Pain in upper outer thigh

by Amanda
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Pain in upper outer thigh - sharp, burning, tingling and numbness


A few years ago I started to get a sharp pain in my outer right thigh accompanied with the feeling of my leg on fire from the inside. It's about midway down my thigh and the burning feeling shoots down my leg towards my foot, on the top of my calf. This mainly happened when at rest or laying down.

I informed my doctor about it. She noticed no discolouration or swelling and touched my leg, which seemed a normal temperature to her.
I have many spider veins on that thigh, a varicose vein just below my knee on the inside, I am overweight and in my 30's.

My doctor had me tested for diabetes and my thyroid, but all she found was that I may be developing hyperglycemia. She wasn't concerned.

Years later, my leg bothers me more, it tingles and is numb even when moving, not just laying down. Occasionally, my knee goes limp and I wobble. I didn't have a desk job for a while, and am now working seated again. The tingling is distracting. My tailbone throbs and feels numb, I constantly am rubbing my leg to try to soothe it.

My lower leg feels heavy and I have developed a sharp pain under my heel. I limp a bit and my foot is stiff and sore to step on, when I stand up.

I have been going to see chiropractors and massotherapists for years. I first started going at 17 years old. I have had back pain since then, and had a pretty bad car accident at 19 years old. Although I broke nothing, I have had such pain from my neck to my tailbone, since then.

What is causing this? Any advice on what I should be talking to a doctor about? Tests that can be done? I don't feel like I have been taken seriously, so I assume it's nothing, but I feel I am getting much worse.

I'm 37 years old and gaining more weight due to having difficulty moving. (I have been gaining about 20 lbs each year and have doubled in weight since I was 20 years old.) I want to walk and try to increase my circulation, but I feel disabled!

I appreciate you taking time to read this,
Sincerely,
Amanda

Hello Amanda,
Your weight is a complicating factor but not the cause of this pain and tingling in your leg.

Please do these tests and let me know what's happening. Keep to the same thread.

1. Bend slowly forwards, backwards and sideways. Do you get pain in the back? Any immediate radiation down the leg?

2. Using the Search engine in the navigation bar at C-H, type in "Slump test for sciatica". Do the test and let me know what you feel.

3. Using a pin prick the normal leg, and then your naughty leg. Is there a difference? Where?

4. Standing, jump on your good leg a few times. Now on the tingly leg. Is there any sense that your leg is going to give at the knee? Not pain but weakness.

5. This is more difficult. Sitting, rub your thumb with some oil, starting at the hipbone and moving down through the groin and down the inner thigh. Is there a difference right and left?

You could have a condition called Meralgia Paresthetica, though I doubt if it goes below the knee. Use that search engine again.

More likely this is coming from your back. Let me have the results of all those tests above, all of them please, and then we'll take this further.

That hyperglycemia is significant; it can make your quadriceps muscle weak. You are on the verge of diabetes and having to inject yourself for the rest of your life; it's not nice and very expensive.

Do some homework on the term "glycemic index". Knowing which foods have a high GI, and avoiding them, is the way to prevent yourself becoming diabetic. Do it, otherwise there are much worse things to come. Only you can save yourself.

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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