Hip/femurs pain, worse at night and sitting down. Radiating can last a few days

by Stephanie
(Victoria, Australia )

I first noticed left sided hip pain that radiated down my femur to my knees and heel during my first pregnancy seven yesars ago. It resolved after a few days. The pain often grips me in the groin and keeps me awake at night.

I have gone to a chiropractor with little or no effect. Analgesia works for a while but I don't like living on pills as I see it as a bandaid approach. I have read so many blogs of others experiencing the same pain and I have tried all the home remedies with no luck. It only affects my left hip and thigh and so debilitating. Any advice would be so appreciated. I am 39, female, not over weight and in good health generally. Thanks.

Hello Stephanie,
The first thing to establish is whether this is really a femoral nerve radiation, or a hip problem, or even pubic bone pain.

Lie flat on your back, and pull your right knee to your chest, then to the opposite shoulder, and then make a circle using the knee as a lever. Remember what you feel.

Repeat with the naughty hip. Is it significantly stiffer or painful in the groin?

Set your hips in the Faber position. Is the left distinctly stiffer or more painful in the hip or groin?

Using a little oil on your thumb, run it down your inner thigh, and then towards the pubic bone, starting at the iliac crest. Is it much more tender on the left than the right?

If these are positive findings, I would get an x-ray taken of your pelvis, preferably standing. Let me know.

Dr B

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Mar 18, 2016
Groin and leg pain and numbness
by: Stephanie

Dear Dr B, thank you for your response, it means a lot to me receiving your advice. I tried your suggestion, but couldn't give a clear answer. The pain I experience lasts for around two to three days at most and can be so severe I am awake for up to three hours in the middle of the night. Standing up seems to be the only way to elevate it naturally. Lying on the affected side is impossible as is my back.

I find if I can lie with a pillow between my legs from groin to foot on the opposite side it's a little better.

The sedation is a deep ache with a numbness in my lower leg and foot, yet the groin and buttocks is a very sharp pain. I am going to my chiropractor on Monday so I will discuss what I have learnt from you with her and keep you posted. Thank you once again.

Hello Steph,
One of those tests would have been positive if it was a hip condition, yet it still needs to be kept in mind.

Work out as accurately as you can which part of your leg feels numb, and whether there is any weakness developing in the muscles; see the link below. In particular, is your knee giving on the stairs?

Prick you leg with a sharp needle, comparing legs.

Ask your chiropractor if the femoral nerve stretch is positive?

Some gentle lower back exercises are important.

I've had a pinched femoral nerve myself, and have treated hundreds, perhaps thousands; it hurts a lot, especially at night. So I have some understanding of what you're going through; you're not going crazy. It's very painful.

Good luck,

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 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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