Have you ever been sitting at your desk and you realize you’ve been hunched over at a precarious position for forty-five minutes straight? As soon as you straighten up or stand up to take a break, you start to feel pressure and muscle tightness in your lower back and buttocks. What are the causes of lower back pain and leg pain?
Later that evening as you give the kids their bath you feel it again, but now the pain has moved down into your hip and leg area as well, combined with a horrible numbing feeling. Now you start to wonder if you have injured your back seriously and you make a mental note to see you family doctor. Over 80% of Americans have complained about lower back pain and the only complaint that tops it is headaches.
The most common causes of lower back pain and leg pain are a set of symptoms referred to as sciatica. The term ‘sciatica’ is the pain that begins in the hip and buttocks. This pain will continue down the leg and in some cases the pain can be quite severe. The sciatic nerve is the nerve that travels from the lower back, through the buttocks and into the leg and is the cause of the pain of the ‘sciatica’. Sciatica is a condition that will occur when a herniated lumbar disc starts to compress on one of the roots of the sciatic nerve.
For most patients there is not a specific traumatic event or any isolated motion that can be associated with the onset of sciatica. Repetitive motion as well as standing, sitting, heavy lifting, sneezing, or coughing may aggravate the pain, not only in the lower back, but the hip and leg area as well. Some people may find relief by lying down and there is many different stretching exercises that can be done to help relieve the pain as well as strengthen the lower back area can improve the condition. On rare occasion people who have sciatica can experience parenthesis, weakness and diminished bowel or bladder functions, but again this is very rare.
This type of low back pain and leg pain, pain associated with the sciatic nerve, is less common than other causes. Continuous heavy lifting and bending at work is the number one cause of low back pain and leg pain. It is very important to be aware of how you are lifting, and what muscles you need to protect if the heavy labor is repeated over and over. Once you hurt your back and have done damage to the spine and lumbar region, it can be hard to repair and in some cases it will take surgery to repair the damage.
There are many causes of lower back pain and leg pain and it is important to always be aware of how you are sitting, standing, working and lifting. It is so important to keep your back healthy and strong, it is the only one you have!
Written By: Updated: June 27,2011