Leg crossing - excessive

Excessive leg crossing involves crossing the legs with unusual frequency.

It sometimes relates to extremity discomfort in certain positions. Social graces (such as for wearing dresses) may play a role.

Common Causes
There are no definitive causes for habitual leg crossing. Psychological and emotional factors are sometimes the cause of habitual leg crossing.

Home Care
Follow prescribed therapy for treating the underlying cause.

Call your health care provider if

Call your health care provider if leg crossing is excessive, particularly if accompanied by other unexplained symptoms.

What to expect at your health care provider’s office
The medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.

Medical history questions documenting excessive leg crossing may include:

  • Does the excessive leg crossing appear to be a habit (habitual leg crossing)?  
  • Is the leg crossing unrelated to a known injury?  
  • Is the leg crossing unrelated to discomfort?  
  • Is the leg crossing related to anxiety or stress?  
  • What other symptoms are also present?

Muscles and joints will be examined to determine if there is a physical problem. Psychological evaluation is sometimes recommended.

After seeing your health care provider:
If a diagnosis was made by your health care provider related to excessive leg crossing, you may want to disclose this to your other providers, as it may influence future diagnosis and treatment.

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Martin A. Harms, M.D.

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All ArmMed Media material is provided for information only and is neither advice nor a substitute for proper medical care. Consult a qualified healthcare professional who understands your particular history for individual concerns.