When patients come to my office with a lower back injury, they want to know, “Why is pain shooting down my leg from my back?” There are often multiple reasons this can happen and to treat a person with back and leg pain, you need to properly diagnose the problem.
The most common reason the pain or numbness or even tingling will be shooting down your leg from your back is that you are having a disc problem in your lower back. Disc problems such as, disc bulges, inflamed discs due to injury, disc herniations, disc extrusions are all very painful. The good news is that research shows that after twelve months, patient outcomes are basically the statistically the same whether the patient has conservative care such as chiropractic manipulative therapy (chiropractic adjustments) or surgery. The bad news is that regardless of what option you pick for yourself, it can take a long time to heal. If you have a disc problem, it as usually a long time coming. Typically you would have weak muscles and inflexibility for a long time that went without stretching or strengthening and also poor movement patterns in your spine involving your vertebrae that placed extra stress on joints that weren’t designed to take it.
You can also have tight muscles that compress or entrap nerves. This can happen with your piriformis, hip flexors such as your psoas muscle and even your hamstrings. As muscles start to bunch up and the muscle fibers adhere together forming scar tissue it then starts to wrap up the nerve fibers and create additional compression on your nerves. A good chiropractor should be able to adequately diagnosis what is pinching on your nerve and causing you pain.
If you are having an episode of this, get an ice pack out of the freezer and call us. We will be able to diagnose your problem correctly. Do not heat your injury or you will get even more inflamed. Please remember when you visit your chiropractor to have realistic expectations. Any back problem that is extending into your leg, is not going to go away over night. You will need regular and frequent care to feel better for the long term.