Numbness and Shooting Pain Down Leg

February 19th, 2020

Are you experiencing intermittent or constant leg pain? It can be described as a dull ache, throbbing pain, or burning sensation. Do you feel numbness in your legs or feet?

Leg pain or numbness may be the symptom of a variety of conditions. A correct diagnosis is essential for determining the most effective treatment.

How Leg Pain Occurs?

  • Spinal nerve compression/irritation: when nerve roots get inflamed or irritated, it may cause radiculopathy in the leg and foot.
  • Blood vessel conditions: Blocked arteries or veins may create a decreased blood supply to your nerves which can result in leg pain or numbness
  • Pelvic or Hip Impairments: Muscle spasms in the pelvis or hip may cause pain to travel down the leg with numbness and weakness.

Common Symptoms with Leg Pain

  • Weakness: A feeling of heaviness in the affected leg may make it difficult to lift up your foot.
  • Numbness: Pins and needles or tingling may occur down the affected leg
  • Foot Pain: Aching or burning pain may travel down one or more areas of your leg. 

4 Common Conditions That Cause Numbness and Radiating Leg Pain 

  1. Lumbar Radiculopathy: Pain that originates in the lower back that travels down thigh, calf and foot. This condition may have numbness in calf or toes and weakness in the hip, thigh, or foot.
  2. Peripheral Neuropathy: When damage to one or more nerves outside of the brain or spinal cord. This condition is most commonly caused by diabetes and typically affects both legs. This condition may cause pain that originates in the toes and spreads toward the knees. The pain may come with numbness and weakness in the feet or toes.
  3. Vascular Claudication: This is leg pain due to decreased blood supply. This occurs when arteries in the leg are blocked which cause reduced or complete loss of blood supply in the leg muscles. Symptoms of this condition include pain, redness, and numbness up the legs.
  4. Piriformis Syndrome: The piriformis muscle is located in the buttock. If this muscle spasms, it may compress or irritate the sciatic nerve as it leaves the pelvis. Symptoms of piriformis syndrome include shooting/burning pain that travels down the back of the leg and/or numbness/tingling down the buttock or leg. These symptoms may get worse after sitting for long periods of time.

If you are experiencing any kind of pain or numbness in your hips or legs, call Respire Physical Therapy today at 703-671-1871. Our expert physical therapists can help you alleviate your pain and numbness so you can return to the activities you enjoy the most.

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