ZocdocAnswersIs the shooting pain in my legs actually coming from my back?

Question

Is the shooting pain in my legs actually coming from my back?

I am having chronic pain in the back of my thighs. It is so bad at times that I cannot bed over to get dressed, and even rolling over in bed at night will send pain shooting down my legs. Sitting in bar stools aggravates the pain, and there are times when I cannot even twist from side to side. I have been taking anti-inflammatories, but nothing seems to help. A friend suggested that the problem could actually be a pinched nerve in my back, but I haven?t had any back injuries lately. What could be causing this pain, and could it actually be coming from my back?

Answer

Leg pain is relatively common. There are many causes of this, and distinguishinig between the causes allows for the best treatment. I would recommend you see your primary care doctor. He or she can help diagnose the cause of your pain and hopefully start you on the road to treatment. This seems to be quite debilitating for you so it is certainly worth having this looked into. To answer your question, yes shooting pain in the legs can certainly be caused by back issues. As you may know, the brain is connected to the spinal cord which is where the nerves of the body travel. The spinal cord is protected by the bones that make up the spine (known as the vertebrae). At each level of the spine, the spinal cord sends out nerve fibers that go to different parts of the body. These nerves leave the spinal column through holes in the bones. If there is degeneration of the vertebrae (often from wear and tear) then the holes that allow the nerves to leave the spinal cord can become tight and therefore "pinch the nerves." Commonly lower back problems "pinch" the nerves leaving the spinal cord to the leg, and thereby cause leg pain similar to what you describe. See your primary doctor for more info and hopefully for treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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