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AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
Does anyone know any information on atrophy due to a pinched nerve? I have had a pinched nerve (L4) since November and have atrophy in my left leg. I am wondering if it will max out at any point?


  • Hi Tamara,
    I have a bulging disc between L3 and L4 for about one year now. I have had a couple of serious bouts of atrophy in my left thigh. Both times to the extent that my legs looked like they were from two different people.

    Like I said it has been a year so most of my leg muscle has grown back each time. Each time I reinjure (repinch my nerve) my thigh atrophies, but each time less and less.

    My left thigh is still smaller and weeker than my right, but I feel like I may be coming out of the woods as I have some days that are nearly pain free.

    I don't know if this information helps but, yes after each injury me leg strength did return but it has yet to return to preinjury level. And I know that if I am agressive lifting or excersing I could easily reinjure myself and be right back where I started with seroius leg atrophy.

    I am curious as to what your doctor told you about your atrophy, as mine said that it would just grow back.

    Stay strong, I know that when I feel my muscle atrophy it has a real severe psycological effect on me.
  • Hi,
    The leg atrophy has had a psychological effect. I have always been very active and muscular . I had been dancing at least 1-2 hrs a day for several years. The NS mentioned it to his medical student and didn't say amything to me directly . I was in shock and had the Physical Therapist measure it and sure enough it was an inch smaller. That was in January .... I am sure it is worse now. It is in the area that I have the sensory issues from the L4 nerve being compressed.
    I, too have been avoiding surgery. I have had this issue since November. I seem to be able to controll the pain with walking (3 miles a day), icing, and the inversion table.
    I can't say that I have been impressed by my medical care. I have done a ton of my own research to figure most things out.
    Keep me posted on your progress.

  • Hi Tamara,

    Some things you said in your reponse I found interesting. For instance, you said that you have been very active all your life before your injury. So was I. As a matter of fact I was working out so agressively that I think it may have played a role in my injury. Another interesting fact is that there is not many people that I have heard of with atrophy. I find it interesting that we were both very active and now have leg atrophy.

    I presently deal with my leg and back pain by stretching and swimming. There is no way I can walk for long distances. Like I said I got into a cycle of reinjuring myself and reatrophy for too long so be careful.

    You said you have done a ton of reaserch, I would be interested in any information you have that you think can help. Thanks.

  • From what I can gather the atrophing should max out at about 5 or 6 monthes.
    I find that if I can wlak about 3 miles a day I am in good shape for the rest of the day. The first .5 mile is usually tough but I can tell by then if I can continue or not.

    Also, if I can sort of get the pain to localize in my back I am in much better shape. I can do this sometimes by arching my back like in the Yoga Cobra pose.

    On a "good " day I get up take advil, go on the inversion table for 15 minutes. exercise for 15 minutes and try to walk 3 miles. Then I ice my back for 15 minutes, exercise another 30 minutes and invert for another 15 minutes. This seems to put me in shape to be on my feet for the day.
    Unfortunately on a bad day I can't walk beyond a half a mile.

    I also use one of those exercise balls as a chair when i am at home. It seems with my core.


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