Leg pain and tingling – are they always due to discopathy?

Most cases of discopathy occur with low-grade, persistent, and relatively tolerable back pain. From time to time it may intensify for a few days and become so strong that you have a feeling of pulsation or burning.

The symptoms are different. One of them may be pain in the legs. Neurological symptoms, including tingling, weakness, or sharp pain in the back of the legs, can be felt if the disc space shrinks enough to pinch a nerve root. In addition to tingling, there may be a loss of sensation or a feeling of coldness in one or more areas of the foot.

Leg pain can be a symptom of various medical conditions and making a correct diagnosis is essential for taking an effective course of treatment.

Болки в краката и изтръпване – винаги ли се дължат на дископатия?

How does leg pain occur?

 

Leg pain can be caused by problems in the lower back, pelvis, or the leg itself. The most common causes of your pain are:

  • Compression or irritation of the spinal nerve.
  • Inflamed, irritated, or pinched nerve roots in the lumbar or sacral spine can cause radiculopathy or nerve pain in the legs and feet.
  • Compression of the spinal cord. Narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck can put pressure on the spinal cord, causing pain and numbness in both legs.
  • The condition of the blood vessels. Blocked arteries or veins in the legs can cause a reduced blood supply, which can lead to leg pain and numbness.
  • Problems with the pelvis and hip joint. Problems with the pelvis and hip, such as sacroiliac dysfunction or osteoarthritis of the hip, can cause pain in the legs, and nerve irritation can cause numbness. Pelvic muscle spasm, as in piriformis syndrome, can cause creeping pain, tingling and / or weakness.

Болки в краката и изтръпване – винаги ли се дължат на дископатия?

 

  • Infection. Lyme disease, bone and disc infections, such as osteomyelitis or spondylodiscitis, and viral infections, such as shingles or HIV / AIDS, are known to cause leg pain.
  • System states. Endocrine and metabolic disorders, such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, can cause damage to the muscles and nerves in the legs, leading to pain and numbness.
  • Cauda equina syndrome. Compression of the “cauda equina” (a group of spinal nerves that run down the spinal cord to the lower back) can cause severe pain, tingling and weakness in both legs.
  • Tumors. The presence of growths in the lower back, pelvis or legs can constrict blood vessels and / or nerves and lead to pain and tingling in the legs.
  • Leg pain can also develop due to stress, exercise, dehydration, aging, poor posture, hereditary factors and / or occupational causes.

 

Treatment, care, and support of recovery from discopathy

Diet, exercise, and proper living habits can help a lot. You have to keep in mind that the body has a surprising capacity for self-help and self-regeneration. The key is to provide it with the necessary elements so that it can do what it needs.

Болки в краката и изтръпване – винаги ли се дължат на дископатия?

Our diet should consist of lots of vegetables, fruits, cold pressed vegetable oils, fish (not fried) and drinking at least two liters of fresh water a day to keep your body well hydrated. Also, make it a good habit to eat raw garlic every day. Garlic is a strong tonic and has powerful healing effects. When the body is overloaded with toxins, they cause wear and tear, premature aging, and the development of other diseases.

 

Start with some light physical activity, such as swimming. In addition to providing good circulation and elimination of toxins, swimming helps keep the muscles of the back and legs in good condition. It is especially recommended for older people who have foot problems. Start little by little and don’t force yourself to swim for long, especially if you’ve never exercised.

 

Another thing you can do in your daily life are massages. A light massage is one of the best things to relax the muscles that surround the spine. Hydrotherapy is recommended, along with bioenergetic massages and reiki. Practicing yoga can also help with healing.

Болки в краката и изтръпване – винаги ли се дължат на дископатия?

 

Acupuncture can be very helpful in relieving pain. Oregano, rosemary, anise or mint teas are also good for this purpose. Rosemary tea, for example, is an excellent muscle relaxant.

