Femoral nerve impingement

by Jeanne

Femoral nerve impingement

On Oct. 26 I bent over to move some small tree branches out of the way; after I did that I leaned my trunk over my right leg and stood up. Piercing pain shot a short way up my right side of back and down my leg so much so that I almost fell down. I couldn't move or walk.

Went to a Chiropractor initially and he saw me every day (except Tues.) for 5 visits and I changed Chiropractors because the first one was not addressing the problem. The pain is constant and incredible - brings me to tears. I can't sleep, can't get comfortable no matter what position I am in.

I have numbness of the right anterior thigh both medially and laterally. Pain down the right groin. I am being treated by a different Chiropractor who adjusts the lower back on my side with my one knee up and twists the area. I am 46 and I have a history of degenerative bone disease in my family, and I have osteoarthritis, scoliosis and 2 herniated discs from a car accident in 1998 (1 is at c5 and the other at L5), and the x-rays from this injury showed some compression between L5 and S1.

The current Chiropractor is saying that it is most likely the rotation of the discs at L1 and L3 which both of mine have been out and continue to slip out (so I assume the impingement is continual which is why the pain and numbness is lasting so long). This Chiropractor is also tractioning the legs as he discovered my pelvis was also rotated and likely causing an impingement...that is dong better.

The pain still persists and is driving me crazy! I am taking tramadol for pain and ibuprofen for inflammation every 6 hrs. and I usually can't wait for the 6 hrs. to be up. Does this sound like the issue is being corrected and I just need to stick with it and grin and bear the pain until it calms down?

Or has the issue not been addressed properly, which is what I fear and further nerve damage is occurring?? What can I do to make the pain stop??? I use ice and it helps, temporarily, I use a TENS unit and it helps somewhat and temporarily, I mentioned the meds and they take the edge off the pain, I find myself flat on my back in bed most of the time for the most comfort I can get, but I cannot live life like this!!! I am even resorting at times to punching the groin area and the thigh to relieve the pain temporarily, at this point I really don't care I just want the pain to stop!!!

If I stay absolutely as still as possible in bed, it relieves it some, but the minute I make any movement the pain is back. Please, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Hello Jeanne,
Yes, incredible pain, I've been there myself, so I know you aren't exaggerating. Femoral nerve damage ... It hurts.

Do you have more leg pain than back pain? If so you may have an extruded, or sequestered disc which is a very serious condition.

The thing to look out for is whether the quadriceps muscle is getting weak. Stand on your left leg, and gently bounce on the knee. Now repeat on the right leg. Does it feel like the knee is going to give? Feeling weak on the stairs?

Then, prick your legs and as accurately as possible try and find out where it's numb. It helps determine the level.

Is the knee jerk reflex diminished? Hopefully it's been tested, and should continue to be tested.

It's now three weeks. Are you any better at all? It sounds to me like it's time for an MR scan. It's the only way to determine exactly the level to treat. Depending on whether the extrusion is far lateral into the foramen, or more central, pinching different nerves, it's very difficult to be absolutely sure one is treating the right level. Yes, it's expensive.

In my first twenty years in practice, I wouldn't treat patients with severe leg pain, and minimal back pain, particularly if there was weakness developing in the leg. As it was highly likely that one was dealing with a Grade IV rupture. Slipped disc symptomes ...

However, of late, I have had success with sequestered discs, provided you the patient are prepared to be patient and very careful. But not always. In fact my own sequestered disc is healing nicely, but it's now 10 weeks, which is a long time to be patient. I really wanted to escape surgery, and if you really want... Slipped disc rules ...

My own daughter is a chiropractor, so I had optimum care. A little tip that you might like to share with your chiropractor. We have been using a "drop-roll" technique, lying in the side-posture you describe, but with no true cracking sounds. A gentle drop in the side-posture. That's what worked best for me. She did it bilaterally, L3 on the right, and L5 Left, but yours of course will be/ may be quite different.

What also really helped was lying on my side and doing soft tissue therapy down the leg. The leg itself becomes extremely tender following the Femoral nerve path, and massage down the leg, ice too as you are doing, really helped.

In short, Jeanne, you have a serious condition. Take it seriously, and do your part. Be careful, don't sit, don't garden, nothing silly, try not to sneeze.

I would recommend an MR but your chiropractor will advise you about that. It helps make the diagnosis. Adjusting the correct level is vital.

If it's in the groin then one also has to consider other hip conditions,

Maignes syndrome and even a pinched nerve in the groin: Meralgia paresthetica ...

Good luck. I hope this contributes, a difficult condition, especially when it hurts at night. I know...! Let us know in a couple weeks how you are getting on. Perhaps print this out and take to your chiro if you think he might appreciate it.

Dr B

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Aug 01, 2019
Femoral nerve pain
by: Anonymous

I had this so bad I was going insane with the pain

My dr prescribed amitryptiline which I initially didn’t take as it is anti psychotic medication.

However the pain got so bad , I would’ve taken anything

After taking it for a few days I woke up and the pain was 90% gone.

Thank you for your comment.

Dr BR Lewis DC

Sep 24, 2017
I too have a miserable femoral nerve impingement
by: Cheryl

Never had pain like this ... it's constant and worse when I lay down. Trying to find a comfortable way to lay causes me to groan out loud! Was so glad to see I'm not alone.

Hello Cheryl,
Yes, a femoral nerve impingement can be miserable; I've treated hundreds, probably thousands, and experienced it myself to you are not complaining about nothing.

With a bit of luck, and plenty or prayer! a good chiropractor can probably sort this out but it won't be easy and Rome was not built in a day, and neither will this be sorted out overnight.

In fact it took 15 treatments, luckily my daughter is also a chiropractor, to deal with mine but it was particularly bad, called a sequestration.

Watch out for the knee starting to give on the stairs. Do back exercises every half an hour, and follow our slipped disc rules.

Good luck,

Dr Barrie Lewis, DC

» I too have a miserable femoral nerve impingement

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