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What is referred pain in the upper leg?



If the source of pain is different from the area that it is being experienced in, it is commonly known as referred pain. Pain can be referred in the lower leg from other areas. Physiotherapy is an excellent treatment for referred pain in the upper leg.


How does referred pain in the upper leg happen?



Damage or injury to the lumbar spine (lower back) or surrounding muscles and ligaments can cause referred pain in the lower leg. This may be due to trauma, disc prolapses (‘slipped discs’) or degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis.


What are the symptoms of referred pain in the upper leg?



The most frequent symptoms include numbness or pins and needles in the lower leg area. Pain and weakness in the affected muscles may also be experienced. Other symptoms include:

What should I do if I have referred pain in the upper leg?



Various tests may have to be carried out to confirm the exact diagnosis. This may require having a MRI scan or X-ray. It is important to have a physiotherapist assessment as soon as possible to optimise your recovery.

Physiotherapy treatment for referred pain in the upper leg



Your physiotherapist will tailor your treatment programme to your needs and goals. Potential physiotherapy treatments include:

What shouldn’t I do if I have referred pain in the upper leg?



Do not ignore symptoms of referred pain in the upper leg as this may delay your rehabilitation. Do not continue with activities that are aggravating your symptoms as this could cause long-term complications.

Could there be any long-term effects of referred pain in the upper leg?



Referred pain in the lower leg can usually be treated within several months of physiotherapy. However, if you have had longstanding problems, you may need more extensive treatment to resolve the condition.

To arrange a physiotherapy assessment call Physio.co.uk on 0330 088 7800 or book online.


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