HealthBoards (
-   Back Problems (
-   -   Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues. (

PetePJ 04-03-2019 10:33 AM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
So, I spent considerable time with my GP yesterday. He is of the opinion that the S1 radiculopathy is the main problem re: my back issues. I mentioned my concerns about the sensorimotor axonal polyneuropathy discovered by the neurologist, and he said he didnt think that was much of a factor with my problems - and that wouldn't be anything "sinister". My lumbar spine in general is a mess, with general foraminal narrowing and arthritis, so I'm sure that that needs attention. However having read up somewhat on what S.A.P. is all about, I'm not over the moon that something like that is put on the back burner, but I see the neurologist again in two weeks so will ask him of his opinion of how much of a factor that is; I'm certainly not happy to leave that unaddressed with no proper explanation. Meanwhile my GP really thinks I should go in for surgery on this S1 thing, and if thats whats causing my issues, he's probably right! At nearly 75 though, I'm really not up for that if I can help it.

teteri66 04-03-2019 11:25 AM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Sounds right to me! (based on the little I know about your situation). There is no urgency to learning more about the neuropathy because it will make little to no difference...but I donít know what you mean by ď sinister.Ē

There are very few neuropathies that are caused by something that can be addressed or reversed after the fact. Once you have it, there is no way to stop its progress...or, to predict IF it will continue to progress. Iím pretty sure mine has been gradually moving up out of my foot and ankle as the years go by. Without seeing my neurologistís records, I donít know for sure, but it certainly feels lik3 I am getting more numb and it is creeping up my calf.

Before you can contemplate surgery and decide if it is worth it to you, you need to know specifically what needs to be done! If you could get by with a decompression at one level, recovery would be much, much easier than if you need a fusion in addition to the decompression.

Canít remember if you have had a recent MRI? Did the GP suggest you make an appointment with an orthopedic spine or neuro surgeon?
Those specialists will provide you with the most accurate diagnosis and plan for treatment. Some (but, alas, not all) surgeons are very conservative and will only suggest surgery if it is truly the best option. They will usually recommend all conservative treatments first...such as physical therapy, a series of epidural steroid injections, etc. You do not have spine surgery for pain relief but to stabilize an unstable spinal segment and for nerve compression.

PetePJ 04-03-2019 01:34 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Thank you for your response. I have no idea what my GP meant by "sinister" either, but that was what he said; Maybe he felt I would worry too much if he didnt beef his statement up a bit! I go back to the neurologist in two weeks so I'll ask him for further clarification. All that was suggested when I went to him previously though was Topical Cream and physiotherapy, so other than the ability for it to progress, he cant be too concerned! What I do know though is that my widespread symptoms have spread alarmingly in a very short space of time. As I sit typing on a padded chair, the tingling buzzing sensations are pulsating through the backs of my legs into my rear end! My entire legs back and front are engulfed in this issue.

Re: An MRI, yes I had one about 10 days ago, but I have to find another spine surgeon since the existing one doesnt take my insurance any longer; quite a process finding one!

By the decompression at one level, you still meant surgery I imagine?

teteri66 04-18-2019 06:20 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Whatís going on now? Have you learned anything further?

My neuropathy changes all the time. About two months ago, it was scaring me as I felt like it was changing so quickly. Now it is back to being the way it was. But my feet feel a little different almost every day...some days much worse than others....

PetePJ 07-02-2019 04:22 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Okay, firstly my sincere apologies for taking so long to get back to you; unavoidable but none the less I didn't mean to appear rude.

So...I've made quite a lot of progress regarding the various back pain issues. My pain management doc seems to have got his recent epidurals spot on for me, and they're coping with the general back pain issues very well.

Not so good on the lower leg issues though; All of the specialists have differing opinions about what is causing my problems, and none of them agree with each other. My GP is of the opinion that my multiple lumbar issues are the culprit, although the neurosurgeon (who was in far too much of a hurry with me) doesn't agree. He says that I wouldn't get the type of problems I have simultaneously in both legs at the same time if it were lumbar issues. My GP however thinks that with the nerves on both sides of my lumbar spine being so totally choked up, thats entirely possible?

