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. 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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