Do you suffer from Leg Pain?
Every patient often times assume that all leg pain is automatically Sciatica. This is often times the wrong self-diagnosis. Leg pain can arise from several different causative agents. Lets cover what Sciatica is. Sciatica is the main nerve that runs down the back of both legs. This nerve controls the muscles in the back of the upper and lower leg. This nerve also controls surface sensation to the posterior leg, and bottom of your foot. Symptoms of sciatica are typically described as a dull ache, mild tingling, or burning. There can be multiple causes affecting this giant nerve. These can include: slipped disk, pelvic injury, piriformis syndrome, or tumors. A detailed history and exam is needed to conclude the exact cause of this condition.
What else can cause leg pain??
– Muscles also have the ability to refer pain. A good example is a heart attack. Your heart is a muscle and when it gets stuck in spasm, aka “Heart Attack” pain is referred to your shoulder region. The same goes with every muscle in your body. If the spasm is severe enough pain can refer to predetermined regions in your body. Many of the low back and pelvis musculature may refer pain down your leg mimicking low back pain. To be certain your chiropractor would have to rule out potential sources of pain.
– Sacroiliac Joint or “SI Joint” can also refer pain into your buttock and thigh. Your SI joint is the joint at the very bottom of your spinal column where it meets your pelvis. Your sacrum acts as a keystone locking into your pelvis. This joint often gets sprained or inflamed due to injury or repetitive motions. Once again its best to have your chiropractor screen out this condition.
– Another cause of leg pain can include injuries accumulated in the lower extremity. This category is very vast and a detailed history and exam would be required to rule out potential sources of injury.
Take home message: Not all leg pain is Sciatica, however if you are having leg pain it is important to have your doctor rule out the source of pain to ensure quick and permanent recovery.
Dr. Travis Mohr
North Tampa Chiropractor and Sports Medicine Doctor