What does Herpes leg pain feel like?

Published June 7 2024 inUncategorised
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Today, we’re focusing on a condition that affects millions worldwide: Herpes.

Herpes, known for symptoms such as sores, blisters, rashes, and fever, can also present less common symptoms that most people wouldn’t associate with the infection. One such symptom is leg pain.

In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into the common symptoms of Herpes and the often-overlooked symptom of leg pain. By understanding these symptoms, you can better manage your health and seek appropriate medical advice if needed.

So, let’s get started.

Understanding Herpes

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) that can be caused by two types of viruses: Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2 (HSV-2).

While HSV-1 is primarily associated with Oral Herpes, leading to cold sores and blisters around the mouth, our focus today is on HSV-2, which is often linked with Genital Herpes infections.

HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted infection that causes genital sores, but it can also cause symptoms in other parts of the body, such as the legs.

The virus is notorious for its latency.  Latency means an infection can lie dormant in the body after the initial infection. Specifically, HSV-2 sets up residence in the peripheral sensory ganglia – clusters of nerve cells near the spinal cord.

What makes HSV-2 particularly challenging is its lifelong persistence in the host.  This means that if you have Herpes type 2, you will always have it. After the first outbreak, the virus can reactivate and cause new outbreaks of sores and other symptoms. These outbreaks can be triggered by factors such as stress, illness, and changes in the immune system.

Herpes and leg pain

Let’s turn our attention to a symptom of Herpes that is often overlooked: leg pain.

This leg discomfort caused by the virus, known as radiculopathy, is a neurological condition that can occur as a result of an HSV 2 infection.

Radiculopathy is typically associated with the lumbar or sacral nerve roots located in the lower part of the spine.

These nerves can become irritated or compressed when the Herpes virus reactivates, leading to recurrent episodes of pain. It’s important to note that this pain is not a constant presence but tends to come and go, often in sync with recurrent outbreaks.

The pain usually originates at the base of the spine, near the tailbone, and radiates down the thigh. Over the next days or weeks, the nerve pain can spread to the low back and buttocks, and might even be felt in the genital area.

Understanding the typical pattern and progression of Herpes leg pain can help individuals recognise this symptom and seek appropriate medical advice.

Get tested for Herpes with Better2Know

Worried you have Herpes but don’t have symptoms? Get a blood test for Herpes 1 and 2 for conclusive results.

Treatment options

Antiviral medications

These are often the first line of treatment for managing Herpes symptoms, including leg pain. Antiviral medications can help reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks, thereby alleviating associated leg pain.

Pain relief medications

Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to manage the pain associated with Herpes. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain.

Topical creams

Topical anaesthetics can temporarily relieve skin sensitivity and pain associated with Herpes leg pain. These creams numb the skin and reduce discomfort.

Physical therapy

In some cases, physical therapy can help manage the leg pain caused by Herpes. Exercises and stretches can strengthen the muscles around the affected nerves, reducing pain and improving mobility.

It’s important to note that leg pain caused by Herpes usually subsides with antiviral treatment or over time. However, if you’re experiencing persistent or severe pain, you should seek medical advice.

Final thoughts

Understanding the symptoms of Herpes and seeking appropriate treatment is crucial in managing your health effectively. At Better2Know, we’re committed to providing you with the knowledge and resources you need to take control of your sexual health.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms discussed in this blog, we encourage you to consider our range of STI testing products. Early detection is key in managing any health condition. Take the first step towards better health today with Better2Know. Stay informed and stay healthy.

Get tested for Herpes with Better2Know

If you think you may have been exposed to an STI, you should get tested as soon as possible.


Mike has been delivering world class Sexually Transmitted Infections testing services to Better2Know patients around the world for over ten years. He has written extensively on the subject, including numerous blogs for Better2Know which are designed to demystify the complex intricacies of sexual health testing. Mike wants to help his readers understand the risks they take in their daily sexual lives and provide the information they need when choosing an STI or STD test in a clear, concise and understandable way. Mike is particularly interested in writing about viral STIs like HIV and Hepatitis, as these infections can have a devastating impact on people’s lives if they are not diagnosed quickly. Only through being well informed can you best care for your health, and Mike is passionate about sharing his knowledge and experience to help you and all his readers lead a happier, healthier life.