rupture of ligaments, muscles and tendons.

To diagnose all these diseases, you need to seek medical help from an orthopedic trauma specialist or surgeon. Treatment includes the creation of functional rest of the affected limb( plaster bandage, orthosis, elastic bandaging), anti-inflammatory drugs, thermal compresses, physiotherapy procedures. When infectious and suppuration, antibiotics are prescribed.

Varicose veins on the legs
Long-term existence of varicose veins leads to a constant progression of venous insufficiency, the appearance of trophic skin disorders and pain in the legs

Pain in the lower leg with diseases of the knee joint

A frequent cause of discussion between surgeons and traumatologists is pain in the knee and below it. With such diseases as arthrosis-arthritis and acute synovial rupture in the back pouches of the knee, a large amount of fluid accumulates. Perhaps the formation of Baker's cyst. Against this background, there is a pronounced stretching of the soft tissues that cover them. In the first place, these are the muscles of the posterior group of the lower leg. Therefore, patients can complain that when walking this area is very sore. The pains are combined with a small local edema, muscle tension and the inability to completely bend the leg in the knee due to the sensation of a foreign body in the popliteal region.

The second most common disease is prostatellar bursitis. Characterized by severe soreness along the anterior surface of the upper third of the tibia and patella. It is always combined with redness and swelling of the skin in this area. It is possible to increase the body temperature with suppuration bursitis.

Pain in the pathology of the lympho-venous system of the lower extremities

To suggest that the pains in the legs from the knees to the feet are associated with problems of venous circulation, there may be such symptoms:

  • the presence of varicose transformed superficial veins;
  • appearance of vascular asterisks;
  • trophic changes in the skin and subcutaneous tissue( darkening, ulcers, densification, pigmentation spots);
  • edema of the shins and feet;
  • redness of the skin along the inner surface of the thigh and lower leg in the projection of the course of the large saphenous vein.

For all types of this pathology, the pain is rarely intense. Most patients complain of heaviness in the legs, which increases by the evening, there may be intense pain along the course of the dilated veins. The only exception is patients with decompensated venous insufficiency and the formation of trophic ulcers. Affected areas of them hurt very much.

With moderate pain, they are combined with marked dense swelling of the shins and the back surface of the foot. The second component is a specific sign of the lymphatic nature of the edema.

Pain in arterial vascular lesions of the legs and peripheral nerves

More Articles: calf hurts Why does the calf muscle pain?

A specific symptom of occlusal involvement of the lower limb arteries is intermittent claudication. This means that a person, after walking a short distance, is forced to stop due to the fact that the shin is badly hurt. If the pains occur at night in a state of rest and are combined with pallor, cold skin of the feet, darkening of the fingers, this clearly indicates severe violations of the patency of the arteries. Such patients need urgent consultation of a vascular surgeon.

Pain in the defeat of the structures of the peripheral nervous system is always acute intense. Very often it is clearly localized in the form of a band along the peripheral nerve and has the character of a lumbago. If the spinal cord is affected, peripheral paralysis of the foot or of the entire lower limb, weakening of muscular strength.

Nonspecific pain

Muscles and bones of the shins experience a tremendous strain. Therefore, they often ache or ache with any changes in the body. Such physiological conditions include pregnancy, rapid weight gain, physical overfatigue as a result of unusual loads, periods of active growth in children. Pathological conditions can be: osteoporosis of various origin, metabolic disturbances in the body, infiltration of bone tissue by immature leukocytes in leukemia, flatfoot and curvature of the spine. In all these cases, the pain is moderate, intensified against the background of a long stay on the legs and decreases after rest.

It's important to remember! Pain in the legs is a nonspecific symptom, which can be a signal of both pathological and physiological changes in the body!


Foot pain from knee to foot: causes and treatment

Thrombosis of the vessels of the legs below the knee

Such pathologies develop in a short time, they flow sharply and are accompanied by pronounced external signs. The disease can be with a blockage of veins or arteries. The states are different in many ways.

