Why are my calves hurting when I walk

The muscles in your legs are essential for walking, running, and jumping. Sometimes you can feel leg pain when you walk, and there can be several reasons. Why are my calves hurting when I walk?

What can cause leg pain when walking?

Several reasons might cause pain in the legs when walking. Some causes are normal muscle conditions, while others may be due to an underlying health condition. Below we will explore what can cause this type of pain, the symptoms you may feel, and any preventative measures you can take.

Muscle cramps

Muscle cramps occur when the muscles contract involuntarily. They most often affect the legs, including your legs. These cramps usually happen when you walk, run or participate in some form of physical activity.

Muscle cramps can have many causes, but sometimes the cause is unknown. Some of the most common causes include:

  • do not stretch properly before physical activity
  • overuse of the muscles
  • dehydration
  • low electrolyte levels
  • low blood supply to the muscles

The main symptom of muscle cramps is pain, which can vary from mild to severe. The affected muscle may also feel painful to touch.

Muscle damage

An injury to the calf muscle can lead to pain when walking when:

  • A bruise occurs when a blow to the body damages the underlying muscle.
  • A strain occurs when a muscle is overused or overstretched.

Common symptoms of a calf muscle injury may include:

  • pain in the affected area, which often occurs with movement
  • a visible bruise
  • swelling
  • tenderness

You can, in most cases, treat bruises or strains at home. However, more severe injuries may need to be considered by a physician.

When to see your GP

Make an appointment with your GP if you have leg pain when walking as:

  • does not get better or worse with a few days of home care
  • makes it challenging to move around or perform daily activities
  • affects your range of motion

Seek immediate medical attention if you notice:

  • swelling in one or both legs
  • a leg that is unusually pale or cool to the touch
  • leg pain that occurs after a long period of sitting, for example, after a long flight or car trip
  • signs of infection
  • any bone symptoms that develop suddenly, you can not explain by a specific event or condition

Related articles:

Leg hurting after exercise

Calf muscle soreness running


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