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Is Your Leg Pain Connected to Your Back?

By Sara Butler

Leg pain happens. Almost everyone has been going about their normal day when all of the sudden, the leg muscle cramps or pain shoots down the leg. This type of pain can differ from person to person, and many people just assume they’ve pulled a muscle. What many people don’t think of right away is how their leg pain may be related to their lower back. Here’s what you need to know about your leg pain and how it may just be a result of your lower back problems.

Different Types of Pain

For some people, leg pain may be shooting pain. For others, it could include numbness or a burning sensation. For still more, it might be a slight tingling sensation down the length of the leg. Any numbness or pain that radiates down the leg can often be attributed to the sciatic nerve. If the sciatic nerve is compressed in any way, then it can result in leg pain. Quite often, the sciatic nerve can become compressed by:

  • Spinal stenosis – As you age, your facet joints may enlarge due to spinal degeneration, causing the nerve roots to be compressed and causing leg pain.
  • Bone spurs – These are usually caused by inflammation and arthritis. If one develops on the spine, it can press on the nerve root and result in leg pain.
  • Bulging discs – If part of the wall of the discs has weakened, then the bulge can press on the nerves in your spine, causing sciatic pain to travel down the leg.
  • Herniated discs – When the walls of one of your discs weaken and break open, the inner contents of the disc can spill out and press on your sciatic nerve, resulting in inflammation and pain.
  • Degenerative disc disease – As you get older, your discs lose their flexibility and make it more difficult to move your spine without causing pain.
  • Arthritis – Inflammation can limit mobility and cause compression of the nerves in the spine.

It’s always important to report any symptoms you may be experiencing to your chiropractor. You may think your leg pain has nothing to do with your spine, but since it’s such a common problem you need to get it checked out. The sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner you can begin to a treatment of the underlying problem and find relief.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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