Loss of control in the right leg only while running

by Larry Kerr
(Mt. Holly Springs, PA)

I suffer from, for lack of a better phrase, loss of control of the right leg, but only while running. There is no pain, no cramping, no spasms, and no tingling. This only occurs during distance running and only in the right leg.

The leg basically quits working properly and forces me to land well back on my heel. I get no push-off on that leg, forcing my left leg to do the majority of the work and irritating the left hip flexor. Running becomes much harder because I'm using one leg.

If I stop and walk a bit, I can resume running, but only for a limited time.

I have had an MRI and EMG. The MRI shows bulging disk at L4 and L5, but the conclusion was that they are not bulging severely enough to cause the problem, especially when there is no accompanying pain.
The EMG showed a nerve in the right leg is being affected, but not the source.

No other activities are affected, including lifting weights and walking.


There's something going on, Larry, but it's going to take a careful and thorough examination to figure it out.

I would agree with your doc about the MRI. The L4-L5 disc wouldn't affect your toe-off on your leg. That's the gastroc - soleus muscle complex, mainly S1.

I wonder if that irritation in your thigh isn't an important clue. It's points to something high in the lumbar spine, or perhaps the sacro-iliac, or the hip. No groin pain or stiffness? Can you pull your knee to your chest and rotate the hip, equally both sides?

Short leg?

Do the "Slump test" that you'll find at Chiropractic Help, and ask your chiro to do the Femoral nerve stretch test. Can't do it at home.

Keep looking, keep thinking. There's a basis to it. A FICS trained chiro would be a good idea.

Let me know who finds out what the problem is. Interesting.

Dr b

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr B  came initially for a painful and stiff neck and then asked whether chiropractic could help the cold numb feeling running down the side of his thigh for six months. Meralgia paresthetica is a double crush syndrome with the nerve affected in the back and groin. He's 80% improved after five treatments.

2. Mrs C has a long history of severe, disabling migraine headaches since having her wisdom teeth removed. She clenches her teeth at night. After six treatments she has no migraines but some jaw joint discomfort remains; a bite plate is in the offing.

3. Mrs U has the trophy for the worst back this year. After major surgery with plates and screws two years later she still had paresis in the lower leg and severe disabling back pain. She's doing far better than expected, in no little part due to a lift in her shoe for a very short leg.

4. Mr V is 86 years old and hurt his back helping his wife into the car. Just one treatment of the sacroiliac joint and he's eighty percent better. It's not always like that.

5. Mr W lay on his back knocking down a pillar. Turning his head causes severe vertigo. He needs the Epley exercises, not pills, research shows. Update, he's fine.

6. Mrs X, a young mother has severe lower back pain, with numbness down the posterior thigh, calf and side of her foot. It started after a long drive in the car. After six treatments she is 60 percent better, but it's slow and is going to take the full 6 weeks to heal.

And now a setback, after lifting her child she now has leg pain. It's going to the be difficult.

7. This lady is a 70 year old woman, is on maintenance care for a nasty lumbar stenosis despite having to do everything at home. Her husband has a hospital acquired infection after a total shoulder replacement. After four operations he is incapacitated.

8. She is an 78 year old woman, is doing remarkably well with a bad sciatica. But over 200 pounds she is not losing weight; in fact, gaining despite my suggestions. She's high risk for a stroke. I have referred her to a dietician to crack the whip.

9. This man is a 73 year old engineer, still working, is doing fine after a long episode of lower back pain. Some pain on the side of the hip remains after five treatments. I reassured him it's not hip arthritis.

10. A 64 year old woman has had scheuermanns disease; it's left her with a spinal kyphosis and chronic middorsal pain. She responds well to chiropractic treatment provides she come every six weeks or so for maintenance treatment.

11. Mr 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. Mrs D, a middle aged woman with hip pain of one year duration, despite other treatment. Xrays reveal an impingement syndrome and early hip arthritis. There's much to be done.

13. Both Mrs E and I can't believe how much better her lower back and leg pain are. Surgery for a scoliosis and spondylolysthesis three years ago helped greatly for one year. But then her leg went lame and weak. He was responded extremely well despite all expectations.

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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