LOWER BACK AND LEG PAIN DESCRIPTION AND CAUSES

The lower back is a complicated maze of interconnected parts. And, while pain may manifest itself in the leg, it often originates in the spine.

Lower back pain and leg pain may be tied to:

  • Tendons, muscles and other soft tissues
  • Sensitive nerves and their roots that lead from the lower back to the legs and feet
  • Small yet complex joints
  • Spinal discs and their inner cores

An irritation or problem with any of these pieces can cause lower back pain. The pain from the accompanying muscle spasms can be severe. Pain from any number of syndromes can become chronic.

If a nerve in the neck or low back is irritated, it often sends a signal down the leg and continues to cause pain until the irritation is relieved. Then the nerve heals and the pain goes away.

Bones, discs or muscles can compress nerves in the low back, resulting in low back pain or leg pain.

Lower back pain is all too common, but the causes, symptoms and severity are wide-ranging. A simple muscle strain might force you to the emergency room while a degenerating disc may only cause mild, sporadic discomfort.

Most of us (80 percent) will suffer lower back pain at some point in our lives. Most lower back pain is the result of muscle strain, injury or overuse or can be linked to a specific spinal condition.


CONDITIONS AND SYMPTOMS OF LOWER BACK PAIN

The most common spine-related conditions that cause lower back pain are:

  • Herniated disc
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spondylolisthesis (one vertebra slips over the one below it)
  • Spinal Stenosis (The spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed resulting in tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the buttocks and legs. The symptoms are similar to sciatica.)
  • Osteoarthritis (bone arthritis)

Symptoms

  • Persistent aching
  • Stiffness
  • Sharp pain
  • Localized pain, especially after lifting a heavy object
  • Long-term ache in middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for a long time
  • Pain that radiates beginning from the low back
  • Pain down the back of your thigh into your calf and toes
  • Inability to stand straight
  • Muscle spasms in the lower back
  • Increased pain when you cough or bend

TREATMENT FOR LOWER BACK AND LEG PAIN

Once we determine what is creating the problem, through a comprehensive exam, we can treat the cause of the pain. Spinal decompression and spinal manipulation are common treatments for lower back pain and leg pain. Physical conditioning and cold laser will also help to increase healing and decrease inflammation. Proper alignment of your body’s musculoskeletal structure is key to reducing pain; paying particular attention to the spine allows the body to heal itself.

Many times, lower back pain and leg pain are the result of a mechanical malfunction in the body — misalignment, tightness, movement is wrong. Restoring function to joints and realignment are highly successful for pain relief and a much wiser solution than covering up the pain with drugs.

Manipulation restores mobility, even if the tissue wasn’t damaged by injury. If your lower back is sore simply by sitting without proper support, we can help.