Wednesday, April 24, 2024
HomeCauseCan Back Pain Cause Weakness In Legs

Can Back Pain Cause Weakness In Legs

Leg Pain From Back Disorders

Spinal Disc Herniation & Sciatica : How to Cure Extreme Pain & Weakness in the Leg From Sciatica

Leg pain coming from the low back, or the lumbar spine, is commonly referred to as sciatica. Sciatica could involve pain in the buttocks, down the thigh, into the leg or in the foot. It is often associated with numbness or tingling, and sometimes weakness. Sciatica has multiple possible causes, such as:

What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Low Back Pain

Anyone can have back pain. Factors that can increase the risk for low back pain include:

Age: The first attack of low back pain typically occurs between the ages of 30 and 50, and back pain becomes more common with advancing age. Loss of bone strength from osteoporosis can lead to fractures, and at the same time, muscle elasticity and tone decrease. The intervertebral discs begin to lose fluid and flexibility with age, which decreases their ability to cushion the vertebrae. The risk of spinal stenosis also increases with age.

Fitness level: Back pain is more common among people who are not physically fit. Weak back and abdominal muscles may not properly support the spine. Weekend warriorspeople who go out and exercise a lot after being inactive all weekare more likely to suffer painful back injuries than people who make moderate physical activity a daily habit. Studies show that low-impact aerobic exercise can help maintain the integrity of intervertebral discs.

Weight gain: Being overweight, obese, or quickly gaining significant amounts of weight can put stress on the back and lead to low back pain.

Genetics: Some causes of back pain, such as ankylosing spondylitis , have a genetic component.

Smoking: It can restrict blood flow and oxygen to the discs, causing them to degenerate faster.

Backpack overload in children: A backpack overloaded with schoolbooks and supplies can strain the back and cause muscle fatigue.

Home Remedies To Help With Leg Weakness

Now, if you have been given an A-OKAY from your doctor and none of the above mentioned conditions apply to you, there are some home remedies you can perform in order to reduce leg weakness. However, these tricks will have little benefit in the case of neurological defects, autoimmune diseases or spinal cord injury.

Recommended Reading: What’s The Best Treatment For Lower Back Pain

How Is Spinal Cord Compression Treated

The medical team involved in treating your spinal cord compression may include arthritis specialists, bone surgeons, nerve specialists, and physical therapists. Treatment depends on the cause and your symptoms and may involve medication, physical therapy, injections, and surgery. Except in cases of emergency, such as cauda equina syndrome or a broken back, surgery is usually the last resort.

  • Medicines may include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that relieve pain and swelling, and steroid injections that reduce swelling.

  • Physical therapy may include exercises to strengthen your back, abdominal, and leg muscles. You may learn how to do activities more safely. Braces to support your back or a cervical collar may also be helpful.

  • Surgical treatments include removing bone spurs and widening the space between vertebrae. Other procedures may be done to relieve pressure on the spine or repair fractured vertebrae. The back may also be stabilized by fusing some of the vertebrae together.

Some other treatments that may be helpful for some people include acupuncture and chiropractic care.

Spinal Cord Disease Or Injury

Sciatica signals lumbar radiculopathy

The spinal cord powers the body and controls sensation. The spinal cord is safely protected by the backbone . If the spinal cord is damaged in any way, leg weakness can result.

Conditions and illnesses that can damage the spinal cord include a fracture of the backbone, a herniated disc, cancer spreading to the spine or to the spinal cord, infection of the spine or the spinal cord and multiple sclerosis.

A fairly uncommon type of stroke, a spinal cord infarct, affects the spine rather than the brain. A spinal cord infarct is caused by bleeding near the spine or a blood clot of the spinal arteries .

These conditions that affect the spine are all emergencies that require prompt medical care to prevent permanent spine damage and leg weakness. The treatment for spinal cord disease or injury varies tremendously, depending on the cause.

Don’t Miss: What Type Of Doctor To See For Lower Back Pain

How Long Does Lower Back Pain Typically Last

Lower back pain can be classified as acute, subacute or chronic. Severe episodes of lower back pain normally last from a couple of days to 4 weeks and also subacute lower back pain lasts in between 4 to 12 weeks. Nonetheless, according to the National Institutes of Wellness, concerning 20 percent of individuals with severe back pain take place to create chronic back pain specified as discomfort that lasts 12 weeks or longer. Even in these cases, there are several therapy options to assist soothe lower back pain symptoms.

