Why a pinched nerve in the leg occurs: causes and methods of treatment


Main symptoms

There are several signs by which it can be concluded that the nerve fiber is squeezed. A person experiences a sharp, piercing and shooting pain in the lower limb. The pain impulse goes a long way along the entire nerve, affecting the executive part of the reflex arc.

When pinching pain is periodic in nature: it occurs quite suddenly and also disappears. Unpleasant sensations make themselves felt again. In this case, the patient’s leg looks as follows: the phalanges in a half-bent state, the others in a relaxed position, the lateral finger is set aside and tense. In the metacarpus, some muscles are atrophied.

By localization of pain in the leg can be divided into several types:

  • Sciatica. The pain permeates the area from the sacral area and buttocks, going down to the back of the leg.
  • Sciatica. Unpleasant sensations are localized in the lower back and buttock, sometimes moving to the back of the leg. In this case, you can notice redness and local swelling. In severe cases, the attack is accompanied by sweating, inability to walk and move, and complete atrophy is also possible.

After the attack, the person still has pain. It is especially aggravated by long walking, standing, or being in a static position. The reasons, when the leg shoots like a current, can be different.

Read also … What you need to know when a nerve is pinched in your hand: treatments for neuropathy

The reasons

Pinched nerve in the leg may occur for several reasons, some of them are quite serious. And this situation is a manifestation of the underlying disease, which did not make itself known earlier.

Nerve squeezing may occur for the following reasons:

  1. Osteochondrosis in the period of exacerbation. This disease is accompanied by the progression of and degeneration of the vertebral body. The normal physiological state of the intervertebral discs is also disturbed. When this happens, their height decreases, which leads to strong pressure on the spinal roots.
  2. The protrusion of the mevertebral discs. This pathological condition is characterized by disc protrusions, the integrity is not disturbed. When protrusion at the exit of the nerve, it is pinched.
  3. Spodilostez. In this state, the vertebra is displaced from the common pillar, which leads to the clamping of nerves and muscle fibers.
  4. Vertebral hernia. In this serious condition there is a strong protrusion of parts of the intervertebral disc, which exerts a sufficiently strong pressure on the spinal root.
  5. Tumors. Regardless of the nature of the tumor, it causes infringement of the nerve fiber, which is accompanied by pain.
  6. Abscesses Localization in the lower spine is accompanied by pain in the legs.
  7. Injury. Strengthened exercise or improper body position can cause spinal cord injury. Imperceptible bruises that are accompanied by internal edema, damage to the horns of a vertebra and their dislocations cause a violation of the trophism of tissues and change the location of the vertebrae.
  8. Pregnancy. In the last trimester of childbearing, the growing uterus can significantly squeeze the sacral region, which leads to impaired functioning of the sciatic nerve.

There are also diseases that can provoke pulling pain – a variety of polyneuritis, herpes zoster type, neuropathy in metabolic diseases, infectious processes, long-term intake of heavy metals into the body or toxins, as well as overweight.

Diagnostic measures

Sciatica, like other disorders of the muscular system, nerve fibers, can be distinguished by X-ray. This type of diagnosis helps to quickly determine the cause of pain. But if the unpleasant sensations were triggered by the occurrence of a hernia, then more research and more accurate equipment will be needed. Usually magnetic resonance tomography is used for this. If a tumor is suspected, radiological tests are prescribed.

In addition, the specialist should conduct manual neurological studies that will help assess the overall state of the .

During pregnancy, no diagnosis is carried out, since everything is normalized after delivery.

Comprehensive Medical Therapy

Therapy in cases where the nerve is twitching in the leg, consists of several successive stages:

  1. The very first thing that needs to be done is to remove the squeeze that causes pain. It uses: massage, physiotherapy and manual techniques. A pinch is almost always removed quickly enough, unless it is caused by irreversible diseases such as a tumor or a hernia.
  2. In the second stage, the nerve function needs to be restored. Combined therapy includes the use of drugs and mineral supplements.
  3. At the final stage of treatment, the root cause of nerve clamping is detected. After its detection, the underlying disease that caused the pain is treated.

Treatment tactics

Treatment that affects the pinched nerve must be organized in a comprehensive and correct manner. To eliminate the occurrence of this condition, it is necessary to combine various techniques.

The complex should include taking special medications, physiotherapy procedures, as well as techniques that are associated with a direct effect on the pinched place.

Treatment is prescribed only after a full examination, which allows to identify the cause of the unpleasant condition.

When treating the patient, it is necessary to observe bed rest and doctor’s instructions. Patients should also follow a diet, excluding pickled foods, smoked meats, spicy foods and .

Why a pinched nerve in the leg occurs: causes and methods of treatment


Along with the techniques aimed at treating pinching, prescribed anesthetic medications. In case of a painful condition, , and Indomethacin can be taken. The same effect has blockade with novocaine.

The same substances are produced in the form of funds for local use. If used together with the main treatment, the results will not be long in coming. Ointments and creams neutralize pain and improve the patient’s condition. For the same purpose, apply the ointment of turpentine, mustard and propolis.

Physiotherapy and acupuncture

DDT and UHF can be used for physiotherapy. Good results can be achieved and Darsonval.

Acupuncture therapy helps stimulate constricted nerve endings. After the course, they come to a tone, and the disease goes into remission.

How to remove a pinched nerve by yourself?

If a nerve is pinched in the leg, you should use some recommendations:

  • firstly, with constant attacks eliminate the effects of high temperatures, it is forbidden to visit the baths and saunas;
  • It is recommended to limit the motor activity and rest more;
  • massaging with the heated oil of the region of the pinched nerve will help relieve the spasm at home;
  • you need to raise the thigh so that it is higher than the solar plexus, putting something soft under the limb.


This seemingly harmless disease can conceal a rather serious pathology. If you ignore the symptoms, you can worsen the general condition. With severe and prolonged pain, they must be treated. Complications such as necrosis of nerves, weakness of the lower extremities or paralysis, atrophic state of the pelvic organs, instability of the spine functions are most common.

To prevent this, it is necessary to carry out preventive measures: do light exercise in the morning and stretching. It is desirable to strengthen the muscles of the back.

You need to constantly monitor your body position in space, keeping your back straight. Avoid high-heeled and high-heeled shoes.

If necessary, be in a static position, it is advisable to pause. During pregnancy, you need to wear a bandage, which will reduce the load on the spine.

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