What causes electric shock feeling in the leg?

I was driving to work the other day when I noticed a strange sensation in my leg. I couldn’t figure it out so I pulled over, took off my shoe and sock, looked at my foot, and realized that every time I hit the gas pedal with my left foot, it felt like an electric shock! That’s because of one of those new power pedals on newer cars. It happened again just now – what are you going to do?

Power pedals are becoming increasingly common on new cars, even some of the smaller ones. They are often used for fuel tank flaps or doors that open with a push of your foot. You’ll find them mostly on European models though they are making their way over to our shores too. The question about power pedals and feeling electrical shocks in your leg is common enough that someone even created a video about it.

In this article, we will look at, what might cause our mysterious shocks and ways to avoid them.

Lumbar Spine Problems Associated With Shooting Leg Pain

A shooting pain in the leg, also known as sciatica, is often associated with lumbar spine problems. It can affect individuals at any age though it is more common among older people. It involves an intense pain that shoots through one side of your lower back and down into one of your legs. The pain might be felt only on one side of the body, only above the knee, or down to the foot.

What Causes Electric Shock Feelings in the Leg?

Many causes have been associated with the feeling of an electric shock in the leg. The most common is simple muscle fatigue, which happens when your foot hits a piece of metal sticking out from under the pedals with each step.

When Mr. Muscle gets tired, it shoots an electrical signal across his upper neuron cells that then lower down into nerve endings that are connected to receptors in your feet and legs, telling them something is touching them. This creates the sensation of pain felt as if someone were hitting you on your feet or legs with a hammer.

Main Causes

Age and Spinal Stenosis

As we get older, spinal stenosis can begin to happen. This is a medical condition that occurs when the spinal canal narrows and compresses your spinal cord or nerve roots. You might start feeling shooting pains in your leg due to muscles being pinched from this condition.

Injury to the Leg

Injuries to your leg, such as a cut or injury from a car accident can induce electrical shocks in your leg. Muscles injuries can occur when you make a sudden movement and stretch the muscles. If you do not give those muscles much time to recover, they might fail you next time you try to walk or run causing those shocks to come back again.

Stress and Spinal Stenosis 

It is not uncommon for those who suffer from stress, whether it be work-related or due to a chronic illness like diabetes or hypertension, to experience shooting pains in their legs and feet too often. This is because the rate of the heart speeds up when we are stressed. This can cause a sudden increase in blood flow, which might injure the muscles and shoot an electrical signal through them due to their quick movement as they try to adjust back to their normal rate.

Disc Herniation

Another condition that can cause an electric shock feeling in the leg is a herniated disc. This occurs when the tough outer covering of one of your vertebral discs tears or ruptures, creating pressure on nerve roots in your spine. You might experience shooting pains in your lower back and legs due to this injury.

Solutions for Electric Shock Feelings in the Leg

The best way to avoid [the shocks] is to try and limit the number of steps you take when parking your car or putting groceries in your trunk.

You can also wear comfortable shoes and flat-soled shoes, such as Sketchers, instead of high heels. High heels often put added pressure on the balls of your feet, causing your muscles to overwork and fatigue faster.

Finally, if you are experiencing shooting pain in your leg stop and take a look at the pedals of your car. Make sure that nothing is obstructing them from coming in full contact with your feet or legs when you press down on them. If there is something that needs to be moved, do so and then take a break before continuing to your destination or home.

Doctors recommend that you try to avoid crossing your legs while sitting for long periods because it can cause your muscles to tense up, which could lead to another electric shock in the leg.

If you do experience an injury, make sure not to stretch yourself too thin trying to get back on your feet right away. If that injury is a muscle tear or sprain, it might be wise for you to take some time off and let it heal before continuing with your day-to-day activities.

What is Arachnoiditis?

Arachnoiditis is chronic inflammation in the arachnoid layer of the meninges surrounding the brain and spinal cord.


Infection from bacterial, fungal, or viral agents – Exposure to the chemicals that are used in certain types of anesthetics, which include bupivacaine, chloroprocaine, cocaine, and lidocaine.

Direct trauma to the surface of the spine – Penetrating injuries from a gunshot or knife wound.

Infection from tuberculosis, syphilis, or parasites – Abnormal development of blood vessels in the arachnoid layer that can cause a stroke.

Treatment of Arachnoiditis

The goal of treatment for patients with arachnoiditis is to relieve the associated pain and inflammation.

Treatment options include:

Steroids – Corticosteroids can be injected into the spine, which might effectively reduce inflammation. Surgery – A surgical procedure called a laminectomy can be performed by removing part of the bone or tissue that is pressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots.

Neurostimulation – A neurostimulator, which is a small device placed under the skin, can deliver electrical impulses to block pain signals before they reach the brain.


Shooting pain in the leg can be a frightening experience. Although you might not understand what it is, don’t let your mind run wild thinking about all of the problems it could be causing because usually, they are benign and easily treated.

Take a moment to look around yourself and make sure that everything is okay before going any further with your day. After that, if the pain continues to persist, make sure you contact your doctor to schedule an appointment and learn about your treatment options.

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