Pain or numbness in the leg or lower extremity can be caused by structural problems in the low back, hip, knee or ankle. Some are initiated by trauma such as a sports injury, slip and fall or an auto accident. Others develop over time: repetitive motions, poor body mechanics or life style habits can cause an inflammation and irritation of various muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves.
Besides fractures and dislocations from trauma, some of the more common causes of leg pain or numbness include:
Lumbar Radiculopathy – is when one of the nerves from the low back is affected by either compression or irritating factors. Two of the most common causes of radiculopathy are herniated discs and spondylosis, or degenerative changes in the spinal joints. In some cases, the symptoms of numbness, weakness or pain may extend all the way to the foot.
Sciatica – is pain that radiates down the path of the sciatic nerve. This nerve branches from the spin in lower back through the hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body. Some of the most common causes of sciatic are misaligned vertebrae, a herniated disk or a bone spur on the spine compresses part of the nerve.
Knee Pain – Typically, the most common source of knee pain is either trauma, especially from sports injuries, or degenerative changes. Trauma can stretch or tear various stabilizing ligaments in the knee causing inflammation, pain and limited mobility. Degenerative changes happen slowly over time, usually due to poor joint mechanics that produce increased wear and tear.
Ankle/Foot Pain – Much like the knee, trauma and degenerative changes are the most common causes of ankle pain. Another common condition of the foot is plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of the lining of the muscles in the sole of the foot. Many times the pain is focused on the bottom of the heel.
As you can see, there are many different causes of leg pain or numbness. The key to successful treatment is a thorough assessment and diagnosis. In many cases, the cause can consist of multiple problems. Since many are of a mechanical nature, the causative factor can affect more than one area.
Dr. Martin Schmaltz has years of experience in treating leg pain and numbness. His additional training in sports injury and rehab provide him a unique approach to lower extremity problems.
In most cases, quality chiropractic care is effective in relieving these causes of leg pain. After a thorough history, exam and x-rays (if necessary), Dr. Schmaltz will be able to recommend a treatment plan to not only relief your pain but assist in determining and changing the causative factors.
If you are experiencing arm pain or numbness? Do you live in Hazelwood, Florissant, Spanish Lakes, Ferguson, Berkeley, Bridgeton or North County If yes, you owe it to yourself to call Dr. Schmaltz at 314-731-4383. All you have to lose is your pain!