Pain that occurs in both the spine and legs can have multiple causes. ‘Axial spine pain’, as we refer to it, consists of pain that is secondary to arthritis in the spine. This can include a degenerative disc, arthritis in the facet joints between the vertebral bodies, and/or pain from calcification along the anterior or posterior longitudinal ligaments.
Often patients have complaints of pain that radiates into their legs or toes which can consist of numbness, tingling, sensations of temperature fluctuation, and overt muscle weakness. This often occurs secondary to compression of the nerves, either from a herniated disc or possibly degenerative lumbar stenosis or cervical stenosis which compresses the nerve root as it exits from the spinal canal through the foramen.
While separation of both the axial spine pain and the radicular type of pain of a compressed nerve can be difficult sometimes, often both will improve with efforts aimed at core strengthening and flexibility of the spine. We have developed a video presentation of exercises that are helpful and this may be viewed in the “Patient Education” section of our website.