Leg Pain and Numbness: What Might These Symptoms Mean?

Aug24th 2016

Do you have pain, numbness, tingling, or heaviness running down one or both legs?
Do you have pain in your knee, hip, ankle, or foot AND your lower back?
If so, then you may have a condition called, sciatica.

The Sciatic Nerve

The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It’s actually 2 nerves. It starts in the lower back and travels down the back of the leg. The sciatic nerve splits into two nerves behind the knee and travels into the lower leg, ankle, and foot.

Sciatica is usually caused by a problem in the back or pelvis.

How Can a Problem in My Back Cause Pain, Numbness, Tingling, or Heaviness in My Legs?

Have you ever used a garden hose?

What happens when you’re spraying the hose and the water pressure completely dies off?

You look for the “kink” in the hose, right?

It’s the same idea with your sciatic nerve. If you have pain, numbness, tingling, or heaviness in one or both legs then you’re getting pressure on the sciatic nerve, most likely in your back, just like the kink in the hose.

Relieve the pressure on the nerve and the pain, numbness, tingling, or heaviness goes away.

What types of Problems in My Back Cause Sciatica?
There are 3 common causes of sciatica:
  • Herniated Discs
  • Stenosis (arthritis or disc degeneration)
  • Pelvis or SI Joint Problems
How Can I Treat It Successfully?

First, we need to take a look at what is causing your sciatica.

This is done with movement tests we do here at Full Potential Physical Therapy.

We can look at any results of X-Rays or MRI’s you may have, although they are not necessarily needed.

After this, we design a treatment program based on what is specifically causing your sciatica.

Super Important Point on Sciatica Treatment

One of the biggest mistakes someone with sciatica can make is to think they have the same problem or the same cause as someone else they know with sciatica.

But here’s the deal. Each of the 3 causes above has a different treatment program specifically for that problem.

Someone with stenosis or arthritis going through the treatment for herniated discs actually makes the sciatica worse.

And that person may think, “Well, I’ve tried PT and it didn’t work for me…”

Unfortunately, this happens with Physical Therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, and just about every other health care service.

We’ve Reviewed Our Records for People Who Successfully Overcome Sciatica, Naturally, With Physical Therapy…

Sciatica sufferers who do the best and get back to normal again and avoid surgery tend to talk the most with the Physical Therapist. They let the physical therapist know what is working and what is not.

Have a Question About Sciatica? Give us a call at 616-392-2172. We’d love to hear from you.