Low back pain on one side, radiates front to groin on bending backwards or toward the tender side.

by Rob
(Vancouver, WA, USA)

Note the L1, 2, and 3 distribution

Note the L1, 2, and 3 distribution

Low back pain on one side, radiates front to groin on bending backwards or toward the tender side; this usually means a disc extrusion into the IVF causing severe leg pain.


Continuous pain in the lower right back seemingly an inch away from the spine. Radiates around the front of the hip to the groin and down to the inner part of the leg to the knee.
The pain came on suddenly, without any serious trauma or accident. The only lifting I did was moving a 31lb case to a closet; and the pain didn't happen until an hour or so after that. I initially thought I had hip pain, but quickly realized it was radiating from my back around the front of the hip toward the groin and ending on the inside of leg near the kneecap.

The pain in the lower back is relatively constant and becomes extremely painful when standing. Sitting gives the best relief. I and only minimize the pain for sleep by laying on my right side in the fetal position.

I can bend forward and touch my toes with no problem. I can bend to my left as well. However, bending backward or to my right causes the 'pinch' and the pain then radiates. I'm into my third week with little improvement. I've had two adjustments last week from my Chiro. The doctors are perplexed because I am so flexible forward and that sitting is the least painful pose (including laying).

Hello Rob,
My sympathies as I have personally been exactly where you are, and I know the pain you are going through.

There are two possibilities, others too that could only be confirmed by a scan, but the most likely is a herniation of a mid lumbar disc into the intervertebral foramen; then you get relief by bending forwards, and increased pain on extension and especially leaning to that side.

It's affecting the femoral nerve. Look out for weakness developing in the quadriceps muscle. The knee will start to give. How is the knee jerk reflex?

I am fortunate; my daughter is also a chiropractor and I was able to have daily treatments using what we call a side posture drop technique, with no attempt to get a release or click.

I would recommend an MRI so that your chiropractor would know exactly which level is involved; it could be one of two.

I wouldn't bend forwards even though it causes no pain; it's not helpful. Better is lying on your back and gently pulling your knees to the chest.

Have you gone into an antalgic posture where you look like the tower of Pisa? Then you won't be able to stand for long and should intermittently perch on a high stool but feet on the ground and lying down. Do our lumbar disc exercises at least twice hourly. Ice helps a lot with the pain, but I needed anti inflammatories for a few days and you probably do too; the leg pain can be excruciating.

If it starts to affect your bladder you must tell your medical doctor immediately. You will need to be catheterised.

If you chiro wants to discuss the technique we use, he can skype me.

I was lucky and managed to escape the knife; I hope you do too. You can read about my Houdini act at femoral nerve damage; use the site search function at chiropractic help.

Dr B



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» Low back pain on one side, radiates front to groin on bending backwards or toward the tender side.




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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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