With venous thrombosis, symptoms develop gradually over several days. They show up with heaviness in the legs and with a bursting pain. Its localization can be both from the outside, and the inner region of the shin. The leg begins to swell, redness occurs. In the place of pathology, the temperature in the leg rises, it becomes hot to the touch. After a while, redness is replaced by a cyanotic shade. Painful sensations in the patient are strong, it is impossible for him to step on the affected leg. After three or four days, necrosis of the tissues and gangrene of the foot begins. Therefore, timely medical assistance is needed to avoid being left without a lower limb.

Arterial thrombosis develops transiently. For a couple of hours the foot begins to grow dull and cold. Because of the lack of blood supply to the tissues, the color of the shin becomes white. There may also be a sudden acute pain below the knee to the foot.

In the absence of first aid doctors, for two to four hours, the leg dies due to tissue necrosis.

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Deficiency of minerals( microelements)

If there is a shortage of any substances in the body, painful sensations in the lower limbs may develop. The reasons for this are different. Perhaps the bones lack calcium. Symptoms can be cramps in the muscles of the calves, which occur at night. Because of this, a person wakes up, the pain prevents him from sleeping. The attack can last several minutes, then go by yourself. Usually a person starts to massage a diseased site in order to ease his condition.

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This disease can be a consequence of the effects on the body of diabetes, which affects not only all organs( tissues, bones), but also nerve endings. Sometimes diabetes is diagnosed because of pain in the legs below the knees. This is typical of the second type of disease. Thus such signs are shown:

  • burning pain in the legs;
  • numbness of legs and cold limb syndrome;
  • pain is permanent and does not depend on physical activity and workload.
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Obliterating atherosclerosis

This disease disrupts the main blood flow to the lower leg due to the narrowing of the lumen of the vessels. The causes of this are atherosclerotic plaques. Because of this, the patient has pain below the knee to the foot with intermittent claudication. Usually it is typical for long walking for long distances. After rest, the pain syndrome passes. If you do not take measures and the disease will progress, the pain will intensify and appear even at rest. Trophic changes occur on the legs( ulcers occur).The skin begins to peel off, it becomes very dry. Also, the nails on the legs are involved in the pathology process. This disease can also lead to death of the limb due to necrosis of the tissues and gangrene

If the leg under the knee pains, then immediately consult a doctor. The specialist will appoint the necessary examination and prescribe the treatment.


Why the legs hurt below the knees

If a person has aching legs below the knees - this is a symptom of numerous diseases. The region of the shin consists of several groups of anatomical structures: muscles, ligaments, tibial and fibular bones, a set of nerve plexuses, vessels.

To facilitate the differentiation of the pain syndrome, the physicians divide the shin into the anterior and posterior parts, which are delimited on one side by the inner edge of the tibia, and on the other by the posterior part of the fibula( together with the ankle).In front of more muscle structures, and behind it are ligaments, vessels and nerves.

For what reasons do

's legs ache? The most often hurt below the knee of the foot due to high physical exertion. Minor injuries of the tendons do not cause strong clinical symptoms, except for periodic ciliary pain when walking.

Mechanical damage over time with constant physical exertion is complicated by inflammatory changes, so there is swelling in the area of ​​damage to the front of the shin.

The second most frequent cause of pain syndrome below the knees are diseases of the spine, in which the nerve root is compressed( intervertebral hernia, pronounced osteochondrosis, spondylosis).It increases with sharp bends of the body and palpation of the posterior region of the shin.

The third reason for aching legs is bursitis( inflammatory changes in the knee sheaths) that occurs as a consequence of arthrosis of the knee joint or injury to his meniscus.

With a pronounced narrowing of the articular cleft of the knee, cartilage structures are damaged with the formation of an inflammatory fluid. It accumulates in tendinous vaginas, therefore at a pathology edema of a popliteal fossa is observed. It can be felt on the back of the knee joint.

