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Why do I have leg pain when I walk?

Sore muscles can hurt when you walk, but pain can also be a symptom of poor circulation. If you have diabetes or other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, your doctor should evaluate the pain. You may have intermittent claudication or poor blood flow. Intermittent claudication feels like cramping or aching. The pain occurs because the blood vessels leading to the lower leg have narrowed, and the muscles cannot get enough blood. The pain usually occurs after you walk a short distance. Your physician may recommend that you walk until you begin to feel pain, stop to rest, and walk some more. You gradually increase the distance walked and improve circulation to your leg, relieving the pain.

Leg pain can also be due to sore muscles. If you are out of condition and try to walk quickly, you may feel discomfort in your legs. You may be stretching muscles that are not used to stretching. If you run or exercise vigorously, you can get shin splints, or tendonitis on the front of the lower leg. Walk more slowly or do a different activity for a few days until the soreness goes away.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.