Chronic Leg Pain
Chronic leg pain can be a challenging condition for physicians to diagnose, since the symptoms may be produced in the affected area itself or in other regions which innervate the leg with nerve energy anywhere above the affected level. Leg symptoms usually make patients think that they have injured their actual limb, but in many cases, the pain comes from some issue which is enacting pain in the sciatic nerve or even in one or more of the nerve roots in the spine.
Of course it is certainly possible to have leg pain due to actual injury to the leg structure itself. People can damage their leg tissues in any number of ways, causing trauma to the skin, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments or nerves anywhere in the area. However, in these cases, diagnosis is usually easy, since the patients will likely know how and when the injury occurred. In these cases, there is little room or need for speculation…
In most patients with idiopathic leg pain, there is no history or indication of injury or obvious trauma. The leg appears fine, and may even function perfectly, although the patient will be complaining of agonizing symptoms including pain, and possible neurological issues like numbness, tingling, weakness or the perception of burning. If x-rays return normal and there is no other indication of a fracture or possible injury to the leg itself, the diagnostician must go deeper into the anatomy to find the possible source of pain.
As long as the localized structures are sound, then the condition is almost always sourced in either nerve dysfunction or circulatory dysfunction. Nerve concerns are far more commonly diagnosed and often relate to spinal sources in the lumbar or lumbosacral spine. In these cases, the working diagnostic theory states that some structure is likely impinging upon one or more of the spinal nerve roots which eventually supply the leg with life energy. The causation blamed for enacting this compression, commonly called “pinched nerves”, can vary greatly. Some of the typical issues blamed for affecting spinal nerve roots include abnormal side to side spinal curvatures, such as scoliosis, abnormal front to back spinal curvatures, such as hypolordosis or hyperlordosis, advanced degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, a number of spinal osteoarthritic conditions and vertebral misalignment issues like spondylolisthesis, among others. In a few cases, the possibility of the source of pain is eliminated from existing in the spinal structures and thought to come from another anatomical region, such as the sacroiliac joints or from the piriformis muscle impinging on the sciatica nerve itself.
Circulatory conditions, such as diabetes, can cause widespread or localized leg pain. These conditions are usually able to be diagnosed using standardized tests and the neuropathy condition is typically treatable using specialized medications. In many cases, the pain is not correctly attributed to its actual source, which is purposefully enacted regional ischemia. This chronic condition is linked to the mindbody process, which is a sector of health almost completely neglected by today’s Cartesian obsessed medical sector. However, some pioneers in the field, like the renowned Dr. John E. Sarno at NYU Medical Center/Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, have shown just how effective alternative treatments can be for many type of leg pain. In my own experience in dealing with tens of thousands of chronic pain sufferers each year, I find this oxygen deprivation syndrome to be both epidemic and incredibly successful at avoiding detection, since it flies in the face of the antiquated structurally-fixated philosophy embraced by virtually all traditional physicians.