What Treatments Are Available for Muscle Weakness in the Legs?


Quick Answer

A common cause for leg weakness is sciatica, which may be treated using anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy and surgery, according to Spine-health. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that is often treated using immunosupressive drugs and plasmapherisis, adds Medscape.

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Sciatica is one of the most common causes of leg pain and weakness, reports Healthgrades. In this condition, the sciatic nerve is pinched by a disk as it leaves the spinal column or is pressed upon by the piriformis muscle in the buttocks. Another common cause is myasthenia gravis, which is an autoimmune disorder that results in reduced muscular strength throughout the body.

Anti-inflammatory drugs, used to treat sciatica, reduce the swelling around the sciatic nerve root and can provide relief from the nerve pain, according to Spine-health. Doctors may inject stronger steroidal drugs into the back, and this treatment works in around 50 percent of sciatica cases. Physical therapy focuses on stretching the hamstring muscles to reduce pressure in the buttocks and lower back. Surgery is an option when these options do not work in reducing pain or weakness.

Myasthenia gravis is one of the more treatable neurologic disorders, according to Medscape. Doctors commonly use anticholinesterase medication in fighting the disorder, but immunosupressive drugs, such as cyclosporine or corticosteroids, are effective as well. Other treatments include plasmapheresis, a therapy where plasma and antibodies are filtered from the blood, and surgical removal of the patient's thymus.

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