When your back is actually killing you, you could stress something is seriously wrong. The exact same chooses back pain that seems never-ending. The bright side is that while back pain is a major inconvenience, it is seldom an immediate clinical concern. Actually, most of the moment you dont have to treat it. Back pain usually fixes by itself unless you have a significant hidden issue. Lower Back Pain And Weakness In Right Leg

House Treatments Lower Back Pain And Weakness In Right Leg

Non-prescription discomfort relief drug, generally nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines , such as advil, can eliminate discomfort. Applying a warm compress or an ice bag to the unpleasant area may likewise reduce pain.

Relaxing from exhausting activity can assist, yet moving will alleviate stiffness, minimize pain, and also stop muscular tissues from weakening.

You May Like: Are Epidural Injections For Back Pain Safe

How Is Back Pain Treated

Acute back pain usually gets better on its own. Acute back pain is usually treated with:

  • Medications designed to relieve pain and/or inflammation
  • analgesics such as acetaminophen and aspirin
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be sold over the counter some NSAIDS are prescribed by a physician
  • muscle relaxants are prescription drugs that are used on a short-term basis to relax tight muscles
  • topical pain relief such as creams, gels, patches, or sprays applied to the skin stimulate the nerves in the skin to provide feelings of warmth or cold in order to dull the sensation of pain. Common topical medications include capsaicin and lidocaine.
  • Heat and/or ice may help ease pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility for some people
  • Gentle stretching upon advice by your healthcare professional
  • Exercising, bed rest, and surgery are typically not recommended for acute back pain.Chronic back pain is most often treated with a stepped care approach, moving from simple low-cost treatments to more aggressive approaches. Specific treatments may depend on the identified cause of the back pain.

    Lower Back Pain And Weakness In Right Leg

    Can Sciatica Cause Leg Weakness?

    Your lower back is referred to as the lumbar region of the spine. It has a lot of hefty training to do: The back spinal column brings the weight of your entire upper body, plus biomechanical anxieties that accompany movement. Lower Back Pain And Weakness In Right Leg

    The lumbar back has 5 vertebrae foundations. Each vertebra has a big disc padded gel covered in a tough membrane on its front side that functions as a shock absorber. Each vertebra additionally has two cartilage-lined aspect joints on its backside. Interacting, discs and facet joints enable the spine to securely bend as well as turn.

    Your lower back additionally includes tendons, ligaments, and muscular tissues. Tendons are strong bands that hold the vertebrae as well as discs together. Tendons affix muscles to the vertebrae. These structures aid restrict too much motion that could hurt the spine.

    Recommended Reading: When Should I Go To The Doctor For Back Pain

    When To See A Doctor

    Because weakness of both legs can be a sign of a serious problem, leg weakness should always prompt a visit to a medical provider. However, the urgency with which you should see a medical professional depends on some factors like the duration, severity, and timing of your symptoms. Make an appointment with a primary care provider if you notice the following:

    • Persistent leg weakness
    • Leg weakness associated with other symptoms: Increased fatigue, unexplained weight loss and/or persistent headaches

    How Is Lumbar Spinal Stenosis Diagnosed

    To diagnose lumbar spinal stenosis, your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your symptoms and do a complete physical exam. During the physical exam your healthcare provider will look for signs of spinal stenosis, such as loss of sensation, weakness, and abnormal reflexes.

    These tests help make a diagnosis:

    • X-rays of your lumbar spine. These may show bone growths called spurs that push on spinal nerves and/or narrowing of the spinal canal.
    • Imaging tests. A CT scan or MRI scan can give a more detailed look at the spinal canal and nerve structures.
    • Other studies. Your healthcare provider might order a bone scan, myelogram , and EMG .

    Don’t Miss: How To Sleep To Help Back Pain

    Development Of Neck Pain With Weak Legs

    As mentioned above, there are many causes for neck and leg symptoms that exist concurrently or in alternating fashion. Some patients develop both together, while others suffer one painful zone, then suffer migration of their symptomology to include both locations.

    Symptoms may begin acutely or may develop gradually. In acute presentations, there may or may not be a trigger event that is actually or perceptually responsible for causing the pain. In gradual progressions, there is rarely a known or suspected trigger.

    Symptom pattern may become chronic if it continues unchecked for weeks or months. Other patients might instead develop recurrent acute episodes of symptoms in one or both affected locations.

