Read below about weakness of both legs, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your weakness of both legs from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having weakness of both legs

Take Quiz

A.I. Health Assistant Causes for Weakness of Both Legs

The list below shows results from the use of our A.I. Health Assistant by Buoy users who experienced weakness of both legs. This list does not constitute medical advice.

  1. 1.Herniated (Slipped) Disk in the Lower Back

    The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

    The pain associated with a slipped disk usually goes away within six weeks. If the pain lasts longer, consult a doctor. They may send you to see a back specialist for an MRI of your spine, and surgery may be considered.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, moderate back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain that gets worse when sitting, leg weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Herniated (Slipped) Disk in the Upper Back

    The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.

    The pain associated with a slipped disk usually goes away within six weeks. If the pain lasts longer, consult a doctor. They may send you to see a back specialist for an MRI of your spine, and surgery may be considered.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    upper back pain, neck pain, arm weakness, back pain that gets worse when sitting, upper spine pain
    Symptoms that always occur with herniated (slipped) disk in the upper back:
    upper back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Becker Muscular Dystrophy

    Becker muscular dystrophy is an inherited disorder that involves slowly worsening muscle weakness of the legs and pelvis

    This genetic disorder is considered irreversible, but symptoms can be effectively managed with treatment

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, severe fatigue, muscle aches, general weakness, decreased exercise tolerance
    Symptoms that always occur with becker muscular dystrophy:
    weakness, weakness of both legs
    Symptoms that never occur with becker muscular dystrophy:
    face weakness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Stroke or Tia (Transient Ischemic Attack)

    A stroke is a medical emergency. Strokes happen when blood flow to the brain is stopped.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    dizziness, leg numbness, arm numbness, new headache, stiff neck
    Symptoms that never occur with stroke or tia (transient ischemic attack):
    bilateral weakness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service

    Weakness of Both Legs Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having weakness of both legs.

    Take Quiz
  5. 5.Wernicke - Korsakoff Syndrome

    Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is a condition that affects the brain due to low vitamin B1 levels. Symptoms can be loss of balance, drowsiness, staggering and confusion. If it persists this can result in memory loss.

    Although this is a chronic condition, treatment can prevent it from worsening.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, leg numbness, feeling confused and not making sense while talking, amnesia, jerky, unsteady, or uncoordinated walk
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  6. 6.Chronic Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy

    Nerve damage in the limbs can be caused by diabetes, toxic substances, immune system issues and low vitamin levels. However, in about one of every four cases no cause can be found and then the condition is called 'idiopathic'. Symptoms of nerve damage can be (burning) pain sensations, numbness, tingling and weakness in hands, feet or lower legs.

    This is a chronic condition.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    distal numbness, muscle aches, joint stiffness, numbness on both sides of body, loss of muscle mass
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Beriberi (Adult)

    A low level of vitamin B1 (thiamin) can cause damage to the heart, brain and nerves. This can result in symptoms like weakness, amnesia, nerve pain and symptoms of heart failure like swelling of limbs and shortness of breath.

    Symptoms may resolve if treatment is started promptly, however some patients will experience persistent symptoms.

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), shortness of breath, anxiety, chest pain, distal numbness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  8. 8.Cauda Equina Syndrome (Rapid - Onset)

    Although leg pain is common and usually goes away without surgery, cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, back pain that shoots down the leg, leg weakness, thigh numbness
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  9. 9.Cauda Equina Syndrome (Slow - Onset)

    Although leg pain is common and usually goes away without surgery, cauda equina syndrome, a rare disorder affecting the bundle of nerve roots (cauda equina) at the lower (lumbar) end of the spinal cord, is a surgical emergency.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Ultra rare
    Top Symptoms:
    lower back pain, back pain that shoots to the butt, back pain that shoots down the leg, leg weakness, thigh numbness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Weakness of Both Legs

  • Q.Are you allergic to anything?
  • Q.Do your symptoms improve with Ibuprofen/Advil/Motrin, known as NSAIDs?
  • Q.Have a friend stand across from you and hold out a finger. Touch that finger and then touch your nose. Move the target finger around and start going faster. Are you having trouble?
  • Q.Do you find yourself getting weaker and weaker?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our weakness of both legs symptom checker to find out more.

Take Quiz

Weakness of Both Legs Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced weakness of both legs were most often matched with:

    • 33% Herniated (Slipped) Disk in the Lower Back
    • 33% Herniated (Slipped) Disk in the Upper Back
    • 33% Becker Muscular Dystrophy
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

A.I. Health Assistant

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having weakness of both legs

Take Quiz