Chronic Pain in left leg, hip, groin, upper thigh, calf and big toe.

by Sandra
(Richmond BC Canada)

S1 dermatome, back of the thigh to the outer foot.

S1 dermatome, back of the thigh to the outer foot.

Hi there, First thank you for your site :D

I will first start with the beginning of my pain and the injury that caused it. In May of 06 I fell backwards onto a metal nursery cart while closing shop.The corner of it landed at my rectum (bruising) and the 1 edge ran across my inner pelvis to the outer left hip and the other edge up the middle pelvis just off to the right of my spine. I jumped up immediately knowing if I didn't get up that I might not be able too having had a tail bone injury before.

The next day I went into work but with growing (tight feeling band around my hips)pain only lasted about an hour. After 2 weeks I began physio therapy only to get worse. After 12 weeks I was able to return to very light duty and only 5-6 hours of work per day.

Still in discomfort I went to see my chiropractor and within 6 close visits I returned to somewhat normal life.

Then on in may of 08 I fell on ice getting out of my car, again on the left side. Sharp stabbing pains in my pelvis required me for an xray but nothing. After increasing pain and numbness, several nerve blocker injections later, loss of bladder and bowel control my doctor finally ordered an MRI and a neurosurgeon to look at me and they determined to show a herniation on my L5 and the small foramen.

A discectomy was performed and and the foramen widened in Sept /11 I got a bit of movement back. Permanent nerve damage to bladder and bowels are now minimal. I still have a lot of pain that doesn't seem to go away. Its skin surface pain now too along with the sciatica that just never seems to leave...EVER some days are better than others but my limitations are enormous..I can only walk so far and then I suffer for it later, in the mornings when I get out of bed I am so stiff and sore that it takes me a good 2 hours to feel normal....I haven't worked because I can barely keep up with daily living ie household chores..

I am a healthcare worker and have been told I shouldn't do it anymore :(..I just read of the Maigne's Syndrome and wonder if you think it may apply to my case ?

Hello Sandra,
Gosh, you've had a tough time.

First up, start doing our basic lower back exercises, just three of them, very gently EVERY morning before getting out of bed, and several times a day; they only take 40s.

Maignes is a possibility for two reasons. Firstly you have groin pain, but that could be caused by other things too; like a hip injury when you fell.

The second is that Maignes is a high lumbar facet syndrome; that's where the spinal cord ends and an injury there can cause a so-called cauda equina syndrome: loss of bladder and and bowel function. But the neurosurgeon would have been looking for that.

Only a careful examination would reveal if some of your pain is coming from the high lumbars.

Perhaps a visit to the chiropractor who helped you in the beginning. Take your scans...

Meantime, get going with those exercises, limit bending and sitting in "comfy" chairs. Avoid the vacuum cleaner.

Good luck Sandra, no easy answers.

Dr. Barrie Lewis

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Nov 16, 2016
Arachnoiditis, burning pain in right buttock after multiple surgeries
by: Lisa S.S.

Arachnoiditis, burning pain in right buttock after multiple surgeries constitutes failed back surgery.

I am fused first from L/5 to S/1, then L3/4 and 4/5.

In 2010 I had severe lateral thigh pain and was diagnosed with arachnoiditis. The pain was excruciating. I had an implant of an SCS, and I was much better.

I had a laminectomy to lessen the pain of spinal stenosis in Jan 2016. After this 2016 surgery I got bad pain at the base of my L/S Spine and now I use a cane and limp. Worse than that is a stinging burning pain in my right buttock that sometimes creeps up into my right side. The SCS was removed in Jan of this year.

Now I have left thigh pain again, my legs get weak so I can only walk or stand for no longer than ten minutes, and I walk bent over. Thank you.

Hello Lisa,
I'm not sure whether chiropractic could help you or not. Certainly the sacroiliac joint is almost certainly involved, and gentle adjustments would probably bring you some relief.

What I do know is that lower back exercises would certainly help. Are you doing gentle exercises every single day of your life? Best is before you get out of bed in the morning, and then several times during the day. They take less than two minutes.

Normally I'd suggest you get them from our lower back exercises page, but in a difficult case like yours, I'd recommend you get help from a professional choosing the appropriate exercises, and make sure you're doing them correctly. Remember, you're not aiming for a place in the next Olympics; gentle stuff and they shouldn't hurt.

That pain down the side of the leg may in part be an irritation of the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve in the groin; it's what we call a double crush syndrome, coming from the area where you've been fused; it's called meralgia paresthetica. Working in the groin and down the side of the leg would certainly contribute.

As a chiropractor, I would start with gentle McManis traction, adjusting the SIJs and doing lots of soft tissue work in the groin and legs. It might help a lot, and perhaps very little.

Long term, done faithfully, the exercises will certainly make a difference. In fact, you should have been doing them since your first surgery, even before it, to prevent what you are now experiencing; failed back surgery.

I don't know whether this contributes; perhaps.

Dr. Barrie Lewis

Aug 20, 2015
Constant chronic pain
by: Linnietea

In 11,fxd left hip.never was seen again by orthopedic. Dr but initial ER visit.spasms in hip,thigh,down to ft and big toe. Spasms. Downward.recently. Hurt left knee can't bear wt.
I'm in a bind,20+ years ago,every medicine was tried to stop pain,adverse effects.put on morphine,same. Dose,now can't. Bear wt and. At night. Severe. Pain. In left tibia awakens. Me sobbing,no one xray,(my daddy died of. Leukemia) I'm alone,no family. Hospital. Only thing doing. Is taking. Away my meds,they. Know. I'm in pain,I don't. Understand I asked. About. Pain. Pump. Also. Electric. Chair,no for both.

Oh,I'm a veteran in one will. Listen

Okay, Linnietea, you have a severe problem, but that's no excuse for writing to me in gobbledigook. Google will strike this. Please write again in English, and I'll see if I can help.

Dr. Barrie Lewis

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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 have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is 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 is 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 pain-free. 

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 is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has 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 stroll 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; he has a short leg.

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. X-rays 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 few months 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 is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year 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 could not 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 should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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