Chronic leg pain overview

Many people don’t consider the fact that chronic leg pain could be the result of a spine condition, especially if the pain is solely in the leg and not in the back. However, chronic leg pain is a common side effect of spine conditions affecting the lumbar spine (lower back).

The lumbar spine houses the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve in the body and travels from the lower back to the legs. If anything compresses the sciatic nerve, such as an injury or a degenerative spine condition, the pain could travel the length of the nerve pathway and cause the legs to experience chronic pain. This condition is known as sciatica.

If you have been experiencing inexplicable leg pain for the past few weeks, and the pain does not seem to be decreasing, you should consult your doctor about the cause of your pain. For some patients with sciatica, the pain could be present only in the legs and not the spine. That is why it’s important that you discuss the possibility of sciatica with your doctor and get informed through the information provided in the following article so the diagnosis is not overlooked.

Chronic leg pain causes and symptoms

The most commonly experienced sciatica symptom is chronic shooting pain down the buttocks and into the thigh, calf, shin and/or foot. These symptoms are an indication that sciatic nerve compression has occurred. Only a thorough diagnosis, including medical imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan, can reveal the cause and location of the nerve compression. There are several potential causes, including:

  • Herniated disc
  • Bulging disc
  • Facet disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Degenerative disc disease

For degenerative spine conditions, your doctor can recommend a series of conservative treatments or spine surgery to help relieve your pain so you can get back to an active lifestyle.

Chronic leg pain treatment

If the chronic leg pain you are experiencing does not subside after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, you should consider the minimally invasive surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgeries relieve pain by removing pressure from the pinched nerve. Through a free MRI review,* our dedicated team can determine if you are a candidate for one of our outpatient surgeries.

To relieve chronic leg pain, our highly skilled surgeons use a small incision that does not require muscle disruption in order to ease your symptoms. These muscle-sparing procedures result in a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery, with a shorter recovery period and a lower risk of complication.^ For more information about the advantages of the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute, contact us today.