pain from left lower back trouble and lifting foot off floorafter standing or walking a short time

by Robert Romero
(Arleta CA)

I have pain and stiffness from my neck and shoulders down the left side from my lower back down to my ankle and foot. If i walk for a short time I have trouble lifting my foot off the floor and bending my knee is painful

if i bend down i feel the back of my left leg from my thigh down to behind my knee stiff. after i sit down for 15 to 20 minutes I feel fine and am able to walk agian until it strts all over agian

If I carry something heavy my whole left side drags. If i push a lawn mower my left leg wants to drag on the floor.

Dear Robert,
You are almost certainly getting Sciatic, or perhaps Femoral nerve impingement.

Please do two tests for me: first go to C-H, look for the Search this site function and do the Slump Test. Let me know what the result is.

Secondly, go to this page ( ) and do the tests described in the video: very specific, which muscle is weak, preventing you from lifting your leg.

Pain with walking, relief sitting down, demands two answers: Could you have a condition called Intermittent Claudication? Secondly do have a short leg, or "leg length inequality"? Again use the Search this Site function to learn about these two conditions.

Let me have the results, and we then can take if further.

Lastly, start the lumbar facet exercises at the "Lower back exercises" at C-H (see in the navigation bar on the left).

Dr B

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Mar 10, 2012
Lower back relief
by: Anonymous

Hi the first thing I'm going to suggest is your shoes you may need to look into really good supportive shoes. Secondly for the lower and upper back you can find simple stretches to help stretch your muscle. Remember that exercise is a must for our bodies and you can find ones that you can do that only take five minutes at a time out of your day some you can even do while doing whatever it is your still doing. You may find if you take some ibprofren it may help with inflammation. While I'm not really for motrin tylenol or things like that for pain you could look into homeopathic pain relief remedies. You may also try taking some glucosomine chondroiton to it really does help but you have to use it regularly and consistently for awhile. Don't expect an overnight cure. I hope this helps.

Frankly, I'm not into anti inflammatories, perhaps a short course under the supervision of your doctor. They cause so many other problems.

And the chondroitin research is weak, rather our "chicken bones" bouillon.

But, first an examination > diagnosis > the right treatment.

Basic, simple exercises, carefully done, will always help.

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. 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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