Thanks for taking the time and reading my concern and I highly appreciate your advise.
I injured my lower back in October which lead to a slight bulge in the L3-L4 and L4-L5 of the spine. At the time my doctor advised exercises to close the bulge and nothing more.
However, since then my situation has gotten worse and I've started experiencing symptoms of sciatica - tingling in the legs, mild bands of nerve pain along the thighs, shin, pain in the lower back when I bend forward, etc - all of it triggered as soon as I sit in my office chair or on the floor.
In addition to these symptoms I experience tingling in the head (and sometimes in the face) as soon as I sit in my chair. Along with the tingling I also feel pressure exerted outward from within the top and side of the head. Tingling is also felt when I move my neck sideways while seated.
As soon as I get up from the chair and start moving around I feel better.
Based on the little knowledge I have about of the human nervous system, the sciatic nerve only runs down the lower body. Why would sitting and (possibly) irritating the sciatic nerve cause tingling in the head?
It appears that I have problems both in the lower back and the upper back, which worries me.
What would you advise me to do?
You almost certainly have two different problems, one in the lower back, and one in the neck.
In theory, it's possible for a condition called cervical spinal stenosis - a narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck - to effect the legs, but it's unlikely. The fact that you get tingling in the legs when you bend forwards, and sit, points to the lower back.
When movements of your head and neck cause tingling in the arms, then you can be sure it's coming from your neck too.
Get X-rays of both your neck and back, and start looking for a doctor / chiropractor / physiotherapist who can address these problems.
The chair is often the biggest enemy. Try and sit less especially in the luxury comfortable chairs. And the car.
Ice is your best friend for pain, see our latest newsletter.
Do our lower back exercises EVERY morning before getting out of bed, but avoid any exercises that involving lifting the head - that will affect the neck condition adversely. Do them as often as possible.
I hope this contributes.
Dr. Barrie Lewis