Doctor John J Kozik D.C.
Quite often leg pain or foot pain is not caused by a problem in the leg or foot, but rather by a condition in the lower back. Diagnosis of leg pain and other lower extremity symptoms should focus not only on the legs and hips, but should also include examination of the low back. In fact, with many low back problems, there is actually little or no low back pain. Instead, there may be leg pain, foot pain, and/or lower extremity numbness or weakness.
Compression or pressure on any of the nerve roots in the low back can cause pain, numbness or weakness along the different nerves as they travel down through the leg and into the foot. Because the sciatic nerve is commonly affected, leg pain and related symptoms are often generally referred to as sciatica, although medical professionals prefer the term radiculopathy.
Many low back disorders can cause pain to radiate, or be referred to, the leg and/or foot, so an accurate diagnosis of leg pain or foot pain should include a low back examination.
Leg Pain Symptoms and Descriptions
Not all leg pain derived from low back problems presents the same way. Leg pain caused by a low back problem is often accompanied by additional symptoms, such as leg numbness or weakness, or foot pain, and the type of leg pain experienced may vary widely from patient to patient.
Leg pain along with certain other symptoms may be a sign of a potentially serious condition and warrant urgent medical attention, such as: