Leg pain can be periodic or continuous and can vary from dull pains to a searing, throbbing, or burning experience. Tingling maybe seemed like a loss of experience or a cold, icy feeling in several areas of the leg.
Leg pain might be the symptom of a range of underlying causes or conditions, and getting a correct diagnosis is vital to informing the most efficient course of treatment.
How Leg Pain Occurs
Leg pain might be caused due to an issue in the lower back, the pelvis, or a problem that originates within the leg. Common reasons for discomfort in one or both legs include:
Back nerve compression or irritation. Irritated, inflamed, or compressed nerve roots in the lumbar or sacral spinal column might cause radiculopathy or nerve discomfort, frequently called sciatica, in the leg and foot. Nerves might likewise be damaged along their path in the leg, causing peripheral neuropathy and leg discomfort.
Spinal cord compression. Narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck might use pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain and tingling, usually in both legs.
Blood vessel conditions. Blocked arteries or veins in the leg may trigger decreased blood supply, leading to leg pain and feeling numb.
Pelvic and hip problems. Joint issues in the hips and hip areas, such as sacroiliac joint dysfunction or hip osteoarthritis, may cause leg pain; an associated nerve inflammation might cause feeling numbness. Pelvic muscle spasms, such as in piriformis syndrome, may trigger discomfort to take a trip down along the leg with associated feeling numb and/or weak point.
Infection. Lyme disease,2 bone and disc infection, such as osteomyelitis or spondylodiscitis, and viral infections, such as herpes zoster or HIV, are known to cause leg discomfort.
Systemic conditions. Endocrine and metabolic disorders, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes mellitus, might trigger muscle and nerve damage in the legs that results in pain and pins and needles.
Cauda equina syndrome. Compression of the cauda equina (a group of spinal nerves that descend from the spinal cord in the lower back) might cause serious discomfort, feeling numb, and weakness in both legs.
Tumors and cysts. The presence of growths and masses in the lower back, hips, or leg might compress blood vessels and/or nerves and result in leg discomfort and numbness.
Leg discomfort might likewise develop due to stress, exercise, dehydration, aging, bad posture, genetic aspects, and/or occupation-related causes.
Symptoms Commonly Associated with Leg Pain.
The most typical symptoms that may accompany leg discomfort are:
Weak point. Leg weakness commonly takes place when a lumbar and/or sacral back nerve is compressed. A feeling of heaviness3 in the affected leg might make it challenging to lift the foot off the floor (foot drop).
Modified sensation. When a nerve is impacted, a pins-and-needles sensation, tingling, or other nerve-related sensations may occur in the afflicted leg.
Foot discomfort. The leg pain might take a trip down into one or more areas of the foot, causing pain or burning pain. Foot weak points and/or tingling might also take place.
Postural discomfort. Leg pain and tingling might increase with particular postures or activities, such as standing for a prolonged time, walking, climbing up stairs, or standing up from a sitting position.
The above list includes some common signs that co-occur with leg discomfort but are not meant to be complete. Leg discomfort and/or numbness can be accompanied by signs of diabetes, cancer, particular kinds of dietary deficiencies, and more.
Long-Term Outlook for Leg Pain.
The course of leg discomfort depends on the underlying cause. Leg pain due to radiculopathy is common4 and may be well handled with nonsurgical treatment, with 75% to 90% improvement in symptoms. If the discomfort becomes chronic and neurological symptoms such as weak points and tingling persist or get worse, surgery might be recommended.
The outlook for leg discomfort and tingling from other conditions depends upon the severity and development of the underlying cause. Treatment may consist of nonsurgical and/or surgical methods.
When Leg Pain Is Serious.
Leg pain may be related to serious underlying conditions and need instant treatment to protect the function of the affected leg. Red-flag symptoms might include one or a mix of the following:
- Unexplained fever.
- Severe discomfort and swelling.
- Anorexia nervosa and/or unexplained weight loss.
- Excruciating back pain.
- Progressive leg feeling numb and/or weakness.
- Loss of typical bowel and/or bladder function.
These signs might suggest major conditions such as infection, tumors, cauda equina syndrome, stomach aortic aneurysm, or severe nerve damage.
Leg discomfort may be dealt with by various types of medical professionals. Depending upon the cause, physicians who typically treat leg discomfort might include medical care physicians, physiatrists, rheumatologists, neurologists, neurosurgical and orthopedic spinal column surgeons, and chiropractic physicians.