7 Most Common Causes for Leg Numbness
This content was medically reviewed by Baher S. Yanni, MD, on September 16th, 2021.
What causes numbness in the legs and feet? We have many potential answers for you. In many cases, these issues have a spine-related cause that we can address. Discover how the spine can cause leg numbness and where to get help.
Your spinal cord consists of delicate nerves that allow the brain and body to communicate. When pressure pinches one of your spinal nerves, it can interfere with the messages sent to your legs. As a result, you can feel pain, tingling or numbness in one or both of your legs. Pinched nerves need immediate treatment to avoid long-term problems.
Sciatica occurs as a result of a pinched spinal nerve root. A nerve called the sciatic nerve runs down your lower back and legs, and it affects both these areas when compressed. Pain from sciatica usually affects only one side of your body and radiates from your lower back to the back of the leg.
The spine has individual bones called vertebrae that are cushioned with soft discs. When a disc undergoes too much pressure, its soft interior can push through its exterior wall. While some people with herniated discs feel no symptoms, others experience numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. A herniated disc may also cause severe pain.
Spinal stenosis causes the bone around the spinal cord to narrow, putting extra pressure on the nerves. Age, arthritis, injuries, disc problems and other issues can result in the spine narrowing. When the bone presses on certain nerves, you can experience sciatica or other forms of nerve pain in your legs.
The nerves in your back travel through entrances in the vertebrae called foramina. Multiple issues can result in these passages narrowing and pressing on the inside nerves, which is known as foraminal stenosis. Foraminal stenosis in the lower back vertebrae create symptoms such as numbness in the legs, buttocks and feet.
Spondylolisthesis occurs when one of your vertebrae moves out of place. Patients of any age can experience this condition, which can occur to various degrees. The misaligned vertebra puts pressure on your nerves, resulting in back and leg pain. It can also create numbness in one or both legs.
Sacroiliac (SI) Joint Dysfunction
The sacroiliac (SI) joint is located where your pelvis and spine meet. When the SI joint becomes misaligned, you can feel pain, tingling and numbness in your legs and lower back. SI joint dysfunction often grows more severe over time, making it imperative to get treatment right away.
Let Us Help You Find the Source of Your Leg Numbness
Leg numbness has many possible causes, and most cases occur due to overlapping problems. A back pain management specialist will identify and resolve the issue.
At the Spine Institute of North America, we examine all aspects of your pain and how it affects your well-being. We specialize in least-invasive spine procedures and personalized treatment. Seek our help today by completing our online appointment scheduling form. Feel free to choose from three different offices across New Jersey.
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