Leg Cramps (Neurogenic Claudication)
Unilateral or bilateral buttock, hip, thigh or leg discomfort that is precipitated by standing or walking and relieved by a change in posture (usually bending forward or lying in the fetal position). Painful burning pins and needles are also described by some. Time course is gradual over months to years.
Arises from ischemia of lumbosacral nerve roots due to increased demand from exercise and vascular compromise of nerve roots due to pressure from surrounding structures.
Pushing a shopping cart bent over or riding a bicycle is well tolerated.
Usually caused by degenerative lumbar canal stenosis (spinal stenosis).
Other causes/ differential diagnoses:
- Vascular claudication (leg blood vessel insufficiency)
- Hip disease
- Disc herniation
- Facet joint pain
- Spinal tumour
- Spinal AVM
- Spinal infection/ abscess
- Diabetic neuritis