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Back Pain with Numbness Relief.

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“Back Pain with Numbness”

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Tommy Hoffman, P.T. By Tommy Hoffman, Licensed Physical Therapist

Back Pain With Numbness in Legs

Back pain will on occasion coincide with symptoms of numbness in the legs.   The usual culprits of back pain with associated numbness are bulging discs, herniated discs, sciatica, stenosis, osteophytes, and degenerative disc disease.  These conditions are associated with injuries that affect pain sensitive nerve roots as they exit off the spinal column.  The feelings of back pain and numbness together is rarely an emergency.

Other associated symptoms of back pain with nerve involvement you should be aware of include pins and needles, tingling, sharp pain or shooting pain.

Depending on which condition you have, symptoms of numbness may presents in one or both legs.  And depending on which nerve root is entrapped, feelings of numbness and tingling could be anywhere in the leg(s), feet and/or toes.

Consult your physician immediately as numbness effects your anal or genital areas along with signs of incontinence (loss of bowel or bladder control).  

Causes of Back Pain and Numbness

Back pain conditions causing numbness do so as the result of pressure placed on nerves; these nerves are either the peripheral  nerve roots or the spinal cord itself.  These damaged or inflamed nerve root(s) then travel down your leg(s) and present as a symptom of “numbness.”

A bulging or herniated disc refers to a displacement of an intervertebral disc from its normal position.  This disc displacement can put severe pressure on nerve roots.  Creating back pain and numbness in one or both legs.

Sciatica can be brought on by piriformis syndrome, bulging discs, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis.  All of these conditions may place pressure on the sciatic nerve.  Creating back pain and numbness in one or both legs.

Spinal stenosis is a “narrowing” of the spinal column due to degenerative changes.  These degenerative changes can place pressure on the spinal cord creating numbness in one or both legs.

Among the other various forms of nerve compression, you may also experience numbness due to a bone spur (osteophyte), or arthritic facet joints.

Best Treatment for Back Pain with Numbness

Treatment that focuses on alleviating irritated and inflamed nerve roots work the best on back pain and numbness.  Shrinking enlarged nerve roots by reducing inflammation around the nerve will create more space and decrease the amount of entrapment.  Some patients are referred to pain management doctors who will advise on the best course of action to achieve these kind of results.

Back pain with numbness may also be treated in the following way:

  1. Medications – Anti-inflammatory or pain relievers that are either prescribed or taken over the counter.
  2. Epidural Steroid injections – Administered by a physician who injects an extremely potent anti-inflammatory into the epidural space.
  3. TENS unit - Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation or TENS for short.  It can be used for the management of lower back pain and numbness.
  4. Lumbar traction – Alleviates back pain with numbness using distraction to targeted vertebrae.
  5. Physical therapy – Rehabilitative process referred by your physician.
  6. Chiropractic care – Treatment of back pain and numbness using spinal manipulation.
  7. Acupuncture - Utilizes long thin needles that when placed appropriately throughout the body (specific body points), they free-up blocked energy and relieve back pain.
  8. Massage therapy – Healing hands therapy.
  9. Therapeutic exercise – Core training and stabilization exercises.
  10. Cold or Heat modalities – Palliative treatment of back pain and numbness using hot or cold packs.
  11. Bed rest – Should not exceed two days.
  12. Surgery – Spinal decompression via lumbar fusion or a laminectomy.

Please remember to follow the advice of your physician for the proper diagnosis and treatment of your back pain with numbness condition.


Good Luck,

Tommy Hoffman


"Don't spend more time with back pain due to a stress by not finding out the truth today!"

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