Radiating leg pain is a common symptom presenting in manual therapy practices. Although this symptom has been reported as a complication of endometriosis, its prevalence and characteristics have not been studied.
We surveyed members of a national endometriosis support group with endometriosis using a self-administered, mailed questionnaire. The main outcome measures were the prevalence and characteristics of leg pain.
Of 94 respondents, leg pain was reported by 48 women (51%), and was bilateral [both legs] in 59% of these symptomatic women.
The likelihood of experiencing leg pain was related to weight gain since age 18, age, and height. The most common treatments tried included exercise, over-the-counter medications, and massage therapy, all with variable results.
These data support leg pain as a prevalent complication of endometriosis, and that the disease may affect multiple peripheral nerves. Manual therapists should remain aware to this possible etiology for radiating pain.
Source: Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, Jul 2011. PMID:21665106, by Missmer SA, Bove GM. Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine and Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.