    It is vital for patients to document the development and progression of their neck symptoms in order to assist diagnosticians in ascertaining the cause and best approach to treatment. The more patient-supplied information that can be provided to the doctor, the better the chances that a comprehensive diagnostic picture can be attained hopefully leading to effective treatment and lasting relief.

    What Are Some Usual Lower Back Pain Causes

    Can Constipation Cause Lower Back Pain And Leg Pain

    The sources of lower back pain are often deemed being mechanical, organic or idiopathic. Occasionally spine problems are genetic or gotten implying the condition creates later on in life.

    Mechanical lower back pain is commonly caused by back activity and involves spine frameworks, such as the facet joints, intervertebral discs, vertebral bodies , ligaments, muscles or soft cells.

    Organic lower back pain is credited to disease, such as spinal cancer cells.

    Idiopathic describes an unknown cause.

    These are a few of the things your physician may try to find or dismiss when you set up a see for back pain.

    Strains and also strains. Ligament strains and muscle or ligament strains are one of the most usual causes of lower back pain. Theyre typically related to overuse.

    Degenerative disc disease. While the name seems worrisome, it simply implies you have a harmed disc causing pain. Gradually, discs end up being thinner and flatter as a result of wear and tear. That leaves them less able to support the vertebrae and also more probable to tear .

    Spondylolisthesis. A vertebra slides onward out of position, disrupting your backs alignment and occasionally pressing nerve origins. It is most typical in the lumbar region, but can happen anywhere along the spinal column. This slippage is usually caused by either disc deterioration or a broken vertebra .

    You May Like: When You Hurt Your Lower Back

    Leg Weakness And Sciatica

    Sciatica is the term used to describe any combination of spinally-motivated pain, weakness, tingling or numbness in the buttocks, legs and/or feet. Sciatica is not a diagnosis in itself, but instead, is a symptom of another causative condition in the spine. Leg weakness from a sciatica syndrome is virtually always diagnosed as being due to one of two common sources:

    Foraminal stenosis, enacting a pinched nerve, can cause objective numbness and weakness in defined areas of the leg, when the loss of patency occurs in the lumbar or lumbosacral spine. Foraminal stenosis is one of the most misdiagnosed of all back pain explanations. Most suspected cases do not present symptoms which accurately demonstrate pathological proof of the condition. If foraminal stenosis is actually to blame for weakness in the legs, the patient is unlikely to have chronic back pain, leg pain or tingling. If objective numbness and weakness exist exclusively, then a pinched nerve may well be to blame.

    Spinal stenosis, enacting cauda equina compression, can cause pain and a full range of neurological symptoms, including weakness in the legs. Spinal stenosis can be a diagnostic nightmare, since it can enact symptoms in the legs, no matter where in the backbone it exists. Many sufferers have cervical spinal stenosis, but still endure symptoms in the lower body. These symptoms are most often mistakenly blamed on other coincidental spinal abnormalities, like lumbar herniated discs.

    Symptoms Commonly Associated With Leg Pain

    The most common symptoms that may accompany leg pain are:

    • Weakness. Leg weakness commonly occurs when a lumbar and/or sacral spinal nerve is compressed. A feeling of heaviness3 in the affected leg may make it difficult to lift the foot off the floor .
    • Altered sensation. When a nerve is affected, a pins-and-needles sensation, tingling, or other nerve-related sensations may occur in the affected leg.
    • Foot pain. The leg pain may travel down into one or more areas of the foot, causing an ache or a burning pain. Foot weakness and/or numbness may also occur.
    • Postural pain. Leg pain and numbness may increase with certain postures or activities, such as standing for a prolonged period of time, walking, climbing stairs, or standing up from a sitting position.

    The above list includes several common symptoms that co-occur with leg pain but is not meant to be complete. It is possible for leg pain and/or numbness to be accompanied by signs of diabetes, cancer, certain types of nutritional deficiencies, and more.

    Don’t Miss: Does Aleve Help Lower Back Pain

    What Causes Spinal Cord Compression

    One of the most common causes of spinal cord compression is the gradual wear and tear on the bones of the spine, known as osteoarthritis. People who develop spinal cord compression from this are usually older than 50.

