Leg pain can have many causes, including:
Sometimes leg pain can be caused by spending long periods of time sitting or standing, soft tissue or connective tissue injuries associated with repetitive impacts or overuse, and even by wearing shoes that don't provide adequate support. Leg pain can be sharp or dull, and it can be accompanied by numbness, burning sensations, or temporary or permanent loss of muscle strength and coordination, especially if treatment is delayed.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, exiting the spine in the lower back before dividing into two branches that extend into each leg. When the sciatic nerve becomes compressed, pain and other symptoms can radiate into one or both legs. Sciatica is a common cause of pain, aching and numbness in the legs, hips and buttocks.
Leg pain diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's symptoms, followed by an examination of the leg to identify the source of the pain. Stretches and exercises may be used during the exam to determine which movements elicit pain, helping to pinpoint the cause. Diagnostic imaging and facet joint injections in the spine can also be very helpful in diagnosing the source of pain and other symptoms.
Many types of leg pain involving joints, soft tissues, or connective tissues can be successfully relieved with injections of pain relievers and corticosteroids to treat inflammation. When a disc is involved, sacroiliac (SI) joint injections can help relieve pain and inflammation or nerve blocks can be used to block pain sensations. Spinal cord stimulation can also be useful in treating leg pain, interrupting pain signals with tiny currents of electricity delivered from a small implanted device.
Other treatments include:
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