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What Causes Severe Pain In Lower Back And Legs

What Can I Do For Low Back Pain At Home

Sciatica – One-sided Leg pain and tingling. Sciatica Symptoms and Treatment. Radiculopathy

If your lower back pain has just started, the best thing you can do is start a log. Record your symptoms, times, dates and which activities trigger the pain or make it worse or better. Take this information to your family physician if the pain doesnt resolve on its own. It will make diagnosing the cause much easier.

Once you know which motion or position causes your lower back pain, try to avoid it and see if you get better. Icing the painful spot can also help. And so can over-the-counter pain relievers that help reduce inflammation. Just remember that pain killers treat only the symptom pain and not its cause.

Sciatica A Pain In The Butt

It is a condition in which the sciatic nerve, a nerve that runs from the lower back down through the back of the thigh and down through the leg, is affected. Because of a pinched nerve, this nerve usually extends all the way through the back of the thigh and down through the leg. Scarp can lead to severe pain and disability. Compression of other nerves, such as the spinal cord, can mimic sciatica, in addition to vascular disease , peripheral neuropathy , and sciatic pain.

Treatments For Lower Back Pain

The source of your lower back pain will help guide your treatment options. These include:

  • Core strengthening to improve the ability of your abdominal muscles to support your spine
  • Weight loss to decrease lower back strain
  • Lower back and leg stretching to improve mobility and flexibility to alleviate areas of nerve compression and joint stiffness
  • Application of ice to decrease pain and inflammation or heat to improve mobility and decrease stiffness
  • Medication, hemodialysis, or kidney transplant to improve kidney function
  • Medical management of underlying conditions that increase the risk of kidney disease, such as hypertension or diabetes
  • Medications such as DMARDs and biologics to treat autoimmune forms of arthritis
  • Antibiotics or antivirals to treat infections
  • Pain medications taken orally via pill form, topically via creams or gels, or through injections into painful joints
  • Surgery to relieve chronic nerve compression

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How Does Lower Back Pain Work

Mechanical problems in the feet can negatively affect the way a patient walks or stands, which over time places strain on the lower back, causing pain.

Many sources of back pain are mechanical problems with the legs and feet. Stress might be placed on a weak or injured muscle group in the legs or feet, causing issues in the lower back.

Diagnosing Lower Back Pain

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To diagnose lower back pain, a doctor will first do a physical exam. Theyll look at how well you move and if your back has any visible issues.

Then theyll take a medical history. This will cover your symptoms, any recent injuries, previous back issues, and the severity of your pain.

A physical exam and medical history are often enough for a doctor to determine the cause of your pain. However, they may also need to do an imaging test. Potential tests include:

  • X-ray, which can find broken or misaligned bones.
  • CT scan, which shows soft tissues such as the discs between vertebrae and potential tumors
  • myelogram, which uses dye to enhance the contrast in a CT scan or X-ray to help a doctor identify nerve or spinal cord compression

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Why Is Sciatica So Painful

Put simply, nerves do not like to be touched!

Touching, pinching or compressing a nerve causes a reaction around that area, causes pain along the entire course of that nerve.

As if that wasnt bad enough, you will also get a chemical reaction around the affected area which exacerbates these symptoms.

The chemical reaction that occurs when we compress a nerve is like the reaction we get when we are stung by a bee.

So, when your back is responsible for your leg pain, it is because something is touching, pinching or compressing a nerve. This happens because the nerve roots run through tight spaces within the lower back. This leaves them vulnerable to being contacted if a disc or enlarged joint has invaded the space within which the nerve runs through.

What Are The Symptoms

Classic sciatic pain starts in the low back and buttocks. It affects one leg traveling down the back of the thigh, past the knee, and sometimes into the calf and foot. The pain feels worse in the leg than in the back. It may range from a mild ache to severe burning or a shooting pain. Numbness or tingling can occur in your leg and foot. This usually is not a concern unless you have weakness in your leg muscles or foot drop.

Sitting usually causes the most pain because of the weight this position puts onto the discs. Activities, such as bending or twisting, worsen the pain, whereas lying down tends to bring relief. Running or walking may actually feel better than sitting or standing for too long.

Seek medical help immediately if you have extreme leg weakness, numbness in the genital area, or loss of bladder or bowel function. These are signs of a condition called cauda equina syndrome.

