Severe left hip pain and unable to stand up

About 1 yr ago I was dx’d with FAI of left hip. I had steroid injection and I was great.

July 1st I tried to get out of bed and I had excruciating pain in left hip again. But this pain was different somehow. I had an MRI and they sent me to orthopedic specialist. By the time I was able to get in to see them I was barely able to walk without a lot pain. This pain was in hip, buttock and leg and I had numbness down leg with standing up.

He determined it was a spinal issue. X-ray showed some compression in L4-L5 and he ordered PT and MRI. By the time I was approved for MRI PT had made things so much worse. I am now unable to stand upright at all. I have symptoms of piriformis syndrome and I continue to have horrible hip pain. I am unable to lay flat for MRI so they did epidural injection which provided a little relief but I am still unable to stand or walk without pain. Sitting forward is best for me but now even that is causing me pain.

I haven’t worked in 6 wks and I’m barely able to stand up for more than a few minutes.

Can you tell me specifically where this pain in 'the hip' is; the term means different things to different people.

Precisely which part of the your leg is painful and numb; check out the graphic above, if that helps.

When standing, do you look like the Leaning tower of Pisa?

If you bend slowly forwards, backwards, and then to the side, is there pain? Where? Do this carefully as it can make you worse.

Have you had pain coughing, sneezing, laughing or bearing down on the toilet?

Sitting in a kitchen chair, flex your head on to your chest, and then ask someone to raise first the right and then the left leg. What happens? Be precise.

Can you lift your big toe off the ground?

Be precise if you want any useful answers from me; all of the questions.

Dr B


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Oct 10, 2017
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by: Amanda

Pain is on the side of my left hip and buttock. Muscles are very tight and contracted when I try to stand up. Pain and numbness goes doesn’t entire leg to my toes. Please be more specific here, this isn't clear. Which toes?


This happens when I stand up right, extend my leg when sitting please explain this; which part of your leg? Tell me layman's terms what you mean by extend. or put firm pressure on buttock or hip.

I don’t usually have pain when I lean forward. When I attempt to lean backward I have pain in left buttock where it meets the thigh. No real pain when I lean to the right. I have pain on the side of my left hip when I lean to the left.

The side of my hip also hurts when I try to climb into bed. I usually sleep in the chair now. I do have pain with coughing, sneezing.

I am able to lift my big toe. I do not have anyone available to lift my legs for me.

Hello Amanda,
Your surgeon is almost certainly correct; this is not do with the hip that you had previously, though changed gait from the hip can certainly affect your back.

Pain with coughing, unable to lift your big toe, numbness all points to a slipped disc, probably into the foramen; that's why leaning to the left is so painful.

Sitting, extend your knee yourself, if you have no one to help; it's not quite the same but in the circumstances will do. What happens?

You have a tough choice ahead. Most doctors would recommend that with 'hard neurological signs' that you stay with the surgeon; it's probably operation time.

Having said that, I have had this exact same condition myself and have just finished treating a man also with precisely this pain; ask how the medial hamstring reflex is. But it takes great focus and skill on the part of your chiropractor, a determination on your part of avoid surgery and to go along with everything your chiropractor says, and patience. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Watch out for loss of bladder control, usually not being able to pee; that's very serious.

Ask your doctor, friends and family if they can recommend a very conscientious and skillful chiropractor; do everything he or she says and you may be lucky. My rule of thumb is that it must be at least fifty percent better after about three to four weeks of treatment.

Good luck, let me know how you get on.

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.

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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