Leg nerve pain

Leg nerve pain is a common symptom associated with compression of the sciatic nerve, which originates in the lower back and is the longest and widest nerve in the body. Along with leg pain, the set of symptoms known as sciatica can affect the lower back, the buttocks, the feet or the toes.

Although traumatic injury can produce lower back nerve compression, it is more commonly developed as part of the natural aging process. The reason for this is the components of the lumbar spine (lower back) are subjected to a wide range of stress-inducing movements, all while supporting the majority of the weight of the upper body. Over time, the vertebrae, discs, joints and other parts of the spine can begin to break down due to years of wear and tear.

While these degenerative conditions do not always cause pain and symptoms, they do increase the risk of pressing against a nerve root in the spinal canal. If nerve compression does occur, pain and symptoms can travel from the lumbar spine into the leg and foot.

What leg nerve pain feels like

Most sciatica is experienced only on one side of the body. For example, compression caused by a bulging disc on the right side of the L4 vertebra is likely to produce symptoms on the right side of the lower body.

The severity and location of the pain and symptoms will be determined by the location of the nerve compression, but generally, leg nerve pain cause by a compressed sciatic nerve will be experienced as:

  • Burning or shooting pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness or difficulty moving
  • Constant ache or sharp pain
  • Site-specific pain

Treatment for leg nerve pain

In many cases, leg pain associated with sciatic nerve compression will improve over time with rest and conservative treatments. The most commonly prescribed conservative treatments include pain medication, exercise, heat and/or ice packs or other nonsurgical treatments.

However, if leg nerve pain and other symptoms continue after all conservative treatments have been exhausted, you may be a candidate for the minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive procedures provide patients with a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or open back surgery.

If your sciatic nerve is compressed by a moderate spine condition, we may recommend a minimally invasive decompression spine surgery, which takes pressure off the nerve by removing a small portion of the damaged spine. If a more severe spine condition is to blame, we may recommend a stabilization surgery, which removes pressure on the disc and then stabilizes the damaged spine with an artificial disc and/or bone grafts.

To find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Let us help you take the next step toward pain relief.