Back Pain Radiating Down the Leg
Radiation of pain from one part of the body to another part is a very common feature in pain that patients experience. Sometimes this pain can be due to a nerve that is getting pinched, a muscle that is spasming, or joint that is aching. However, pain of this nature can be worrisome because it can cause significant disability and concern for the patient. The most common presentation of this condition is pain in the low back that travels down into the buttock and down to the leg. The best approach is to be evaluated by a physician who can help find the source of the pain.
The Doctors Visit & Explaining Leg Pain
Before you visit the doctor it is important to be able to describe the pain to your physician. As you experience your pain, try keeping a diary of the symptoms you are experiencing and other characteristics related to your pain. It is best to think about it prior to attending the doctor’s office, as it is important for the doctor to accurately and precisely. The doctor wants to hear from you how you pain feels and where the pain is perceived. He will ask you questions about how you perceive your pain: if the pain is electrical, burning, stabbing, numbing, tingling etc. Do not feel overwhelmed by these questions, your doctor is here to help and understand you better. You will also likely be asked about other aspects of your pain including when it is worse, if it is constant, what makes the pain worse in your daily life, and how it is effecting your ability to live normal life. Be as descriptive as possible. For example, be sure to explain to the physician how the pain travels down the leg; is it on the inside or the outside of the leg. Does not go down to the ankle and the base severe heel or to her big toe.
For elderly patients it is important to note that the pain is getting worse upon walking or sitting down. Severity of pain: The physician will ask questions about the severity of the pain and how it is affecting your daily living. Some of these questions are to satisfy documentation requirements but also to note how the pain is affecting your ability to live a fulfilling life.
Concerning Symptoms Associated with Back Pain
At the doctor’s visit the physician will ask you if you have any issues with bowel or bladder that coincided with the low back pain. Do not get surprised by these questions because the physician is attempting to determine if there is neurological dysfunction where it is making it difficult for you to empty her bladder or move your legs. He also wants to make sure that your organs are working well. He will also ask you questions about possible weight loss which is commonly seen with disease like cancer.
Other Relevant Medical Conditions
When trying to learn about your leg pain, your doctor will also ask you about other medical problems that may complicate your pain like diabetes, poor blood flow, lupus, fibromyalgia, obesity etc. The physician is trying to assess if there are other medical conditions that will make management of your pain challenging. Also be sure to explain to him if you suffer from any mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, history of substance abuse etc.
Working With Your Doctor
Understand that it might take a few office visits for your physician to completely understand the nature of your pain. Recognize that your doctor is there to help you and try to communicate clearly. Treatment plans are thoroughly planned and involve several facets that your physician will take great care in planning. Before a treatment plan can be made, your doctor will review your imaging, perform a physical exam, weigh the risks and benefits of interventional procedures, and assess whether certain prescriptions are right for you. Also set realistic expectations with the physician for to hope to achieve after treatment under their care. This will allow the physician to understand your expectations and allow you to set reasonable goals.