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Leg Pain

If you have been experiencing pain, weakness, numbness, burning or tingling feelings, or other symptoms in your leg for over 4 weeks, the symptoms may be caused by problems in your back. Our physicians have developed diagnostic procedures that can identify the possible cause of the problem and develop a treatment plan for your specific needs.

Lumbar Radiculopathy (Sciatica)

Spinal Stenosis

This page offers the answers to some of the most common questions related to pain occurring within the leg area, as well as the procedures used to diagnose and treat it effectively. Click on the questions to reveal the answers. Additional questions and answers about spine-related pain and our procedures are featured in the Ask the Doctors section.

Can the pain in all of part of my leg be completely related to problems in my back?

Most definitely. Nerves in the back can become irritated and produce pain in your leg without causing any direct pain in your back.

If my leg pain isn’t caused by problems in my back, what are other possible sources for the pain?

Muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments, circulation and injury to the peripheral nerves (i.e. peripheral neuropathy or Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy) may also be the source of pain in your leg.

What is “referred” pain?

“Referred” pain is pain that is felt somewhere other than the location where the problem or any injury has occurred. For instance, referred pain can be pain in the leg that actually is coming from the back.

I had a normal EMG. Is it possible for my leg pain to come from my back?

Yes. Despite a “normal” EMG, it is still possible to have irritated nerves in the back that are causing pain in your leg. While an EMG/nerve conduction study is a good test, it is not as sensitive for finding the source of nerve pain as the procedures that we have developed for diagnosing leg pain from the back.

My leg hurts when I sneeze or cough. What is causing this situation?

“Shooting” pain in the leg, which occurs when you sneeze or cough, may be a sign of a pinched nerve in the low back.

If my MRI is negative, is it still possible that I can have an irritated nerve in my back that is causing the pain?

Yes. An MRI is an indirect image of the spine and does not always show everything. In addition, an MRI usually is taken while you are laying down. Nerves can shift when you change positions, especially if your pain is worse with when you stand or sit. The disk can leak part of its “jelly” center—or nucleus—around the nerves, which can cause significant chemical inflammation and pain. Our procedures can dramatically reduce the pain and inflammation resulting in increased circulation and healing.

  • Texas Orthopedic Hospital
  • Fondern orthopedic group LLP
  • Spine Interventional Society