Varicose veins of lower extremities or thrombosis of blood vessels( clots of blood clots) also lead to pains below the knee, since with this pathology, stagnation of blood is noted, leading to overgrowth of the vessel wall. Against this background, pain in the calf region is constantly observed. It is aching and intensifies in the evening.

When the legs are still aching below the knee:

  • Vascular atherosclerosis( accumulation of fatty plaques),
  • Inflammation of bones( osteomyelitis),
  • Decrease in calcium, magnesium, alkali and potassium in the blood.
  • Disturbance of bone formation in children and adolescents( Osgood-Schlatter disease).

Symptoms combined with shin aches

Usually the pain below the knee is not localized. The width of its distribution is 10-15 cm, which testifies to the extensive damage to the anatomical structures of the foot. Pain syndrome increases with exercise and is weakened when it stops.

The severity of the syndrome increases in smokers, as they have a violation of blood supply in the place of injury.

When thrombosis of the veins, the legs below the knees hurt strongly. Pathology poses a serious danger to human life, since a blood clot can migrate into the arteries of the lung or brain. This increases the likelihood of fatal conditions - pulmonary embolism( PE) and strokes.

Atherosclerosis is not as dangerous as thrombosis, but in smokers it can be combined with Raynaud's disease( spasm of small vessels), which forms constant aching pains on the posterior surface of the shin at the location of the calf muscles.

In osteomyelitis of the tibia or fibula, the soreness of the lower knee is combined with purulent secretions on the surface of the skin through the opened fistula. Their intensity depends heavily on the state of the human immune system.

For athletes, the knee meniscus damage is more typical. In this case, the pain syndrome is combined with the limitation of mobility.

What are the sensations when leg soreness is below the knees of the

? In most pathological changes below the knees, a "goosebumping" movement appears along the leg muscular structures. Initially, this symptom is not characterized by pain, but over time, a person develops a feeling of "boiling water poured on the skin."Gradually there is a throbbing pain that disturbs a person throughout the whole working day. It is necessary to lower the pace of walking and choose the most convenient position to reduce soreness.

If you do not treat the above symptoms, increases the intensity of clinical signs. After running, the foot begins to "twist" so that the person needs to lie down for several days to restore health.

The final stage - the burning sensation becomes unbearable. After walking, a feeling of heat is created. Symmetrically on both sides formed similar signs.

How to treat the pain of the shin

  • To reduce the sensitivity of sensations in the pathology of the shin can be medicated and folk remedies. With inflammatory changes, doctors prescribe NSAIDs( non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) that can be used in the form of tablets, ointments and creams.
  • Treat lower limb varicose for a long time. In addition to a tight bandage in this situation, ointments are used to strengthen the venous wall( troxevasin, venoruton).
  • Treatment of diseases of the spine is more complicated and requires the use of chondroprotectors( teraflex, alflutope), muscle relaxants( midolgans), NSAIDs and even novocaine blockades. Intervertebral hernias often require surgical treatment.
  • From folk remedies, you can advise a pack of honey. It is enough to lubricate the pain area with honey and tie it with a clean bandage to relieve the condition. Walk with such a compress should be throughout the day.

Thus, the legs hurt below the knees for a variety of reasons. In most cases, the pain is not completely cured. The combination of medications and folk methods removes the limitations of mobility, but the treatment of pathology is necessary regularly and for a long time.


Sore feet below the knees - what's the reason?

Most likely, many of us had to complain to relatives and friends that they hurt their legs below the knees. When a person is at work all day, and when he comes home, he takes off his shoes and feels that his feet just ache, hum and fall off. As a rule, discomfort in the legs occurs after a busy day as a result of excessive physical strain, in general, due to fatigue. After all, from which side you look, and almost all the weight falls on your feet, and in case of excess weight, this load increases several times, which entails an increase in leg pains below the knees.

