Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Leg Pain: Is It Just a Muscle Issue?

Now that it’s nice outside, it’s normal to see more and more people running and enjoying the outdoors; the sunny season brings people back to life, out of the cabin fever days and into the spring fever days. Everything is just starting to come back to life. Of course, at the same time, it’s easy to have the winter months of relative inactivity come and bite you in the behind.

This is the way I have had more than one patient come to any office, Living Well Medical in NYC, complaining of leg pain, thinking it was muscle-related - it’s the first choice in a case of a person returning to active days. This is particularly true of people ages 50 and up because they are generally more susceptible to injury. However, based on the way the pain is described, it can become evident that leg pain is more than just muscular. That’s when things get more complicated.

Patients often say a few things that made me believe it might be something more.

Shooting, electric, burning pains are a component of the overall pain. This is sometimes an indication of a nerve-related problem like sciatica, but it cannot be confirmed without an in depth study like an MRI.

Patients also typically complained of some numbness in the legs, buttocks, feet or toes. Again, this is consistent with a pinched nerve that is inflamed and irritated, perhaps because of a herniated or bulging disc.

Finally, the patient complained that there was no real “comfortable” position - sitting hurt, standing hurt, even lying down hurt.

Just to be clear, none of the above is a definitive indication of a pinched nerve, but they do warrant more investigation, especially if the pain is persistent, as it often is. If you do have a pinched nerve, we’re here to help; services like spinal decompression, physical therapy, active release technique, chiropractic and so many others have been shown to be able to relieve pain and keep it away. The main thing to remember: if you’re in pain, don’t just ignore it! Call and find out more about getting help at 212-645-8151.

- Dr. Shoshany, NYC Chiropractor

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