If you have frequent stabbing pains in your leg and hip, you may be focused on trying to find the cause for the pain in that area. However, pain in your legs and hip could actually be originating in your back. If you're experiencing this kind of pain, a disorder called spinal stenosis could be to blame. Read on to learn more about this condition, how it can hurt you, and what you can do about it:
What is Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a condition where the spinal column narrows. This condition is fairly common in older people, as the spinal column tends to narrow as you get older. However, it can happen at any age. In some cases, people are born with narrower spinal columns than other.
A spinal column doesn't just contain the bones and vertebrae in your spine. Nerves also run through the spinal column, and they are responsible for sending signals throughout the body to your brain. When spinal columns become narrowed from spinal stenosis, these nerves can become pinched or pushed out of alignment.
How It Hurts Your Hip and Leg
If the nerves in your spine are being pinched by a narrowed spinal column, it can send unwanted signals through those nerves. These signals are typically interpreted as pain by the brain. Since the nerves extend throughout the body, pain can crop up anywhere if a nerve is pinched in your spine.
If nerves are pinched in the lumbar spine, that can create pain in your hip, pelvis, and legs. Unfortunately, attempting to treat the pain at the site where you're experiencing won't provide much comfort.
What You Can Do
If you think you could have spinal stenosis, your first step should be to visit an orthopedist. Orthopedists are spine and bone experts who can physically examine you and send you out for scans of your spine, like x-rays and MRIs in order to determine if you have this disorder.
If you do have spinal stenosis, anti-inflammatory medications applied to the spine can help to reduce pain. Losing weight is another way of taking the pressure and impact off of the nerves in your spine.
If these options don't provide relief, surgery is another possibility. Orthopedists can open up the spinal column to provide relief and to take pressure off your nerves.
If you're struggling with sharp, stabbing pains in your hip and leg, there might not be anything wrong with them; the pain could be from your spine. Visit a medical office like Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, P.C. to learn if you have a spinal problem that's causing your pain.