    Other conditions that may cause spinal cord compression can develop more quickly, even very suddenly, and can occur at any age:

    • Abnormal spine alignment

    • “Foot drop,” weakness in a foot that causes a limp

    • Loss of sexual ability

    Pressure on nerves in the lumbar region can also cause more serious symptoms known as cauda equina syndrome. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to get medical attention right away, typically in the emergency room:

    • Loss of bowel or bladder control

    • Severe or increasing numbness between the legs, inner thighs, and back of the legs

    • Severe pain and weakness that spreads into one or both legs, making it hard to walk or get out of a chair

    Spinal Fusion | Richard Shetter’s Story

    Herniated Disc Leg Weakness

    Can sciatica cause leg weakness: Ft. Lauderdale Chiropractor

    Weakness which is subjective is often accompanied by pain, tingling and partial or subjective numbness. These instances may be caused by a herniation, although there are certainly many more logical explanations for these subjective symptoms in some patients.

    Objective weakness is often experienced in combination with objective numbness and has a far greater chance of being related to an actual structurally-based nerve compression event. Of course, there is the possibility for exceptions to both generalities, but these are typically few and far between.

    Alternative reasons for leg weakness may include muscular deficits, muscle imbalances, piriformis syndrome, sacroiliac joint concerns, localized injury, sciatic nerve dysfunction and disease processes, such as diabetic neuropathy.

    Herniated Disc Weak Leg Assistance

    Weakness in the legs is often blamed on a herniated disc, just like back pain, tingling and numbness are also blamed on intervertebral disc issues. When verified evidence of a pathological process can be produced during evaluation, these disc conditions often turn out to be the actual source of symptoms. Other times, these conditions are mistakenly diagnosed, leading to the horrible treatment statistics so common in the back and neck pain industry.

    Very few chronic symptomatic complaints are the direct result of a disc bulge or a degenerated disc and even these few symptomatic cases typically resolve on their own without any special care or treatment necessary.

    Also Check: Does Your Lower Back Hurt When You Have A Uti

    What Can Cause Lower Back Pain

    Most acute low back pain is mechanical in nature, meaning that there is a disruption in the way the components of the back fit together and move. Some examples of mechanical causes of low back pain include:


    • Skeletal irregularities such as scoliosis , lordosis , kyphosis , and other congenital anomalies of the spine.
    • Spina bifida which involves the incomplete development of the spinal cord and/or its protective covering and can cause problems involving malformation of vertebrae and abnormal sensations and even paralysis.


    • Sprains , strains , and spasms
    • Traumatic Injury such as from playing sports, car accidents, or a fall that can injure tendons, ligaments, or muscle causing the pain, as well as compress the spine and cause discs to rupture or herniate.

    Degenerative problems

    • Intervertebral disc degeneration which occurs when the usually rubbery discs wear down as a normal process of aging and lose their cushioning ability.
    • Spondylosis the general degeneration of the spine associated with normal wear and tear that occurs in the joints, discs, and bones of the spine as people get older.
    • Arthritis or other inflammatory disease in the spine, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis as well as spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebrae.

    Nerve and spinal cord problems

    Non-spine sources

    Leg Pain And Weakness Do You Have Radiculopathy

    Leg pain and/or weakness are common complaints, and often some of the most enigmatic symptoms for doctors to diagnose and treat. Although leg pain can be the result of a variety of causes, one of the most common reasons it develops is a condition known as radiculopathy. Radiculopathy is caused by one or more of the spinal nerve roots being pinched. In the case of leg pain or weakness, the compression of low back nerve roots is usually the culprit. Before we discuss the implications of nerve pinching in the back, it is important to note that back pain is often NOT present at all, even if the leg symptoms are severe. Radiculopathy patients with leg pain and weakness, who are not experiencing back pain, often go from doctor to doctor seeking answers. They usually end up with a prescription for drugs that only mask the symptoms. Unfortunately, the condition worsens over time.

    The most common cause of radiculopathy, with or without back pain, is the result of degenerative changes in the spine. As the disc and other structures in the spine degenerate from age and wear, nerves gradually start to get pinched. The symptoms can creep up on people so gradually that they simply chalk them up to aging. Sometimes the symptoms may start as a simple numbness or tingling. Occasionally, patients say they stumble when they walk, or their knees go weak and buckle for no apparent reason. Their legs may feel heavy. Burning and aching in the legs and feet are not uncommon.

    Don’t Miss: What Causes Mid Back Pain On Left Side


    Most Popular