What Causes Nerve Pain in the Leg?

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Nerve pain in the legs may have a number of causes, including autoimmune diseases, cancer, trauma and diabetes, explains WebMD. It may also be caused by drug side effects, motor neuron or infectious diseases, and nutritional deficiencies.

Autoimmune diseases such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, lupus and multiple sclerosis may cause nerve pain in the legs because they target the nerves, according to WebMD. Certain cancers also cause nerve pain because the masses may crush or push against nerves in the body. Trauma or compression can lead to nerve pain as well, as the nerves may become compressed. Examples of this include crush injuries, pinched nerves and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Roughly 25 percent of people suffering from diabetes experience nerve pain, and chances increase as the diabetes advances, WebMD explains. Numbness and tingling are common with nerve damage, and those with diabetes should contact a doctor if they experience this.

Some medications contribute to nerve pain, and this includes drugs used to treat HIV and cancer, states WebMD. Motor neuron diseases such as Lou Gehrig’s disease may also lead to nerve pain and damage in the legs. Nutrition is important, and nerve pain may be experienced by a person who doesn’t get enough of vitamins B-6 and B-12. Those who drink a lot of alcohol or who undergo gastric surgery may also experience nerve damage and pain.