Pain that moves through my left leg

by Teena
(Akron, OH )

Pain that moves through my left leg after childbirth is not uncommon but it should resolve within a few weeks of itself. If not, careful examination is indicated.

I'm hoping you can help. I've had pain that started with a dull ache in my lower left thigh about a month after giving birth. Minor, but enough that I worried of a clot. Dr said no, that it was just my ligaments and sent me on my way. It has been 15mon, the ache comes and goes, and moves throughout the left leg. One day it may be behind my knee, may be in my left hip, may be in my calf or even foot, and or in the back of my thigh still. Sometimes it is very achy, sometimes I don't notice or it's not there.

I also occasionally have a feeling of a sock on my foot, a tightness, a gentle, barely noticeable squeeze. It changes from day to day.

I work out six days a week, 90x intense videos and alternate with Pilates. Also, I had, what I think was sciatica in the same leg at the end of my pregnancy. Such intense lower back, gluteal/hip pain it would occasionally spasm and bring me to my knees. Never lasted long.

I also spend much time at my sewing machine as it's how I make a living. I'm 34. I've had three 9lb + babies vaginally. I'm 5'6" and about 110lbs. Not sure if this info helps! I hope you have some info that can help. Dr still says my ligaments are just loose.

I saw a chiro who took x rays and set me up on a 15 visit plan. Though she always just said hmm, and gave me an adjustment on a drop/swivel table. Never gave me any indication she may know what was going on. She also told me that one hip was higher than the other. Thank you so much.

Hello Teena,
Firstly, understand that since I'm unable to examine you, I can only give guidelines, and that can be very misleading.

Secondly, a question. Was that pain in the lower left thigh after giving birth at the back, side, front or inner part of your upper leg. Did you have pubic bone or groin pain?

Thirdly, please do two tests for me.
1. Bend slowly forwards and describe to me precisely what you feel in the back and legs, and if one is tighter or painful, exactly where.

2. Do the Slump test for sciatica, see lower down, and report exactly what you feel.

Are you doing any lower back exercises? If not, I would suggest you find them in the navigation bar at chiropratic help, and do them EVERY morning before getting out of bed. They take only a minute or two.

Lastly, in my opinion, with a threatening sciatica, intense daily aerobic exercises is too much. If there is a bulging disc you risk having a complete blow out. At least go to alternate days, with walking, jogging or swimming on the inbetween days. And not at all on the day of your chiropractic treatment.

Let me have some answers to the above, and we'll take this further.

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'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.

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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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