Thigh pain

by Val

Patrick's Fabere test is for a hip condition.

Patrick's Fabere test is for a hip condition.

My thigh pain started more than year ago. It has been misdiagnosed several times. I was told by surgeons that having a laminectomy of L4 disk would clear space for the sciatic nerve. I had laser surgery at LSI in Tampa FLl but ended up in hospital following day unable to walk.

They took a scan, gave me morphine and found surgery unremarkable. Was treated afterwards in physical therapy for problems with the piriformis muscle which could be inhibiting the nerve.
The thigh pain became more intense as time went on: have had two injections of steroids in two different areas of muscle that triggered the pain when applied pressure but after a couple of days each time the pain was back.

I do not like taking pain pills but they are the only relief I have.

I sit on either heat pad or ice. Place lidocaine patches, and nothing resolves this thigh pain.

My muscles move on their own and create the pain.

I am at total loss as to what to do. I am a physically active woman having been dancer, skater, etc. but for past year have not been able to do my aerobic exercises and muscle tone is diminishing.

I went to Stanford for help: had neurography of lumbar showing edema but nothing else. The doctor said it was out of his realm of expertise.

And sent me back to Massachusetts with disk in hand.

Went to pain management where I have undergone two steroid
injections but the thigh nerve pain is relentless.
Any suggestions??? Desperately seeking to resolve.
Thank you

Hello Val,
Let us go in a completely different direction first. Lying on your back pull first the normal knee to your chest and then towards the opposite shoulder. Then repeat with the naughty leg. Is there a significant difference in terms of stiffness and pain?

Now drop your knee into the lotus position. On comparing sides is there a noteworthy difference. You see, hip conditions classically cause thigh pain.

Now run your thumb with a little oil, starting at the ASIS (google it), through the groin and down the inner thigh. Is it particularly sensitive? Tell me where? Again, compare sides.

Lastly, take a needle and prick the side of your thigh, comparing sides. If there is a difference, use our site search to find meralgia paresthetica.

Where exactly do you get the thigh pain? Is it at the back, side, front or the inner side?

You make no mention of lower back pain; then I would ask other questions.

For example, sitting in a kitchen chair, if you straighten the naughty leg parallel to the ground is it much tighter than the other, and do you get back pain?

Give me precise answers please if you want a helpful answer.

Dr Barrie Lewis DC


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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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