anterior tibialis muscle is numb

by Cami
(Surprise, AZ USA)

1st Symptom was numbness of the anterior tibialis muscle on my right leg on 7-3-2015.
Out of the country for 10 days. 1st treatment 7-27-2015.
Osteopath had x-rays (showed no arthritis etc.) and MRI.
Impression of MRI:
Alignment acceptable. Lumbar spondylosis mild facet arthropathy suggested at the L4/5 level. Of note: L4/5 level broad-based and lateralizing disc bulge eccentric to the left, coupled with facet hypertrophy, which results in mild to moderate left foraminal stenosis with near contact with the exiting left nerve root.

No back pain, only noticeable symptom was the numb anterior tibialis muscle and a slight feeling of less sensation in my big toe.

4 treatments with an Osteopath minimal improvement.
Told me to return if I had leg pain.

Started seeing a Chiropractor who practiced ART (Active Release Technique) I've had 6 visits with manipulations,
ART, Graston technique to break up the scar tissue in the muscle. Not a lot of change in my symptoms.

I am 62, 5'3, 102 lbs and very active with tennis etc.

I was told to resume activities and am having no problem. The ATM is still numb and feels hot to the touch after exercise. I have felt a mild low back ache the next day after tennis.

I have been heating & icing the muscle x 2 a day
5 min/ 5 min / 5 min then finishing with 10 min ice.

I have been doing some stretching with a foam roller and exercises but not seen a lot of improvement.

I would like to get all the feeling back in my ATM.

I just ordered athletic compression sleeves to wear while playing tennis.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Cami,
The big question is whether this is primarily a nerve or a muscle problem. The scan points to a bulge on the left side so, unless the radiologist made a mistake which is unlikely, but it does happen, this can be discounted to some extent.

Did the chiropractor or osteopath find any weakness of the anterior tibialis? Standing on your right leg, can you raise the big toe side of your foot?

Was there any loss of reflex?

Two tests please:
1. Bend slowly forwards, then backwards and then to the side. Do any of these movements cause tightness, pain, or numbness, or tingling in your right lower leg?

2. Using the site search function, type in slump test for sciatica. What happens when you do the test>

Let me know, and we'll take this further. Keep to the same thread.

Dr B

» anterior tibialis muscle is numb

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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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