Your leg pain symptoms may be caused by a variety of reasons. It is vital to the successful outcome of your chiropractic treatment, to find the underlying cause of your symptoms. Your leg pain may as a result of an injury to any of the tissues of the leg, including muscles, nerves, joints, tendons, connective tissue or reduced blood supply. The area or spread of symptoms may involve the whole leg or may only affect specific areas. The symptoms may be constant or intermittent and may improve or worsen with motion.
Common symptoms of the leg may include: pain, decreased mobility or stiffness. The type of pain / symptoms may be described as burning, dull, sharp or throbbing. These symptoms may range in intensity from mild to severe. Frequently, symptoms perceived in the leg are actually referred from a problem in the low back or pelvic region. Here is a selection of common injuries that have been diagnosed at this clinic.
Piriformis syndrome is term used to describe how the piriformis muscle can
compress or irritate the sciatic nerve, resulting in symptoms similar to sciatica, that is, pain coursing into buttock and down the back of the leg. The piriformis muscle attaches
to the anterior surface of the sacrum and extends to the hip joint.
When there is a muscle imbalance in the pelvic region, resulting in this muscle becoming ‘hypertonic’ (very tense), the tense muscle entraps the sciatic nerve as it passes through the muscle, or acts like a ‘knife edge’ as it passes by the side of the muscle. The piriformis is used mostly when you walk, hence the symptoms are exacerbated when you walk, but you will still feel the affects of this irritation, even when you sit down.
Sciatica is a term used to describe inflammation of the sciatic nerve. The point of irritation is generally found somewhere in the pelvic region but may also be from the lumbar spine. The sciatic nerve is the widest and longest nerve in the body and courses its way from the lumbar spine, down the back of the thigh, splits in two at the knee and continues into the foot.
Strain or ‘over-use’ injury is a common term to describe tissues that have been stressed beyond their functional capacity. The muscles or tendons of the leg, may be strained due to their excessive use or deconditioning of the leg muscles, resulting in a muscle strain or tendonitis.
The damaged tissue will take time to heal, but the healing process will happen much sooner and further similar injuries will be minimized, if the under-lying ‘cause’ of the injury is highlighted and addressed. Symptoms of acute pain may be felt in the lower leg, upper leg, hip or pelvic region, depending which tissues are damaged.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome comes from the words ‘myo’ which means muscle, and ‘fascia’ which is the connective tissue that covers all muscles and organs of the body. You will have no doubt heard of a ‘knot’ in a muscle and most probably experienced some ‘tension’ in a muscle or group of muscles. Myofascial pain, often referred to as ‘trigger points’, are points of hyper-tension (knot) within a band of tense muscle fibres. These trigger points can be either ‘active’ or ‘latent’. Active trigger points may refer pain to areas of the body, far from the trigger point.
Active trigger points in the muscles of the leg may refer into the pelvic region and vice versa, depending on where the trigger points are located. When these active trigger points are further stressed by excessive use, sustained contraction, cold / hot weather, then they may refer symptoms to their predictable site. Latent trigger points do not refer symptoms but do cause local pain. These latent trigger points will evolve into active trigger points if left untreated and if the original stress continues. A diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation is required to de-activate these trigger points which will alleviate the leg symptoms.
It is absolutely paramount to your good health that the underlying causes of your leg symptoms are found and correct diagnosis is made. Dr Doherty will use his wealth of experience to achieve this and to make the appropriate management plan for you.
Please phone 0161 482 0786, to
make your consultation and examination appointment or to make further enquiries.
The Family Chiropractic Clinic, 15 Station Road, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport. SK8 5AF.
Chiropractor serving the people of Cheadle, Stockport, Manchester, Trafford and Tameside.