Chronic pain with tingling and numbing left side

by Judy
(Perryville, MD USA)

Maignes syndrome

Maignes syndrome

Chronic pain with tingling and numbing left side.

Two years ago in January 2014, severe groin pain occurred after going up and down steps to the basement putting things in storage. I went to an Orthopedic surgeon who injected cortisone and sent me to have an MRI.

Which showed tendon tears in gluteus minimus and
Medius and insertion of greater trochanter and a abnormal signal from the piriformis muscle.

Also a L5 disc extrusion.

I was given various pain prescriptions told to do hot soaks to encourage blood flow to tendons and began physical therapy after 1 month of onset of groin pain. Regained strength on left side but remain weak compared to right side and struggle with daily pain and numbing pins and needles in Piriformis area, left groin and left SI joint and side of thigh.

Big toe and thigh weakness.

Used ice on back and butt to relieve pain (temporarily).

Walking, sitting or reclining were all painful. Struggle to accomplish one errand or chore a day. My life is very limited, I'm very sad and frustrated and angry and frightened about not progressing to pain relief.

I do not like taking pain meds or muscle relaxers. I've also tried chiropractic adjustments, guided injections towards L5 disc and prolotherapy injection top of thigh and side of knee.
Is my answer strengthening and stretching and weight training? I need a plan! Please help.

Hello Judy,
The reason you are having difficulties is because there are confusing signs and symptoms, and from what you describe no clear diagnosis.

Have you had an xray of your hips?

1. It's not classical for a L5 disc lesion to affect the big toe, but it can happen if there's a far lateral extrusion into the IVF.

2. No low lumbar disc is likely to cause pain in the groin.

3. A piriformis syndrome would not affect the groin either.

Please do the following tests, and give me precise answers to each one. Vague answers will mean I cannot gain a clear picture.

1. Bend slowly forwards, then backwards, and then to the side, on no painkillers for 24 hours. Tell me exactly what you feel and where.

2. Sitting in a normal kitchen chair, ask someone to straighten your right leg parallel to the ground, and slowly flex your head onto your head. Repeat with the left leg. What happens? Be precise.

3. Lie on your back and pull first the right knee to your chest and then towards the opposite shoulder. Remember what you feel, let's call it normal. Repeat with the left. What's the difference?

4. Go to our leg pain muscle testing page and tell me exactly what weakness you find, if any, but not if it's caused by pain.

5. Hip xray report.

6. Lying on your tum ask someone to press to the side of your spine in the upper lumbar region where it meets the thoracic spine. Is there pain?

7. Sitting in a kitchen chair, raise your knee whilst keeping the knee bent. Repeat lying on a bed with knee straight and then bent.

Give me precise answers.

Dr B

» Chronic pain with tingling and numbing left side.

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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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