What’s Causing Your Lower Leg, Ankle, or Foot Pain?

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Now that we’ve seen some serious hints of spring weather here in Cuyahoga, Portage, Summit, and Geauga Counties, people are bursting out of their homes to walk, run, and play outside. And some of them are feeling some foot, ankle, or lower leg pain that they shouldn’t ignore. If this sounds like you, consider what might be causing your pain:

  • Too much too soon.

    If you’ve been pretty sedentary these last months of quarantine, we understand you’re ready to get out there and get moving. But many lower leg injuries fall into the category we call “overuse” injuries. That’s when you do more than you should – more than your lower limbs are ready for. To reduce the risk of overuse injuries such as stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and tendinitis, pace yourself. Increase your level of activity gradually rather than doing too much too soon.

  • “Quarantine feet.”

    Podiatrists worldwide, including Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey, are seeing more and more patients with foot pain directly related to the pandemic. Their feet don’t make an appearance on a work or school Zoom call, so they’ve been going barefoot or wearing unsupportive slippers for months. Asking these tired feet to go for a run may result in an overuse injury or a sudden injury.

  • Arthritis

    Arthritis (joint pain) is a leading cause of toe, foot, and ankle pain. Exercise can exacerbate joint pain, but there are effective treatments, including custom orthotics, steroid injections, and surgery.

  • A circulation problem.

    One of the symptoms of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is lower leg pain, especially while walking. With PAD, your legs ache because they’re not getting enough blood. Narrowed blood vessels prevent the proper blood flow, causing cramping or pain that lessens when you stop walking. Untreated PAD can cause lower limb tissue death and even a stroke or a heart attack.

These are just a few of the reasons why your lower limbs hurt. For a complete exam, diagnosis, and treatment of your pain, contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland online or call our office in Solon, Ohio at, (440) 903-1041.