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Lower back and leg pains

Lower back and leg pains are not so far-fetched and can be closely related to each other.

Back pains are very common ailments and ranks high amongst the leading causes of job-related disability.

It affects both men and women, and it ranges from a dull ache that can last a few days to a very chronic pain that lasts for weeks or even months, depending.

However, lower back pain is often caused by muscle strain and normal wear and tear of the body’s vertebras. Lower back pain may also be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition. In most cases, lower back pain extends to other areas of the body, specifically down to the legs.

What are the possible signs and symptoms associated with lower back and leg pains?

They include;

  • A tingling feeling
  • The areas affected becomes very sore to touch
  • There is limited mobility around those areas
  • Presence of burning sensations
  • Numbness of the affected part.

What causes lower back and leg pains?

Stated below are some of the underlying conditions that could sometime result to pain being experienced in the lower back and legs. The underlying conditions includes;

Sciatica

Sciatica is a form of pain that is radiated from the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is a nerve that extends from the lower back, through your hips and gluteal region (buttocks), and down to your legs. When sciatica occurs, it affects just one side of the body. Likely symptoms associated with sciatica includes;

  • Numbness
  • Controlling the bladder or bowel movement poses as a herculean task
  • There is muscle weakness on the affected side
  • Burning sensations are experienced
  • Intense pain that radiates from the lower spine down to the back of the leg is felt
  • Sharp jolts of pain begin to light-up in the affected areas.

Lumbar Herniated Disk

A lumbar herniated disk is a ruptured disk in the lower back. It is as a result of the pushing out of the nucleus or jelly from the spinal disk through an opening or tear. The ruptured disk then places a lot of pressure on the spinal nerves which could cause severe pain, numbness, and most times weakness.

Other symptoms related to lumbar herniated disk includes;

  • Back spasms
  • Decreased reflexes are experienced either at the knee or ankle
  • There is numbness of the leg and foot
  • The back pain becomes worsened by standing, coughing, and even sneezing.

 Piriformis syndrome

The piriformis muscle is flat and band-like in shape. This muscle is found in the glutes region, at the top of the hip joint. The piriformis functions to stabilize the hip joint, and also, it lifts and rotates the thigh away from the body (laterally abducts the thigh).

The piriformis syndrome is a neurological disorder that occurs when the sciatic nerve is compressed by the piriformis muscle.

Symptoms associated with the piriformis syndrome includes;

  • Tingling sensations are felt towards the leg
  • Numbness in the gluteal region (buttocks)
  • A pain that extends to the lower leg.

Arachnoiditis

The arachnoid mater is a thin transparent membrane that loosely surrounds the brain without dipping into its sulci. Thus it bridges all irregularities of the brain. This membrane provides protection to the spinal cord nerves (cranial nerves) as far as their exit from the skull. When the arachnoid mater becomes inflamed or irritated, it results into a pain disorder called arachnoiditis. In many known cases, people who suffer from arachnoiditis experience severe pain in their lower back and legs, because of the affected nerves in those areas of the body.

Common symptoms include; stinging and burning pain. While other associated symptoms of arachnoiditis are;

  • Muscle cramps are felt
  • Muscular twitches are experienced
  • There are skin-crawling sensations
  • Numbness is felt, but it is particular to the legs.
  • There is bowel and bladder dysfunction

How can lower back and leg pains get treated?

As you already know, radiating back and leg pains are symptoms of more serious underlying conditions. In some cases, pain may improve within a few days, while some conditions may cause devitalizing pains for weeks at a time.

However, self-care, adequate exercising, and maintaining the right posture can proffer great help in overcoming the many woes of lower back and leg pains. If push turns to shove and there is really no noticeable change, the doctor may prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and discomfort.

Over at Southlake Pain Center, pain associated with the lower back and leg are treated using;

  • Lumbar selective nerve root block
  • Lumbar transformational epidural steroid injection
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