The term “lower back pain” is used to describe a spectrum of symptoms. Depending on the cause, lower back pain may be dull, burning or sharp, and may cover a broad area or be confined to a single point. It can worsen gradually or suddenly and may or may not be accompanied by muscle spasms or stiffness.
Leg symptoms can be caused by lower spine tissue placing pressure on a nerve to the leg. The symptoms can occur singularly or be accompanied by lower back pain. Leg symptoms can include pain, numbness or tingling above or below the knee.
Weakness in both legs, along with loss of bladder and/or bowel control, is a symptom of more extensive pathology and requires immediate medical attention.
Numbness and tingling are felt when nerve impulses are not traveling properly from the skin to the brain. A patient with back pathology may also experience sudden numbness in other parts of the body. New symptoms, when reported, may herald other serious conditions such as a TIA or stroke. A sudden occurrence of symptoms requires prompt and serious medical attention.
Back pain can be:
- Acute: lasting less than three months. Most people gain relief after four to six weeks of home treatment.
- Recurrent: a repeat episode of acute symptoms. Most people have at least one episode of recurrent lower back pain.
- Chronic: continuously lasting longer than three months.
Common causes of numbness include the following:
- Radiculopathy: a pinched nerve due to a herniated disc.
- Stenosis: a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can compress sensory nerve fibers causing loss of sensation.
- Multiple sclerosis
At Laser Spine Institute, our surgeons perform minimally invasive procedures such as foraminotomy, laminotomy, discectomy or a facet thermal ablation to relieve back pain symptoms by addressing their cause. Our surgeons have performed these procedures thousands of times, helping patients find relief from their back pain.
If you have unanswered questions please review our back pain FAQ page. We have compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions encountered. Feel free to contact us if you have any further questions or would like to know more about Laser Spine Institute.