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Leg Pain


Leg pain may be caused by a variety of health conditions. Your tests did not show any broken bones or blood clots.


Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your leg starts to swell.
  • Your leg pain gets worse.
  • You have numbness or tingling in your leg or toes.
  • You cannot put any weight on or move your leg.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your pain does not decrease, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need more tests to find the cause of your leg pain. You may need to see an orthopedic specialist or a physical therapist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage your leg pain:

  • Rest your injured leg so that it can heal. You may need an immobilizer, brace, or splint to limit the movement of your leg. You may need to avoid putting any weight on your leg for at least 48 hours. Return to normal activities as directed.
  • Ice the injury for 20 minutes every 4 hours for up to 24 hours, or as directed. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel to protect your skin. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
  • Elevate your injured leg above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. If possible, prop your leg on pillows or blankets to keep the area elevated comfortably.
  • Use assistive devices as directed. You may need to use a cane or crutches. Assistive devices help decrease pain and pressure on your leg when you walk. Ask your healthcare provider for more information about assistive devices and how to use them correctly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Extra body weight can cause pressure and pain in your hip, knee, and ankle joints. Ask your healthcare provider how much you should weigh. Ask him to help you create a weight loss plan if you are overweight.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.