Back and leg pain: Possible causes (what to do?)

The back and leg pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including muscle strain, nerve compression, and arthritis.

In many cases, back and leg pain can be relieved by conservative treatments such as medication, physical therapy, or surgery.

However, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause of your pain and receive appropriate treatment. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common causes of back and leg pain and what you can do to ease your discomfort.

Spine anatomy

The anatomy of the spine human spine is complex. The spine is made up of many bones aligned next to each other: the vertebrae, of which each person has 32-34. Doctors distinguish five sections of the spine, each with a different number of vertebrae. From top to bottom, the spine consists of these sections:

  • cervical spine (cervical, 7 vertebrae);
  • Thoracic spine (12 vertebrae);
  • Lumbar vertebral column (5 vertebrae);
  • Sacrum (5 vertebrae, fused);
  • Coccyx (3-5 vertebrae, partially fused).

La vertebrate cervical superior, which connects the head and the vertebral column, is called the atlas. Apart from the sacrum and the coccyx, called “os sacrum” and “os coccygis” in Latin and which are rigid, the spine is flexible in many directions.

It can swivel, fold left or right, and tilt forward or back.

This is due to the fact that each vertebrate measures only a few centimeters in height and that they are linked together by discs intervertebral and tiny joints called intervertebral joints or facets.

Radiating pain in the legs

Irradiation is a common condition of leg pain. It occurs when pain starts from another part of the body and radiates outward. For example, the sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve is overwritten, causing a pain that radiates from the lower back to the leg.

The herniated discs and spinal stenosis are two conditions that can cause sciatica. Another example of radiating pain is phantom limb pain. This occurs when a person loses a limb, but still feels pain in that limb.

The brain is unable to process the missing information from the limb, causing pain signals to be sent to the area where the limb was. Radiation can also be the consequence of diseases such as cancer.

Cancer cells release chemicals that promote inflammation and can lead to irradiation of pain throughout the body.

Causes of Leg Pain Radiation

The most common cause radiating pain in the legs is a herniated disc. It occurs when the gelatinous center of a intervertebral disc (the core) ruptures through the outer layer of the disk (the annulus).

This can occur as a result of injury, degeneration, or wear and tear. When the nucleus protrudes, it puts pressure on the nearby spinal nerve root and can cause a pain that radiates down the leg.

There are many other possible causes of back and leg painIncluding:

  • Muscle strain: Excess stress on a muscle or a tendon can cause micro-damage to the muscle fibers and lead to pain acute.
  • Bursitis: Bursitis occurs when the bursae, small fluid-filled pockets between tendons and bone, are inflamed. This can be the result of injury or overuse of joint concerned.
  • Arthritis: Arthritis is an inflammatory disease of the joints. It can be caused by injury, autoimmune disease, or aging. Arthritis can cause stiffness and joint pain.
  • Nerve compression: Nerve compression occurs when nerves are compressed or irritated. This may be due to a herniated disc, soft tissue swelling, or pressure from bones or muscles. Nerve compression can cause pain, muscle weakness or loss of sensation.
  • sciatic nerves: The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body. It starts at the lumbar spine and go down in legs. Compression or inflammation of the sciatic nerve can cause severe pain in lower back, hip and/or leg.
  • Psychosomatic: Some pain is caused by emotional factors such as stress, anxiety or depression. These pain are often difficult to relieve with medication or physical treatment. If you are concerned about your pain, it is important to discuss this with your doctor or a therapist.
  • trigger point (muscular): A trigger point is defined as a hyper irritable area in a muscle. They can be caused by injury, muscle tension or excessive use of the affected joint. Trigger points can cause pain and a burning sensation.
  • Systemic damage: Some diseases, such as systemic autoimmune disease, can cause joint pain and/or muscle. Other diseases, such as cancer, can also cause pain throughout the body. If you have systemic involvement, it is important to speak with your doctor to get appropriate treatment.

There are many other possible causes of back and leg pain. If you suffer from persistent or debilitating pain, it is important to consult a doctor in order to determine the cause and obtain appropriate treatment.


In many cases, back and leg pain can be relieved by conservative treatments such as medication, physical therapy (physiotherapy), or surgery. This will depend on the underlying cause.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often used to treat inflammatory pain such as that associated with a herniated disc. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of chemicals in the body that promote inflammation.

Analgesics such as paracetamol can also be used to ease the pain.

La physical therapy is another effective treatment option for back and leg pain. Physical therapy aims to strengthen the muscles of the back and legs, improve flexibility and reduce inflammation.

Physical therapy involves the use ofactivities specific to strengthen the back and leg muscles. The activities physiotherapy can be performed under the supervision of a physiotherapist or an osteopath.

In some cases, surgery is needed to relieve back pain and the legs. Surgery is generally recommended when other methods of conservative treatment have failed.

Surgery can be used to correct anatomical abnormalities or to remove inflamed or compressed tissue.

However, it is essential to consult a doctor to determine the cause of your pain and receive appropriate treatment.

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