Leg Nerves


Types of Problems that can Affect Leg Nerves


Leg nerves are necessary to supply movement and sensations to the legs. There are two major nerves located in the leg, the Femoral nerve and the Sciatic nerve. There are many problems that may occur to these nerves, and the consequences of such disorders may include pain and loss of movement. Understanding the disorders and problems that may occur in leg nerves is the best way to diagnosis and treat leg pain and other symptoms associated with them.


Located on the front of the leg, the Femoral nerve supplies the signals that allow the front portion of the leg to move and feel sensations. The Sciatic nerve is located and handles signals to the back of the legs.  The legs also contain several other smaller nerves that also control signals for movement and sensation. These lesser nerves include: the ilioinguinal and iliohypogastric nerves, which supply neuron signals to the groin area, the lateral femoral cutaneous, which supplies the back of the leg, the Peroneal and Tibial nerves, which branch off of the larger Sciatic nerve. The role of these nerves is to create a connected web that distributes neuron signals from the brain to the muscles and tendons of the legs. Based on the fact that these nerves are all connected and most are fed by the larger Sciatic nerve and Femoral nerve, any problem that arises in these main nerves can have repercussions that can affect the entire leg.

Pain that travels through the nerves is called neuralgia. There are many possible causes for this type of pain to develop and travel through the nerves, leading to pain in many different locations. Some of these causes may include injuries to the nerves, surgery, compressions of the nerve pathways, inflammation from stress or infections, and degeneration of the nerves. Even certain types of drugs and medications, as well as chemicals can lead problems of the leg nerves. Alcohol can also cause damage to nerves. Some common forms of disease can have side effects where nerves located all around the body can be impacted. Lyme disease, shingles, diabetes, syphilis, and a rare genetic disorder called Porphyria can all lead to damaged nerve pathways. Problems with the kidneys, such as chronic renal failure can also lead to problems of the nerves.


A very common form of nerve disorder is often referred to as a pinched nerve. This usually produces tingling, numbness and pins and needles and can affect the legs. It occurs from damage in the form of stretching or compressing the nerves to limit their functions. Damage from this can be minor or severe and may become a permanent condition. Other conditions like peripheral neuropathy, or a disruption in the flow of neurological signals from the brain to the body of the nerves, are responsible for the symptoms of nerve damage that many patients feel. Peripheral neuropathy produces pain and loss of control in muscles, which can occur in the legs as well as the rest of the body. Damage that occurs to one specific nerve or nerve group is called Mononeuropathy, a type of Peripheral neuropathy. Injuries or surgical damage to specific sections of the legs or lower spine can cause Mononeuropathy to develop. These types of nerve damage can occur in the major and minor nerves located within the legs, causing specific forms of nerve damage to occur. This includes nerve problems such as tibial nerve dysfunction, Sciatic nerve dysfunction, Femoral nerve dysfunction and Common Peroneal nerve dysfunction.


Damage to leg nerves can have devastating health effects for the patient. Coupled with loss of sensation and feeling, the patient may also lose the ability to voluntarily control the muscles of the legs. This can make walking, standing or moving extremely difficult. Diagnosing the cause of nerve pain, especially symptoms that appear in the legs will need to be performed by a trained professional.