The ability to feel pain is a blessing in disguise; without it, we will not be able to know if there is something wrong with our body. The human body is a unique, highly complex, and fascinating machine. In this blog we’ll share symptoms, possible causes and solutions associated with arm and leg pain.
- Pain is a significant symptom telling you there is something wrong in the body.
- Some pain symptoms are direct, while some are not.
- Without weakness, arm and leg pain is often a sign of a spinal issue.
- Pain without weakness in arm(s) is an indication of a cervical spine condition.
- Pain without weakness is leg(s) is an indication of a lumbar spine condition.
- Spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and spinal radiculopathy are possible underlying conditions.
- Spinal discectomy or spinal fusion are minimally invasive treatment options for such conditions.
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Arm and Leg Pain Without Weakness
When something is not right with our bodies, we can usually tell through the symptoms we experience. Some symptoms are straightforward and guide us directly to the problem, while others can be elusive, and guide us astray.
As we move inside the vast paradigm of orthopedics and explore the inner workings of the musculoskeletal system, the symptoms we experience can be more mysterious.
For example, you are experiencing an arm and leg pain without any weakness. You may think that it is due to an injury sustained by a bone or muscle in the respective part of your body where you are feeling pain. However, you cannot remember the time when you hurt your arm or leg so badly that you would feel the sharp, consistent pain for long periods. So what could it be?
Demystifying Arm and Leg Pain Without Weakness
If you have injured your bones and muscles, such as in a fracture, then the pain you are experiencing in your arm or leg would be accompanied by weakness. Without weakness, arm and leg pain is often a sign of a spinal issue.
The phrase ‘spine condition’ feels intimidating and daunting to face head-on, and some people tend to ignore it. It is better to face the spine condition early and get proper treatment then to keep on suffering the pain and delaying treatment, which gives more time for the condition to develop further. The symptom of pain in the arm and leg without any weakness could be very serious and should be treated as soon as possible.
When Should You See a Specialist?
- If you are experiencing pain in your arm or leg for over a period of 6 weeks.
- If the pain is so sharp and severe, that it hinders your abilities to perform your daily routine.
- You feel numbness and tingling in the affected arm or leg.
Possible Causes of the Pain
If the pain without weakness is being experienced in the arm, the spinal issue can be linked to the cervical region of your spine. On the other hand, leg pain indicates an issue in the lumbar portion of the spine. Your neuro-spine specialist will give you an accurate diagnosis.
Below we have listed some common spinal conditions that might be causing the pain.
Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition that implicates the narrowing of the spinal canal in the upper part of the spine and neck. As a result, the nerve roots or spinal cord may be compressed.
Radiculopathy is the clinical name for pinched nerves; when the nerve roots in the cervical spine get pinched from a disease or an injury, it is called cervical radiculopathy.
A cervical herniated disc is a spinal condition that transpires when the soft, gel-like center of the spinal disc erupts out of the tough outer lining.
Lumbar stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, pinching the nerves moving through the lower back into the legs, causing pain.
Lumbar radiculopathy specifies a condition associated with the lumbar spinal nerve roots. It can lead to soreness, numbness, or instability of the buttocks and legs.
Most issues that cause pain in the low back are due to a lumbar herniated disc. Back or leg pain, tingling, or numbness may result when the disc material applies pressure on the spinal nerves.
Do not let the phrase ‘spinal conditions’ intimidate you; our neuro-spine specialists have treated dozens of patients with severe spinal conditions, and they are happy with the results.
Your neuro-spine specialist may recommend one of the following minimally invasive solutions for the underlying spinal condition.
In an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, the doctor approaches the cervical spine by a small incision in the front of the neck. The doctor removes the entire disc or a part of the disc along with any structural material that is compressing the nerves and generating pain.
External Lateral Interbody Fusion or X-LIF is a sophisticated, minimally invasive procedure for spinal fusion.
Endoscopic Lumbar Discectomy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to remove a herniated or bulging disc in the lumbar spine.
Your neuro-spine specialist may recommend a non-invasive procedure if he/she deems your condition to be manageable without invasive intervention. These treatments may include:
- Physical therapy.
- Steroid injections.
- Anti-inflammatory medications.
- A combination of the above.
Dr. John, MD, is a board-certified neuro-spine surgeon at Complete Medical Wellness. He is recognized nationally for his participation & contributions towards the advancement of minimally invasive spine surgery.