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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May 29, 2015
Lower Back Pain radiating to the side of the hip and groin
by: Anonymous

I've been having lower left side back pain that started 5 years ago. It doesn't happen every day, but most days. Starts in the morning and lasts most of the day. It's burning pain that radiates to the side of the hip and groin. It intensifies as I am on my feet and doing house work. I am a 66 year oid female. Five years ago prior to this pain starting I took a job as a home health aide and was sent to a 6 foot 3 inch man that had to be lifted from his bed (seated) to a wheel chair. He had cancer and was thin, but probably weighed 160 lbs. I should have refused to do the lifting but did anyway. I didn't notice any immediate back pain from this, but maybe this started the back pain (?) Doctor at the VA clinic said back strain. Does it last 5 years?

A diagnosis of back strain is terribly vague, but in general, a strain shouldn't last five years.

You most likely have a lumbar condition that's affecting the femoral nerve, or even a Maigne's syndrome. That comes from the junction of the lumbar and thoracic spine.

Always with groin pain, a hip condition also needs to be considered. If you pull your knee to the chest is it very stiff and painful?

I would recommend you start with an xray of your lumbar spine and pelvis.

Then you'll find some lower back exercises in the navigation bar on the left at Chiropractic Help.

What's needed is a proper examination by someone who knows rather more than your VA doctor; a diagnosis is imperative.

Let me know how you get on.

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. Mrs T looked like the leaning tower of Pisa; she had a slipped disc at L5 making her lean towards the opposite side. It's called the postero lateral disc hernia; she's much better after two weeks of treatment and will go back to work next week, part time. Lateral discs are more difficult; both take a minimum of six weeks to heal. In my opinion, antalgic patients need what I call exercising bed rest. Sit and it won't get better.

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 groin pain, 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 lower back is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her hip, 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. Hypermobility is more difficult that too stiff in my opinion. Chiropractic 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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