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Back and Leg Pain

Back and Leg pain are two of the most common and disabling medical problems in the community. It can affect women and men equally, ranging in intensity from a mild ache lasting a few days to intense, chronic pain lasting for weeks. It is the second most common reason for a patient to seek medical attention and has a high-rate recurrence. In some cases, the exact etiology of back or leg pain is unknown. However, in a significant number of patients there is a specific cause known which can potentially be treated using special interventional procedures.

Many patients experience a combination of lower back pain and pain into one or more of the lower limbs. This is perhaps the most common presentation of patients in the pain care clinic.

Mechanical (Acute) vs Inflammatory Back Pain

Mechanical” or “Acute” back pain comes from some dysfunction in the structures that connect to your back, such as the spin, muscles, soft tissues. and discs. Mechanical back pain can happen at anytime in your life and the pain can generally come quickly, lasting for a short period or up to a few months. Health care practitioners such as a physiotherapist can often help relieve symptoms.

There are terms used to diagnose the cause or name of this mechanical pain syndrome, such as:

  • “Sciatica” or Lumbar Radicular Pain
  • Sacroiliac Joint pain
  • Lumbar Facet Joint pain
  • Disc Herniation or Disc Bulge in the Lumbar spine
  • Degenerative Disc Disease or Discogenic Pain

The terms listed above can also be triggered by an inflammatory response

Inflammatory back pain is a chronic condition caused by an autoimmune response. The inflammation and pain are caused when your body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissues by mistake which can cause inflammation and pain. The pain comes on slowly and persists for many months or years.

The etiology is generally associated with a precipitating systemic inflammatory response, which means you may experience pain or swelling in different parts of your body such as the eyes, ankles and neck. The inflammatory response could cause structural changes. Inflammation can be localized to your back and hips.

Inflammatory back pain diseases include several related conditions, which are also caused by the exposure to mechanical stress. The conditions are classified as:

  • Spinal Stenosis
  • Spondylosis
  • Spondylolisthesis


The contents contained within this page are not a substitute for health professionals’ advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We advise that you seek advice from a qualified healthcare practitioner. We fully disclose that any surgical or invasive procedures come with risks.

For more details on how to relieve or treat chronic pain, you can reach out to one of our pain specialists at any of our pain care clinic locations. We establish a caring relationship and provide patients with pain relief when needed the most.