Your Leg Pain May Indicate a Spine Problem
Leg pain can range from a mild discomfort that comes and goes, to debilitating pain that disrupts sleeping, walking, and engaging in everyday activities. The pain can range from aching and searing to throbbing and burning, and it can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as a pins-and-needles sensation, and/or leg or foot numbness or weakness.
Leg pain may be caused by a problem in the leg, but it can also result from a problem in the lower back. Here are 5 leg pain symptoms that may indicate a problem with your spine:
1. Burning pain: Leg pain can take the form of a searing pain that at times radiates from the low back or buttocks down the leg. It can also be intermittent pain that shoots from the lower back down the leg and occasionally into the foot. Words that describe this type of pain include radiating, electric or shooting pain that feels jolting. This type of burning pain is results from a nerve root in the lower spine that is irritated, and it is often referred to as sciatica.
2. Leg numbness or tingling: If you’ve experienced your leg or foot “falling asleep,” then you know what this sensation feels like. However, unlike the short-lived numbness of an asleep limb, numbness coming from a low back problem can be continuous and can affect your quality of life. For example, it can be difficult to walk or drive a car if your leg or foot is numb. Symptoms range from a slight tingling sensation to complete numbness down the leg and into the foot.
3. Weakness (foot drop) or heaviness: In this situation, leg weakness or heaviness interferes significantly with movement. You might feel as if you are having to drag the lower leg and foot or are unable to move your leg as quickly and easily as needed while walking or climbing stairs, for example, because of perceived weakness or slow reaction.
4. Constant pain: Since it is normally felt in the buttock area, it is not technically leg pain but it may accompany some form of pain felt in the legs. Occasionally, this pain also radiates past the buttock into the leg. It is usually described as “nerve pain,” versus an aching or throbbing pain. It is typically present only on one side, and is commonly called sciatica or lumbar radiculopathy.
5. Positional leg pain: When leg pain dramatically worsens in intensity when sitting, standing or walking, it may indicate a problem with a specific part of the anatomy in the lower back. This kind of pain can often be alleviated by finding more comfortable positions.
Have you experienced any of the leg pain symptoms above? Leg pain should not be ignored – contact Dr. Sharma to see if your leg pain indicates a spine problem and to receive treatment.