 

Foods rich in vitamin C help to relieve pain – oranges, plums, pineapple, broccoli, lemon, spirulina, seaweed, olive oil, extra virgin. Vegetable milks (almond or rice) are preferred, which are rich in nutrients and do not carry additional bad fats and toxins, as is the case with animal milk. Almond milk is rich in calcium, which promotes good bone and back muscle health.

 

Five exercises for leg pain

 

  • For the first exercise you will need a yoga mat or pillow. Lie on the floor with something under your shoulders for support and lift your legs up, supporting them against the wall. Stay like that for a minute, then rest a bit and repeat. Perform five times and gradually increase their number day by day.

This exercise is useful for all types of pain because it improves blood circulation in the legs and relieves any blockages, which will significantly reduce the pain.

 

  • The next exercise is to strengthen the calf muscles, which will reduce pain in the lower legs. Stand facing the wall and support your hands on it, at chest level. Place your left foot behind your right, slightly bending your right forward, keeping your left knee and heel in contact with the floor. Now, with your back straight, lean against the wall as if trying to push it. When you feel a slight stretch, hold for 20 seconds. Repeat with the other leg. Do this twice with each foot.

Болки в краката и изтръпване – винаги ли се дължат на дископатия?

 

  • Lift your pelvis up with both hands pressed to the floor. Relax your head back between your arms. Viewed from the side, your body will form a triangle. That is why the exercise is called mountain pose parvastasana.
  • The next exercise will stretch the front muscles of the thighs and help strengthen the muscles of the lower legs.

 

Stand with your feet firmly placed and stand up straight. Grasp your left leg with your left hand, keeping your hips tucked together. Take a deep breath and hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

 

  • Stand with legs wide apart. Bend your knees in a squat position. Make sure your heels touch the ground well, if not, put a rolled up towel or mat under them. Place your hands on your hips near your knees. Inhale and exhale five times and exit this position. Repeat this exercise to relieve leg pain until the tingling disappears.

 

The course of treatment for leg pain depends on its root cause. Leg pain due to discopathy is common and can be well managed with non-surgical treatment. The improvement in symptoms can range from 75% to 90%. If the pain becomes chronic with increasing episodes of weakness and numbness, surgery may be needed.

Болки в краката и изтръпване – винаги ли се дължат на дископатия?

 

Leg pain and tingling caused by other conditions depend on the severity and progression of the underlying cause. Treatment may include non-surgical and / or surgical methods.

So never forget that the best medicine is prevention. That is why it is important to be healthy throughout your life, doing some kind of exercise every day and most of all maintaining good mental and emotional health.

 

What tests are done to detect discopathy and stenosis?

Diagnosis of stenosis

Visual examinations performed to diagnose patients with various types of spinal stenosis include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Scanning
  • Computed tomography with myelogram

Sometimes more than one test may be required. Conventional CT scans can better identify the causes of spinal stenosis, but cannot provide the same detailed information about the causes of soft tissue stenosis, such as disc bulges, disc herniations, and ligament hypertrophy. Due to this changing picture, the symptoms of spinal stenosis vary and a physical examination will usually not show a neurological deficit or motor weakness.

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Some medical centers use “upright” magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to lengthen the flexion and MRI of the spine to identify dynamic changes in the spine and canal size. Although the effectiveness of these tests is still being studied, it is possible to find pertinent information with such tests.

To diagnose spinal stenosis, your doctor will ask you what your current symptoms are, may ask you to discuss your medical history, and perform several physical examinations to determine the cause of your symptoms.

Visual examinations

These tests include the following:

  • X-ray – This image will show bone changes, such as bone spikes, that may cause narrowing of the space in your spinal canal. It should be noted that each X-ray exposes you to a small amount of radiation that is not dangerous to your health.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – uses a powerful magnet and radio waves to produce cross-sectional images of your spine. The test may detect damage to the discs and their ligaments, as well as the presence of tumors in your spine. That this image can show where your nerves are compressed is quite valuable.
  • CT or CT myelogram – if you are unable to get an MRI, your doctor will recommend that you have a computed tomography (CT) scan, which is a combination of X-rays taken from different angles to get detailed cross-sectional images of your body. In a CT myelogram, the scan is done after an injection of a safe contrast fluid that will outline your spinal cord along with the nerves and be able to show where the herniated discs, bone spines, or tumors are.

