Q. I get a shooting or stabbing pain in my legs, which usually lasts for a second. Why?

Answered by
Dr. Muhammad Zubayer Alam
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 23, 2021 and last reviewed on: Mar 18, 2021

Hi doctor,

Sometimes I get a weird shooting or stabbing pain in my legs. I do not get pain simultaneously in two legs but it can either be the left or right one. It usually last for a second and or last for ten seconds maximum.



Welcome to

Thanks for the query.

I can understand your concern. According to your statement, you have been suffering from a weird shooting or stabbing type of pain in your legs, alternatively for 10 seconds occasionally. Such type of sharp shooting or stabbing pain in the leg may result from some underlying conditions like leg cramps, muscle, tendon, or ligament damage due to any type of injuries, sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy due to nerve injury, peripheral artery disease due to atherosclerosis, deep vein thrombosis, diabetic neuropathy, etc. For diagnosis purposes, some information or histories are essential, as the history of triggering factors like walking, running, etc., that may aggravate your shooting leg pain, family history of the presence of peripheral artery disease, history of smoking, alcohol consumption, medications history etc. You can take vitamin B complex and iron-enriched foods or supplements daily with green leafy vegetables and plenty of fluids intake. You can apply an ice pack to the painful area and keep the leg elevated. Monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar levels regularly. Keep yourself physically active and stretch the leg. This can be beneficial.

If the above-mentioned measures failed, then you should undergo some investigations to determine the extent of causes.

Take care.

In case of any other query, ask me.

Hello doctor,

It is usually in my front lower legs and it happens anytime but mostly when I am not doing anything. Should I worry?



Welcome back to

Thanks for joining again.

A sharp shooting or stabbing pain in the front lower leg, especially during rest may result from shin splints pain due to inflammation of muscle, tendons, bone tissues or stress fracture that is a common problem for runners, gymnasts, dancers or military staffs, sciatica due to pinched nerve that affects only one lower leg at a time, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome and above mentioned causes.Apply of alternating heat and ice therapy can help to subside such type of pain. Ice may reduce inflammation and heat may cause increase blood flow to the affected area. I think if you follow the above mentioned measures that I have already mentioned, may help to reduce the recurrence of your painful legs pain episodes. In most cases of the lower legs pain, you do not need any medical treatment and eventually it goes away with passing of time. But if this suffering lasts for long or bother you , then you can consult with an orthopedic doctor and do some investigations to find out the underlying causes for your present sufferings as well as treat them accordingly. Do not be worried at all. Take calcium enriched foods or supplements along with above mentioned foods or supplements and measures. Reduction of weight in case of obesity, proper sleep, avoid alcohol or smoking, life style modification, exercising regularly will help you to cure your low leg pain.Take care. Let me know if I can assist you further.

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