Femoral nerve pain in the buttocks area that sometimes moves to front right leg

by Kristine

Femoral nerve

I typically have pain in the buttocks area that sometimes spreads to the side and front right leg. I've never experienced this on my left leg and it seems to get worse when i'm highly stressed and the weather is cold.

I'm currently under Chiro care and I've brought to his attention that there is tenderness on my T-L region when you press directly on the spine, but he just threw a bunch terms at me, which in the end, I didn't really get a proper answer.

I'm only 33 and I've already noticed a diminished range of motion. Thankfully, the pain comes and goes and not consistent, but I would like to get some answers as to why I'm having this pain and what's causing it.

He's supposedly weaning me off now--I've been under his care for the past 6 months, but all he's done is apply the pads, turn on the machine and after about 20 minutes, turns it off and does his routine adjustment.

I feel like more could be done, but I'm not getting the proper treatment I should get to alleviate the pain, which always comes back.

Hello Kristine,
I understand your concerns and they are legitimate. Six months is a lot of treatment, and your chiro should be listening to you, rather than fobbing you off.

Does he examine you? Ask you to bend this way and that, look closely for the fixations/ subluxations, do orthopaedic tests, check if there are sensory changes where you get pain in the leg... not every visit, necessarily, but do have the feeling that he's thinking, earning his money, or do you feel you are just on a treadmill?

I guess we all get lazy some of the time, I do too, but only with the patient who is responding well and then I can put my mind in neutral. Even that's dangerous. But when you have an unhappy patient who is not getting better, it's critical to be properly examined.

The front of the thigh is supplied by the Femoral nerve. The Femoral nerve stretch test is subtle and difficult, but the first step is to see if this is an irritated pinched nerve. Try pricking the front of your leg with a pin, is there a difference right and left?

Very important, bounce on your leg, bending the knee slightly. Any weakness in the quad muscle?

Next could this be a hip problem? Pull your knee to the tum and rotate your hip. Any pain in the groin?

There's a triad of conditions: meralgia paresthetica, Maignes syndrome and a frank Femoral nerve lesion, all of which have their origin indeed at the thoraco-lumbar junction. Is he adjusting the high lumbars?

Plug all these terms into the Search this Site function at C-H.

Are you doing any exercises? Look at our "lower back exercises". Do them every morning faithfully before getting out of bed. I take it your chiro has given you some exercises, so perhaps go through them with him first.

One last thought: a nagging high lumbar subluxation often goes with a short leg.

Perhaps this has given you more questions than answers, but I can see you are thinking person so this merely adds a little grist to the mill. Feel free to come back to me.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I've left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he's happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He's doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost painfree. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he's well pleased; sixty five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he's taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily walk has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. Xrays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65 year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88 year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done.  

10. Mr X is a 71 year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a year ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It's a non complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she's doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38 old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he couldn't sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71 year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors shouldn't be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that's so much bunkum.

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