The fact is, if before the knee pains in the legs were primarily worried about the elderly, nowadays people of quite a young age are increasingly feeling this discomfort. Today leg soreness is a common symptom, so many people are interested in the causes of pain in the legs below the knees. First of all, it should be noted that every day the muscles, tendons and bones of the legs of a person are under tremendous strain. This is why the appearance of edema of the lower extremities, especially in the field of ankle joints, soreness and even reaction to changes in weather conditions is observed over time.

Why do legs hurt below the knees?

Classification of causes of leg soreness:

  • Traumatic: bone damage, cracks, stratification, thinning, stretching or tearing of the tendons, displacement of the knee cap or meniscus.
  • Inflammatory processes: muscles, ligaments, synovial bags.
  • Diseases: cyst, atherosclerosis, neuralgia, sciatica, flat feet, and other diseases.

In fact, the causes of leg pain below the knees are varied. After all, not only fatigue can cause soreness. There are many diseases in which this symptom is manifested. For example, pain can occur as a result of inflammatory diseases, infectious processes, gastrointestinal tract diseases, psoriasis or rheumatoid arthritis. Also a very common cause of leg pain below the knees is the deposition of salts in the joint cavity of the lower extremities( osteoarthrosis).In such cases, there is a local occurrence of a pain symptom in the area of ​​a particular joint.

Bone of the leg below the knees hurts in the event of severe mechanical trauma, at which cracks, delaminations or even fractures may occur with increased brittleness of bone tissue. Strong and prolonged painful sensations are accompanied by bruises of the periosteum, while the pain in the lower leg is formed below the knee in front. A sharp pain is accompanied by damage to the tendons, through which the groups of muscles connect directly with the bones. The fact is that many people tend to have strong tendons, but they are not elastic enough, therefore, even with minor injuries, sprains can develop, accompanied by a painful syndrome that increases during walking.

The cause of pain can be the inflammatory processes of synovial bags, muscles or the tendons themselves, dislocation or displacement of the patella. Below the knees, leg muscles ache after intense physical activity during sports training. The fact is that with excessive loads in the muscle tissue accumulation of lactic acid occurs, which causes aching sensations in the calf muscles. Also, with the wrong approach to the exercise, you can get a strong sprain of the ligaments or even muscle tears, which will certainly lead to the onset of inflammation and soreness in this area.

The legs below the knees are very painful for obesity and human hypodynamia. The fact is that nature does not calculate an excessive increase in body weight in two, or even three times. Therefore, the joints and bones of the legs, especially below the knees, experience a very heavy load as a result of which the accelerated processes of destruction of articular surfaces arise, which, in turn, leads to inflammatory processes and painful sensations.

Diseases accompanied by painful leg syndrome below the knee

Lower limb atherosclerosis

There are times when a person's leg muscles are always hurting lower than the knee, often cramps occur, especially at night or while walking the stairs. In this situation, it is possible to assume that the problem lies in the deposition of cholesterol in the blood vessels of the limbs and the formation of cholesterol plaques. Also a feature that indicates atherosclerotic changes in the vessels are always cold feet at any time of year despite the temperature of the environment. Moreover, in representatives of the stronger sex, there may be a cessation of hair growth and various violations of sexual functions.

In case of detection of this problem, it is necessary to take measures and not to ignore it, because cholesterolemia can lead to much more serious diseases, such as cerebral stroke or myocardial infarction. A number of examinations should be performed, the list of which must include angiography and ultrasound examination. Experts on the results of the tests will clarify the diagnosis and prescribe the necessary treatment in order to alleviate the general condition and prevent pain in the legs.


