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Types of Leg Pain That Are Actually Caused By a Back Problem

No doubt about it, your legs endure a lot of stress throughout your life, leading to a general wear and tear that may result in pain. However, not all sources of leg pain are caused by issues related to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage that make up your lower extremities.

It’s possible that the electric shock sensation you feel shooting down your leg every time you reposition your body is due to a back problem. At Texas Spine Consultants in Addison and Plano, Texas, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine health and help many people get relief from their leg pain by treating the underlying back problem responsible for the traveling pain sensations.

To save you from unnecessary testing and treatment of your legs, we want to share with you the types of leg pain that are actually caused by a back problem.

Describing your leg pain

Pain symptoms, no matter what body part they affect, can vary significantly. The pain may be dull, sharp, constant, or intermittent. But the type of leg pain you feel may help determine the source of your discomfort. 

Your back may be the source of your leg pain if your symptoms include:

You may not experience all of these symptoms. But if any of these symptoms match the type of leg pain you’re experiencing, then it may be time to see us at Texas Spine Consultants for an evaluation of your spine and back, instead of seeking treatment for your legs.

Back problems that cause leg pain

Almost everyone at some point in their life develops lower back pain. This part of your back includes your lumbar spine, which is responsible for supporting much of your upper body weight. 

Aging and the stress of your body weight leads to degeneration of the components that make up your spine, including the discs, ligaments, cartilage, and vertebrae. These degenerative changes are often the source of lower back pain, as well as your leg pain. Back problems that cause leg pain include:

Sciatica

If your pain radiates from your back through your buttocks and into one of your legs then you may have sciatica. This common pain condition occurs from irritation or pinching of your sciatic nerve, which is a thick sensory and motor nerve that travels from your lumbar spine through the buttocks and into your legs on both sides of your body. Herniated discs and bone spurs are the most common cause of sciatica. 

Spinal stenosis

Pain or cramping in one or both of your legs when standing or walking for a long period of time may be signs that you have spinal stenosis. This common lower back condition is characterized by a narrowing of the space within your spine, which presses on the nerves running through. Symptoms caused by spinal stenosis tend to worsen with time.

Degenerative disc disease

Though disc degeneration is a fact of aging, not everyone develops degenerative disc disease. Back pain is the most common symptom of degenerative disc disease, but the changes in the health of your discs may also cause pain that radiates to your legs. Or, in the case of nerve root damage, leg weakness or foot drop. 

Getting leg pain relief

Once you know the back problem causing your leg pain, you can get the treatment you need to alleviate your discomfort and improve back health. At Texas Spine Consultants we specialize in diagnosing and treating spine conditions and offer many treatments for leg pain, including:

Though surgery is considered the last resort for the treatment of leg pain, our orthopedic spine surgeons use the most advanced minimally invasive techniques, including the XLIF® lateral interbody fusion, to remove the discs irritating your nerves.

Pain in your leg doesn’t mean there’s a problem with your leg. If you suspect your symptoms point more toward a back problem than a leg problem, call Texas Spine Consultants or request an appointment online today.  

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