How is discopathy diagnosed?

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Discopathy is a disease that can occur with age and affects one or more intervertebral discs. It manifests itself with back pain and it is important to treat it as early as possible to avoid complications. When working on a diagnosis, your spine specialist (surgeon) will ask you about the symptoms you have been experiencing recently, the medicines you have taken or are still taking, and what their effects are.

Typical questions for the diagnosis of degenerative disc diseases

  • When did your pain first appear?
  • What did you do when your pain started?
  • What did you do to relieve it?
  • Does the pain stay in one place or move to other parts of your body?
  • Is there anything that reduces or worsens it?

Physical and neurological examinations

It is very likely that your doctor will conduct physical and neurological examinations.

  • In the physical test, he will monitor your posture and range of motion, which means how well you can move certain joints and your overall physical condition, and will note any movement that causes you pain. Your doctor will look at your spine and document any abnormalities
  • During the neurological examination, he will test your reflexes, your muscle strength, other nervous changes and the spread of your back pain to other parts of your body. This examination is important in cases of degenerative disc disease because your nerves may be affected.

Imaging diagnosis of the spine

In order to detect discopathy, you will need to have several visual tests, such as an X-ray, to help your surgeon “see” the bones in your spine. This diagnosis is quite effective for detecting:

  • Narrowed spinal canals (spinal stenosis)
  • Fractures
  • Bone spurs (osteophytes)
  • Osteoarthritis

Your surgeon will also ask for some standard X-rays. A side photo will be taken, which is called a side view. You will take another, “direct” photo, which can be taken both from the front and from the back.

In the “standard x-ray”, the doctor will look for vertebral curvature, scoliosis, fracture, or other spinal problems that may have come with the discopathy.

Your surgeon may order flexion and X-ray dilation to assess the stability of your spine and the range of motion, in terms of how well your joints are moving. Your doctor will make you lean forward (flexion) and backward (extension) to take these x-rays.

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Computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed. The aforementioned tests are more effective than X-rays in showing the soft tissues in the spine and can help identify problems such as a swollen disc or herniated disc.

A CT scan is helpful because it is easier to see the bones and nerves so that your surgeon can clearly see if a bone spike has pinched a nerve.

If he suspects nerve damage from degenerative changes in your spine, he may order a special test called electromyography (EMG) to measure how quickly your nerves are responding.

In order to diagnose degenerative disc disease, additional tests may be needed:

  • Bone scans – To help your doctor detect a problem in your spine, which may be osteoarthritis, fractures or infections, you may need to have a bone scan. You will be injected with a small amount of radioactive material that will pass through your bloodstream and be absorbed into your bones. It will be absorbed at the site where there is unusual activity, such as inflammation. The scanner will detect it and show your surgeon the “hot spots” so he can determine where the problem is.
  • Discogram or discography – This procedure confirms or rejects the possibility that the disc is the source of your pain. A small amount of safe contrast fluid is injected into one of the discs. If there is a problem such as a hernia, the dye will leak from the disc. Your surgeon will see this on the x-ray, which will help him understand where something is wrong
  • Myelogram – To be able to tell if there is a disorder in your spinal canal or in your spinal cord due to a pinched nerve and this is causing your pain, you will need to have a myelogram. For this test, you must be injected with a special harmless colored fluid at the area around the spinal cord and nerves. Before that, however, the place must be anesthetized. You will then have an X-ray or CT scan. The image will give a detailed anatomical picture of your spine, especially your bones, which will help your surgeon identify any abnormalities.

To prevent the development and aggravation of a disease associated with your spine, it is recommended that you be examined before your pain becomes unbearable or complicates your condition.