This is an inflammation of the tissues of the arteries. Usually, when this disease occurs, people complain of a sharp pain in the area of ​​the feet or calf muscles. A characteristic feature is that the legs below the knees strongly hurt not in the evening, as with normal fatigue, but only after a while after the start of walking. Sometimes it's enough to pass just fifty or a hundred steps to feel a sharp pain in your legs. Very often there is even numbness of the legs below the knees. In a similar situation it is necessary to have a little rest, to stop, and it is desirable and to sit down. Unfortunately, such actions will ease the condition of a sick person only for a short period, after which the pain in the legs will return again.

If such symptoms occur, you should immediately seek help from a vascular surgeon who will prescribe a comprehensive examination( includes mandatory examinations: contrast angiography, ultrasound examination and an expanded blood test) to identify the causes of the disease and prescribe the necessary treatment.

After completion of all procedures, the specialist puts the final diagnosis and appoints the optimal treatment that will reduce the degree of manifestation of the pain syndrome. But the fact is that this disease is very unpredictable and if you have severe pain you need to call an ambulance immediately, because it may be that you will have to resort to surgery, perhaps even immediate.

Arthritis and arthrosis

These diseases are also quite common nowadays. Their characteristic signs are the manifestation of sharp pain in the joints during movement, and still there is a meteorological dependence, which manifests itself in the "twisting" of the joints of the legs when the weather conditions change. People who suffer from these diseases can not only walk, but also simply during the standing of the leg below the knees greatly hurt.

For specification and statement of the diagnosis it is necessary to address to the doctor-rheumatologist who after inspection, will appoint or install a correct course of treatment.


If the knee pains in the legs are pulsating, strong and manifest in the calf muscles, then it is worth suspecting such a disease as thrombophlebitis. In addition, redness and swelling, burning sensation appear in the calf area, the veins of the legs are modified and become dense with time. It sometimes happens that the left leg hurts below the knee or the right leg. This is observed in the unilateral flow of the process.

Treatment in such situations should appoint angiosurgeon - a doctor who specializes in the treatment of vascular diseases. Depending on the risk of separation of the formed thrombus and the degree of neglect of the disease, treatment is appointed either conservatively or surgically performed.


A bone loss below the knees may well be a sign of a disease such as osteoporosis. This disease occurs when there is a lack of( for various reasons) in the body of an important macroelement - calcium. With this disease, pain manifests itself in an acute form, very often you can see the appearance of muscle spasms. As a rule, most often osteoporosis affects women after forty years. The risk group includes ladies with blond hair, skin and blue eyes.

This disease causes a huge number of different negative consequences, so you need to urgently consult specialists for optimal treatment, with which you can get rid of the pain in front from below the knee, or at least reduce the degree of its manifestation.


This disease is also a very common cause of the manifestation of a painful leg syndrome. The most characteristic sign of flatfoot is the very rapid appearance of a feeling of fatigue when walking, and when the disease develops, painful sensations appear in the area of ​​the feet and shins.

Treat flatfoot necessarily. It is necessary to consult an orthopedist, he will appoint and show special exercises and pick up orthopedic insoles for shoes. Women who suffer from this disease should not wear tight and narrow shoes or high heels.

Diseases in the lumbar region of

Very often, there are also cases when there is a constant soreness in the legs, and no pathological changes can be detected directly in the lower extremities. Then you need to pay attention to the region of the lower back and already there to look for the cause of the painful sensations in the knee, shin or foot. Similar signs, as a rule, appear at a radiculitis or lumboishialgia - an inflammation or irritation of nervous roots of a lumbar department of a backbone. Depending on the localization process hurts the right leg below the knee or left.

Severe pain, hyperemia of the skin in the shin area and an increase in the local body temperature are symptoms of erysipelas. This disease causes pain below the knees in the front.

Gout causes severe pain in the big toes, which are of a pulsating nature. In adolescents, pain in the legs can occur during the course of infectious processes in other organs. For example, with chronic tonsillitis with purulent plugs, it often happens that the leg hurts below the knee in front and in the bones.

Basic diagnostic methods for foot diseases


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