What I do know is that of late, my lower legs go steadily numb and tingly when I sit on a hard chair for a long period. When that sets in, it doesn't subside all that quickly even if I stand up or move around. It seems to get steadily worse until I go to bed. Its always ALL cleared up in the morning, and walking or standing doesn't seem to bring it on; just sitting for a long period at my computer seems to be the trigger. I dont get cold feet to go with this, but I guess that doesn't necessarily rule out a circulation issue? (my blood flow has been checked properly and is apparently OK?) About all I do in a day is sit at my computer, until of late the dreaded symptoms drive me off! Any thoughts?

Titchou 07-03-2019 04:04 AM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
This may sound simplistic but can you put a cushion in the chair or get a new chair?

PetePJ 07-04-2019 01:12 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Yes it is decidedly simplistic. I guess I asked for that by leaving the bit about my chair til' the tail end of my message. I should say though that my chair is a new deluxe type padded office chair. Used conventionally, It doesn't help my ongoing lower leg issues,
but I have just come to realise that if I put a fairly solid eight inch wide pillow under the forward part of my rear end behind my knee's, it greatly relieves the tingling etc in my lower legs. Pressure at that point seems to be cutting the symptoms out a lot. I had hoped that would generate one or two ideas about what my problem is i.e. trapped nerves, bloodflow etc? (although circulation is OK apparently).

Titchou 07-04-2019 06:23 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
It would seem that getting the right positioning for your hips is key. When I first went to PT,they spent the first 3 sessions trying to get my hips level and in the correct position. My chiro does the same thing.Says his goal is to get an additional 3mm of tilt.All seems to have helped tremendously.

MSNik 07-05-2019 07:15 AM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
My husband has suffered with similar symptoms and its being written off as "sciatica" for the most part. PT has helped him tremendously. He can go for weeks now without pain.

When he does not do the exercises they give him, the pain starts up again. Try PT you have nothing to lose!

PetePJ 07-05-2019 04:17 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Thank you both for those helpful suggestions.

As we speak, so far today, I've had no 'symptoms' from the lower leg issues, whatever they might be. I'm all bound up with the heavy duty back brace to deal with the lumbar issues, but I've come to expect that. So far though nothing from the legs; No pins and needles, no trembling, no feeling of TENS type electricity running into my feet and up my legs - nothing. So what on earth can it be that can come and go, and on a bad day send me to bed to get to sleep?

I'm interested in the hip alignment suggestion, since I do have an imbalance of the sacrum together with scoliosis. My SI joins are somewhat tender so the hips could be perhaps out of whack? I'm told that a trade-off of the lumbar rhizotomy (which I had 6 months ago) can be irritation to the SI joints. I never had a problem there prior to that, so that could be a factor. What on earth could the problem be that goes away under certain circumstances? Surely that factor should rule out a lot of issues? Got to go, sat down at the computer has started the tingling in my toes off!

Titchou 07-05-2019 05:58 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Because of the tilt, etc. of the pelvis. It's connected to your spine so if it isn't level, the spine is compromised as well. Look at a skeleton and imagine raising one hip slightly and what that would do to the spine. Made perfect sense when they explained it to me...and even more once they got me in alignment!

krypton488 09-12-2019 05:37 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Yes, perhaps try a new chair.

teteri66 09-13-2019 08:21 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Maybe you could get one of those desks that can lower and rise, so you could stand at least for part of the day.

I would assume the spine doc checked for a spondylolisthesis. This is where one vertebra slips over the top of the adjacent is a cause of instability and can cause pain in both legs. It is most common at L4-5 followed by L5-S1

PetePJ 12-09-2020 12:50 PM

Re: Unbearable leg pain - from Spinal Issues.
Hello all,

I am currently continuing with epidurals regarding the many lumbar spine issues I have. Generally speaking I think things are as good as they're going to get regarding low back pain management, I dont think there's a lot more can be done. Also, the alcohol induced neuropathy I have in the feet is I think as stable as its going to be. If it comes on I just have to put up with it.

My biggest problem remains the tingling and buzzing that prevails in both of my legs. I dont believe the problem is a continuation of neuropathy into both of my feet. The biggest problem with this is that as bad as the symptoms get, with buzzing, tingling, and crawling in the flesh of my legs, the symptoms go away when I'm asleep, and I generally wake up with all the symptoms gone! It makes no sense. If I take things easy throughout a day, I sometimes dont get any discomfort at all. What on earth creates symptoms like, that go away when I go to bed? I suppose I'm lucky that symptoms do go away at night, but I really dont want to put up with days of it when it rears its head!

Any thoughts? I believe the specialists have given up on me!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:34 PM.