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How to treat pinched nerve in the leg

A pinched nerve in the leg causes pain, weakness or numbness of the affected leg. In most cases, a pinched nerve is due to overuse, obesity, injury and nerve disorder.

Causes

  • Pinched nerve in the leg can be caused by overuse of the limb such as performing repetitive exercises for long periods of time which places significant pressure on some tissues that surrounds the nerves in the legs.
  • Trauma or injury to the tissues that surrounds the nerves can cause severe damage to the nerves of the legs. The trauma can result to stretching, compression and constriction of the tissues.
    Pinched nerve in the leg

    Burning sensation can be felt inside the leg, especially the area that causes pain.

  • Lack of exercise due to obesity or being overweight can cause a pinched nerve in the leg.

Symptoms

  • There is a feeling of numbness in which the leg has “fallen asleep”. The numbness causes difficulty of movement and the legs become heavy and difficult to control.
  • The pain can spread to the knee up to the hip and down to the foot.
  • Burning sensation can be felt inside the leg, especially the area that causes pain.
  • There is muscle twitching and involuntary spasm which suddenly happens.
  • The tingling sensation which is called paresthesis that happens in any areas of the leg.
  • Weakness of the muscles due to decreased flow of blood in the area and even standing or sitting causes weakness or pain.
  • The symptoms become worse at night and the individual has difficulty falling asleep and becomes restless at night.

Treatment

  • Take plenty of rest especially the affected leg to help heal the affected tissue without putting weight.
  • Relax in warm water to help release tension in the surrounding muscles and tendons.
  • Apply an ice pack on the affected nerve in the first 48 hours after the injury. Place the ice pack in a plastic bag and wrap with a towel and place it on the affected leg for at least 20 minutes every 2 hours.
  • Wear splints for the extremities especially in the joints such as the knees and groin to lessen the amount of flexion allowed in these structures as well as help relieve the pressure on the nerves. Using a splint also helps minimize further wear and tear of the affected nerves.
  • Take the prescribed over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to lessen the pain and inflammation.
  • Perform some yoga exercises that helps lessen the pain in the leg caused by pinched nerve. Begin by lifting and holding the right leg backward near the ankles and then bend forward and stretch the left hand. Center the gravity of the body by focusing on the extended arm and balancing of the leg. Remain in this stance for at least 20 seconds. Repeat this exercise at least 3 times every day.

If the symptoms become persistent or becomes worse, it is time to seek medical care immediately.

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