Low back pain that radiates into my hip down to my groin.

by Pamela Scheib
(Westminster, CO, USA)

Hi! I am a 49 year old female with a history of disc problems. Two in my neck and one in my lower right side of my back. I had a series of injections in my neck and lower back. That was over a year ago. Since the injections I felt great. I have been back to the gym and lifting weights to strengthen my back. I have been going to the gym since Dec. 2011. But about three weeks ago I was doing leg presses and something just went in my lower back causing extreme low back pain. It went into my hip then into my groin and wrapped around my leg. I managed to get up from the machine but was not sure if I would be able to make to my car. When it first happened the pain was so bad I thought I was going to pass out! I immediately felt dizzy and nauseous. It took all I had but I did manage to get to my car and drive home. The pain was almost unbearable! When I got home my daughter had to help me out of the car and into the house. I iced it immediately for at least 3 to 4 days but needed assistance to get up from a sitting position and help to sit and lie down. I thought I was going to lose my mind because of the excruciating pain. I didn't go to the doctor because we have no insurance. The extreme pain went on for 11/2 weeks. Now the pain is bearable during the day but I can't do much. If I walk to much or just over do it I pay for it! But the worst is at night! Lying down and rolling over in bed is so painful! I don't get much sleep because I'm constantly waking from the pain whenever I move or rollover. The pain from when I first hurt my back until now is much better but I still have low back pain that radiates into the hip and down into the groin. I know I should see a doctor but the money just isn't there!

You're in a tough place, Pamela. Usually the right course of events is History > thorough Examination > perhaps special tests like XR or scan > Diagnosis > appropriate treatment. You simply can't afford that, so...

First of all, just be really careful. Nothing stupid. Perhaps follow our "Slipped disc rules" - use the Search this Site function at C-H.

Next, recognise that the purpose of the gym is not to turn you into Miss World, but to make you more healthy. Perhaps rather do a home back exercise programme that won't hurt you. One way or another, gyms bring us a lot of work. Surgeons too, I imagine.

I'm unable to decide if you've injured a muscle in the groin, or injured a nerve that supplies the groin area. Either way, be careful, use ice for pain, sit less and spend some time lying down each day and doing our "lower back exercises" faithfully.

Try and avoid pain killers and anti inflammatories. Pain, believe it or not, is your friend, and turning it off is not helpful.

If after 2-3 weeks it's not improving, then cancel your annual holiday, go back to basic and simple (and inexpensive) eating, stop using makeup, cancel your cable TV and see a local chiropractor.

It's sad that health care in America has now become so expensive that the ordinary person in the street can't afford it.

When this is over, start a dedicated medical savings account that is fed on the first of the month, every month, before any little luxuries.

Dr B

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mrs B has had one of the nastiest of conditions; vertigo caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. Falling repeatedly and vomiting she consulted her doctor but medication didn't help. After two sessions of the Epley manoeuvres she was 50 percent better. After two weeks she was 75 percent improved; no longer vomiting or falling. She's not enjoying the Brandt Daroff home exercises.

2. Mr S, a 48 year old man, has right low back pain, groin pain and a numb feeling in his lower leg when he sports. For six months he's been off football. He too has two problems; a very treatable lumbar facet syndrome and a very serious blocked artery in the groin; it's called intermittent claudication. Smokers beware.  

3. Mr S looks like the leaning tower of Pisa; he has a slipped disc at L5 making him lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; we'll fix it, but he has to stop for a week or two. Antalgias are serious so take them seriously. 

4. Mrs V too has two conditions; a chronic low grade sciatica giving her an ache in the right leg, and a threatening Morton's neuroma. She's glad I'm back in Holland; chiropractic fixed it before, and we'll fix it again. 

5. Mrs W is one of the lucky ones, says her doctor. I agree. He says only 40% of patients with lumbar stenosis have a successful operation. We fixed a nasty slipped disc three years ago, but it came back two years later; the surgeon did a fine job but she has a weak ankle now giving her subtalar joint pain; it's routine stuff. 

6. I myself had an acute exacerbation of a femoral nerve lesion last year. One immediate treatment of the new strain by my colleague has fixed the pain in the lower back, but there's some residual numbness in the lower leg; no soaring tomorrow alas.

7. This lady is a 86 year old woman with a 63 scoliosis. Chronic lower back has been her lot in life but she's well pleased with chiropractic and comes for chiropractic help once a month; some conditions you can never cure.

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. A 61 year old man with upper cervical pain yesterday; it's not severe but also not getting better of its own accord. He's afraid it may turn very acute as when I treated him three years ago. Since then it's been fine. 

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. 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. 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. 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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Greetings, Dr B.
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