It feels like there’s a bruise on your leg, but when you look there, you see nothing unusual. Is this a cause for concern?

“That depends,” says Susan L. Besser, MD, with Mercy Medical Center, Baltimore, and Diplomate American Board of Obesity Medicine and board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine.

Dr. Besser explains, “If you remember injuring your leg recently, even if there is no visible bruise — it’s nothing to worry about.

“If the sore area has been there for several weeks, without improvement and you don’t remember an injury — you should check it out with your doctor.”

Not remembering an injury doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. Perhaps you hit your leg against a bedpost in the middle of the night on the way to the toilet.

Perhaps the sore bruised area is from something you did at the gym.

For example, gliding a barbell up and down the lower legs during the deadlift can cause visible bruising – even if your legs are covered.

If you feel bruised spots along your shins but don’t see anything unusual – and you’re an avid deadlifter – this very well could be caused by the barbell.

Do not keep pressing on the area to see if the sore feeling is still there. Frequent pressing will make any area sore and will make it difficult to tell if the situation is improving.

susan besser, md

Dr. Besser provides comprehensive primary care for the entire family, treating common and acute primary conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Her ongoing care and approach allow her the opportunity to provide accurate and critical diagnoses of more complex conditions and disorders.