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Bilateral Sciatica: Causes Treatment And More

When your sciatic nerve is pinched or compressed on both sides, it can cause pain that radiates from your lower back, through your hips, and down your legs. This condition is called bilateral sciatica, and it can make it difficult to walk, sit, or stand for long periods of time. There are a number of possible causes of bilateral sciatica, including herniated discs, degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, and pregnancy. Treatment for bilateral sciatica may include physical therapy, steroid injections, and surgery.

If you are experiencing neurological symptoms such as leg weakness or loss of bowel or bladder control due to your pain or sciatica, such as numbness or weakness, you should consult a physician or emergency room as soon as possible. If you notice any of these symptoms, it could indicate a serious medical problem that needs immediate attention.

Both the sides of the knee will be unaffected by sciatica. Sciatic pain is commonly characterized by tingling and burning sensations. Sitting makes the pain worse, while standing makes it more difficult to stand and walk.

Inflammatory Lower Back Pain

How to Instantly Relieve Nerve Pain in Your Back and Leg

Although comparatively few patients have low back pain due to a systemic inflammatory condition, the problem can be life long and can impair function significantly. The good news is that treatments can help essentially all patients, and can lead to major improvements.

Seronegative are a group of inflammatory diseases that begin at a young age, with gradual onset. Like other inflammatory joint diseases, they are associated with morning stiffness that gets better with exercise. Sometimes fusion of vertebrae in the cervical or lumbar regions of the spine occurs. Drugs called TNF-alpha blocking agents, which are used for rheumatoid arthritis, are also used to treat the stiffness, pain, and swelling of spondyloarthropathy, when the cases are severe and not responsive to traditional medications

People who have spondyloarthropathy have stiffness that is generally worst in the morning, and have decreased motion of the spine. They also can have decreased ability to take a deep breath due to loss of motion of the chest wall. Its important for the physician to look for problems with chest wall expansion in patients with spondyloarthropathy.

syndrome is one of the forms of spondyloarthropathy. It is a form of arthritis that occurs in reaction to an infection somewhere in the body, and it carries its own set of signs and symptoms. The doctor will look for:

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For Your Convenience We’ve Divided These Causes Into Five Categories As Follows

  • Low risk: This can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications or by avoiding the movement/stressor causing your pain.
  • Low-medium risk: Usually managed as an outpatient by your doctor with prescription medication.
  • Medium risk: May require a visit to your doctor or hospitalization. Prescription medication may be necessary.
  • Medium-high risk: Hospitalization or urgent intervention. Although not life-threatening get help immediately of some kind.
  • High risk: Serious and potentially lethal complications possible emergent intervention needed Intensive Care Unit care often needed.

Describing Your Leg Pain

Pain symptoms, no matter what body part they affect, can vary significantly. The pain may be dull, sharp, constant, or intermittent. But the type of leg pain you feel may help determine the source of your discomfort.

Your back may be the source of your leg pain if your symptoms include:

  • Pain that radiates down your leg
  • Muscle weakness in your leg
  • Tingling, numbness, or burning sensation down your leg
  • Pain symptoms that only affect one leg
  • Electric shock sensation that travels down your leg
  • Difficulty walking

You may not experience all of these symptoms. But if any of these symptoms match the type of leg pain youre experiencing, then it may be time to see us at Texas Spine Consultants for an evaluation of your spine and back, instead of seeking treatment for your legs.

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You Have Unexplained Weight Loss

If you experience sudden weight loss that can’t be explained by diet and lifestyle changes, then you should always pay attention to what your body is telling you. This is especially true when the unexplained weight loss is accompanied by back pain. See your doctor to rule out the possibility of a more severe condition, such as an infection or tumor.

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Causes Of Lower Back Pain

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This type of pain is mechanical and it is often linked with the general deterioration of the spine health . This loss of health can be caused by:

There are other causes of lower back pain, including spinal stenosis, yet the right thing is to seek assistance at the chronic pain treatment centre. It is possible that you have a disease that is affecting your lower back, including tumors, abdominal aortic aneurysms, kidney stones, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis and cauda equine syndrome.

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Types Of Leg Pain That Are Actually Caused By A Back Problem

No doubt about it, your legs endure a lot of stress throughout your life, leading to a general wear and tear that may result in pain. However, not all sources of leg pain are caused by issues related to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or cartilage that make up your lower extremities.

Its possible that the electric shock sensation you feel shooting down your leg every time you reposition your body is due to a back problem. At Texas Spine Consultants in Addison and Plano, Texas, our orthopedic surgeons specialize in spine health and help many people get relief from their leg pain by treating the underlying back problem responsible for the traveling pain sensations.

