Treatment for leg pain depends on the cause. Leg pain can often be treated at home, but if pain is sudden, severe, or persistent, or if there are other symptoms, medical attention may be necessary.
Since most causes of leg pain are not serious, there is plenty you can do. You can:
- avoid putting weight on your leg where possible, and keep it up when you’re resting
- put an icepack on the sore area for 20 minutes at a time, using a covered icepack or bag of frozen peas. Repeat every 2 to 3 hours
- use compresses and bandages
- take simple painkillers like paracetamol or anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen.
If you have muscle cramps, gently stretching the muscles should help. This is true for many other types of leg pain, too.
If you have pins and needles, just moving around should ease the discomfort.
Looking after your health generally – getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, getting some regular exercise, not smoking, being a healthy weight – might also help.
Any treatment you need will depend on the cause. Doctors, physiotherapists, podiatrists and other health professionals can all provide treatments, depending on the cause.
The possible treatments include:
- rest and exercise
- heat and cool packs
- occasionally things like antibiotics or anti-inflammatories
- occasionally surgery.
Call healthdirect 1800 022 222 for advice if:
- your symptoms get worse
- you develop new symptoms
- you become increasingly concerned or
- the health and symptom checker has not addressed your symptoms.
Not sure what to do next?
If you are still concerned about your leg pain, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.
The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: August 2017