Is this my back

by anne
(United Kingdom)


Started with a little lumbago pain and intermittent numbness in toe and intermittent discomfort in same side of thigh after sitting for long time.
Then progressed to pins and needles and numbness spreading to foot intermittently all on side.

Mild pins and needles then started in other foot on occasions. Then pins and needles started in both hands at night with severe pain between shoulder blades during day which is intermittent but difficult to ease when starts.

Saw neurologist tests carried out nil diagnosed.

Sciatica and explanation for pins and needles in hands was some type nerve compression; he decided no further action was needed. Since then have developed numb bum on sitting; can't touch toes and bum is uncomfortable.

Recently when I sit and m goes numb feel like both feet are warm and a little red. Most of problem is down the right leg.

Am getting 2nd opinion in May but could this be back related? I work as a nurse and my back has had plenty of wear over the years. Can back problems present with pins and needles in hands and feet all bit it one side is the main problem, All bloods ie sugar vitamins etc are normal
I have under active thyroid for many years or
but otherwise no other problems.

Hello Anne,
Yes, this could be your back but obviously there are different areas that would be causing these symptoms. You don't give a time line but if they all started at the same time, then I'd be more concerned about a primarily neurological condition.

From a chiropractic standpoint everything would hang on the examination. Did movements of the lower back provoke the symptoms in the leg? Are there spinal and or sacroiliac joint fixations? Is the slump test positive? Are there objective sensory and reflex changes in the affected limb?

In regards the symptoms in your arm and upper back, do movements of the neck provoke the pain? Is the Upper Limb Tension Test positive and which fingers are affected?

As you can see it's complex. I would recommend a consultation with an experienced and conscientious chiropractor who would examine you carefully and not just adjust your neck and back. Take the results of any tests you've had with you.

Let us know what comes of it?

Dr B

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Apr 07, 2014
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Is this my back
by: Anne

I have similar symptoms as you and also work as a nurse. Pain in top of spine radiating over shoulder blades which was present for a number of months and not fully relieved by paracetamol and brufen or voltoral.

This subsided and then initially experienced mild intermittent pins and needles in right hand when driving or using mobile phone followed by numbness and pins and needles in right toe which progressed to foot and burning down leg with mild lumbago.

Then started to experience mild pins and needles in LEFT foot and hand and then numbness in 4th and 5th fingers on both hands with intermittent pain returning in upper spine and shoulder blades. Saw neurologist who diagnosed sciatica and related hand symptoms to nerve pressure in spine after conduction nerve conduction tests and discharged me. Since then have a numb bottom when sitting, symptoms are progressively worsening with pins and needles in hands overnight, pins and needles and numbness in feet predominately still right side when crossing legs or driving and some numbness in hands and pain in upper spine is worsening.

I have also recently started experiencing mild burning in feet and lower legs occasionally. I am really fed up and anxious with this situation and have asked for a second opinion which is 6 weeks away. I would visit a chiropractor if I had a definite diagnosis.

Two things strike me about both of you. You were quite happy to take medication without a definite diagnosis. So why the hesitation to consult a chiropractor?

You have far too ready access to powerful medication. Remember 200,000 deaths per year happen in the USA from the iatrogenic effects of medication.

And secondly, just as you can consult a surgeon for an examination and opinion, but go no further with treatment, so you can consult a chiropractor just for an examination, but no treatment.

You both have symptoms bilaterally, and there I would be concerned that this may in fact not be a "chiropractic condition". Nevertheless, clearly medicine is at its wit's end in both your cases. It's time for a change.

For a condition to be called a sciatica you must have a positive Slump Test and or a postive Lasegues straight leg raise. You can do both these tests at home.

In my opinion a chiropractic examination is in order, and in neither of your cases would I be bold enough to suggest an opinion. There just isn't enough information here to make even a tentative diagnosis.

I hope this contributes.

Dr B

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