Dear Ask The Doctor: Hello. I am having severe electric shock like pain in my lower left leg (near the shin). This pain is intermitent and comes without warning. I don't have any back problems or any other injuries that I know of. this pain will happen at anytime, last off and on for several hours and then not return for days or weeks. Is this some kind of nerve or vascular problem? And is this a serious condition? thanks william
Dear Patient: That “electric shock like” pain possibly might be due to a nerve compression that can produce an inflammatory process affecting the nerve roots (neuritis) in the lumbar region (stenosis, degenerative hypertrophy of facets and disc herniations and bulging) In the younger patients, as yourself, lumbar radiculopathy may be a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing impingement of an exiting nerve. In the older patient, lumbar radiculopathy is often a result of spinal canal narrowing from bone (osteophyte) formation, decreased disc height and degenerative changes due to aging process. It can be associated or not to other symptoms as back pain, numbness or hypoactive reflexes. I strongly recommend you to get an appointment with your doctor to rule out a possible lumbar nerve compression.