Leg pain can be caused by nerve root injury or compression in the lumbar spine, where patients with herniated discs or degenerative changes in the spine may experience sharp, shooting pain. Other causes can include damage or compression of nerves anywhere along their path down the lower extremity, due to trauma like a car accident, injury, or metabolic conditions such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy. In some cases, leg pain may also be caused by peripheral vascular disease and reduced blood flow to the lower extremity.
Leg Pain Treatments
A diagnosis can be made by evaluating other risk factors, history and physical examination. Some patients may require additional testing such as ultrasound, EMG/NCS, ankle brachial indexes, MRI to rule out the underlying cause. The treatment revolves around the underlying cause and in some cases may involve lumbar sympathetic plexus blocks, lumbar epidural steroid injections, nerve blocks etc. in addition to physical therapy, over the counter or prescription medications. In some severe cases, patients may be candidates for dorsal root ganglion stimulation or spinal cord stimulation therapy.