Leg pain affects many people on a daily basis. Depending upon the cause and each individual’s situation, symptoms of leg pain may present in many different ways. For some, the pain begins in the lower back and travels down one or both legs. Some experience pain down the back of the legs (sciatica), some the front of the thighs, and others down the side of the legs. Others experience pain only below the knee or solely in the feet or toes.
The location of the pain varies depending on the anatomical or neurological structures involved. The pain may be described in a variety of ways, including sharp, dull, heavy, aching, burning, numbness, and/or tingling.
Leg pain has many causes. Muscle cramps, shin splints, inflamed tendons or muscles, varicose veins, peripheral arterial disease, sciatica, and neuropathy are some of the most common conditions.
Since there are many disorders that can cause leg pain, the chiropractor’s first step is to determine what is causing the patient’s leg pain. Forming a diagnosis involves a thoughtful review of the patient’s medical history and a physical and neurological examination. Diagnostic testing including x-rays may also be used.
The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help the body’s potential to heal itself. It is based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance. Chiropractic care is a non-invasive (non-surgical) and drug-free.
The type of chiropractic therapy provided depends on the cause of the patient’s leg pain. A treatment plan may include several different treatments such as ice/cold therapies, TENS, and spinal adjustments (sometimes called spinal manipulation).