To save you from unnecessary testing and treatment of your legs, we want to share with you the types of leg pain that are actually caused by a back problem.

When Should To Call My Healthcare Provider

Lumbar spinal stenosis can cause cauda equine syndrome, which needs medical attention right away. Call your healthcare provider if you have:

  • Loss of bowel or bladder control
  • Severe or increasing numbness between your legs, inner thighs, or back of your legs
  • Severe pain and weakness that spreads into one or both legs, making it hard to walk or get out of a chair

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Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain

There are many potential causes of lower back pain, and depending on our work, the pain may come and go for many of us. Here are some examples of chronic back pain that might need your attention.

Lower back pain can stem from:

  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Lifting heavy objects or bending over repeatedly
  • Using your legs or hips in a new or unusual way
  • Waking up in the morning without stretching
  • Weak abdominal muscles

Diagnosis may also include:

A Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is also known as a slipped or ruptured disc. This painful condition can happen when the cartilage cushion on vertebrae are being pushed into spinal nerves.

General Kidney issues

Kidney stones and kidney infections are severe and can give you pain in your lower abs, the sides of the abs, the hips, or the ribs. The kidneys are located near the lower back, so it can be difficult to tell if the pain is coming from organs or from, muscles or both.


The sciatic nerve is a major nerve between the lower spine and the rest of the legs. Pressure on this nerve from swelling can give the person a burning or numb feeling in the back, leg, or foot.


A common inflammation of the joints, can also affect the lower back. This results in general stiffness, weakness and pain in the affected area.

Tests For Groin And Hip Pain

Sciatica pain relief in 5min

At the appointment with your doctor, they will probably:

  • feel your abdomen, leg, or hip to determine the exact location of your pain
  • move your leg or hip in various positions
  • test your strength by having you resist as they try to move your leg

Your doctor may order imaging tests to get further information. These might include:

  • X-ray. Fractures or worn-down cartilage can be seen with X-rays.
  • MRI.Magnetic resonance imaging shows soft tissue injuries, such as ligament, muscle, or tendon tears.
  • Ultrasound.Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your bodys organs, such as your ovaries. There is also a therapeutic form of ultrasound that is used to increase blood flow, relax muscles, and speed healing.

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Sciatica Or Other Back Pain

Up to 85% of Americans experience some type of back pain during their lives. But this doesn’t always involve the sciatic nerve. In many cases, back pain is the result of overextending or straining the muscles in the lower back. What most often sets sciatica apart is the way the pain radiates down the leg and into the foot. It may feel like a bad leg cramp that lasts for days.

When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain

If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.

“A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.

Next Steps:

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Avoiding It May Come At A Cost

The pain only becomes more frequent when you dont train your body to use your legs as you bend down. Most of us would rather lean over or bend forward instead of bending at the knees and hips. You can avoid spasms by avoiding this bad habit.

Its common to lean and bend where there is no pain. It certainly feels less tiring and easier. However, the risk is that youll very likely trigger a back spasm

If this is the case, then lunging would be less preferred than bending. This, of course, comes at the expense of your lumbar discs, since bending causes the most injury of all possible movements.

After repeating this mechanically risky movement hundreds or thousands of time over many years, back spasm, disc bulge, rupture, and degeneration are very likely to occur. A sure sign of this problem is pain in the morning.

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What Are Causes Of Lower Back And Leg Pain

What are the Symptoms of Sacroiliitis? [Infographic]

Some common causes of lower back and leg pain may include:

Lumbar degeneration and arthritis

This is the most frequent cause of lower back pain that may travel to the buttocks and thighs, but not past the knees. It is not typically associated with numbness or tingling. This type of pain can be due to sacroiliac joint and facet arthritis, as well as tears in the disc and changes at the junction between the disc and the vertebral bone. An MRI or x-ray alone may not give the diagnosis and specialized test blocks may be needed to identify the source of the pain. A qualified pain specialist who understands the full range of diagnostic procedures can help determine the root of the problem. Once a definitive diagnosis is made, specific solutions can be found to fit your pain.

Herniated disk

A lumbar herniated disk is a ruptured disk in your lower back. It occurs when the nucleus, the soft inner portion of the disk, is pushed out of your spinal disk through a tear. This can cause severe pain that radiates down your leg.


Sciatica is lower back pain caused by or associated with the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. Pain caused by stress on the nerve can affect the lower back, pelvic area, hips, and legs. Symptoms of sciatica pain are often isolated to one leg and include muscle weakness, tingling sensations, and numbness.

Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Neuropathic pain

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Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem

The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.


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