When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Call for immediate medical help or go to the emergency room if you:

  • Have a leg injury with a deep cut or exposed bone or tendon
  • Are unable to walk or put weight on your leg
  • Have pain, swelling, redness or warmth in your calf
  • Hear a popping or grinding sound at the time of a leg injury

See your doctor as soon as possible if you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as redness, warmth or tenderness, or you have a fever greater than100 F (37.8 C)
  • A leg that is swollen, pale or unusually cool
  • Calf pain, particularly after prolonged sitting (such as a long car trip or plane ride)
  • Swelling in both legs along with breathing problems
  • Any serious leg symptoms that develop for no apparent reason

Schedule an office visit if:

  • You have pain during or after walking
  • You have swelling in both legs
  • Your pain gets worse
  • Your symptoms don't improve after a few days of home treatment
  • You have painful varicose veins

Self-care
Minor leg pain often responds well to home treatments. To relieve mild pain and swelling:

  • Stay off your leg as much as possible
  • Apply an ice pack or bag of frozen peas to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes three times a day
  • Elevate your leg whenever you sit or lie down
  • Try over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or naproxen (Aleve)
Apr. 06, 2013