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4 Ways To Treat Radiating Pain in Your Leg

Radiculopathy is a strong, regular, or persistent pain that shoots or radiates down your leg. It might be caused by a damaged nerve or a herniated disk in your spine.

Contact your primary care physician if you experience this type of back or leg pain. They can assess the severity of the damage — from minor to severe — and assist you in determining the best course of action.

Treatment options for leg pain that radiates

When it comes to treating radiating leg pain, there are usually four degrees of treatment. Your doctor may suggest one or more of the following treatments, depending on the intensity of your pain:

Medication that reduces inflammation

If over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen don't help, you'll need to see your doctor for an informal check.

"An anti-inflammatory medicine or a steroid dose pack will normally be prescribed as long as you don't show any indicators of major muscle weakness."

When a nerve root is inflamed by a disk herniation or irritated by normal age deterioration, the pain usually subsides.

Physical therapy 

If the pain does not improve after a few weeks, your doctor may recommend physical therapy to help strengthen and stretch the muscles that the nerve supplies. For suspected disk herniation, doctors frequently recommend stretching exercises, back strengthening exercises, or a McKenzie back program.

Over time, these activities may help to ease the pain.

In about 80% of people with radiating leg pain, the pain will go away on its own without the need for surgery.


However, if the pain and other symptoms don't go away after taking these steps for six to eight weeks, your doctor may order X-rays or an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and he or she may send you to an interventional pain specialist or a pain management specialist.

An MRI scan and or a lumbar X-ray can often indicate the source of the problem. Scans may detect a disk herniation causing nerve compression or age-related arthritic changes causing nerve compression. This can result in stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal or foramina that puts pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.

Your pain management physician may recommend a spinal injection if the scans reveal one of these disorders.

Instead of an anti-inflammatory steroid, these injections are steroid treatments targeted to the exact spot of compression or inflammation to relax the nerve root. This procedure may just necessitate one injection or may necessitate multiple injections.

Surgical evaluation

The next step after spinal injections is to see if surgery is the best option for you.

The patient should be examined, and the image should be evaluated as well. Then we'd talk about surgical choices, including their risks and benefits, as well as the expected outcome.

People having leg pain
Istock photo


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