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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.