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All confused on what the problem is?

tonybournettonybourne Posts: 10

I had a back injury approx 9 months ago and have since experienced pains in my buttocks, calfs and now what seems to be the soles/heels of my feet.

However, its not pain that spreads all the way down, it will either be just in my calf and in the last couple of weeks only in the soles/heels of my feet.

On a scale of 1 to 10 the pain is tolerable and perhaps 3-4 fortunately. However it shifts continually from one side to another and can be in just my buttock, calf or feet but never together. Its more like a dull ache and I've only really encountered slight stabbing pains in my calfs which was a number of months ago.

I've had periods being totally pain free i.e. 2-3 weeks, however I've now had pain in one area or another for approx 3 months. When I was pain free I did pay privately for a MRI which showed no problems. So I'm totally confused. I do take some medication but keep this to a minimum.

Any answers/suggestions or people who encountered similar conditions would be great.


  • i know your concern for these sensations. now i am not a dr so you cant take stock in what i say. but i do want to put you on a course of recovery.
    treat this like your lower lumbar disc is starting to go bad. dont lift anything heavy. use proper posture. dont sit for long periods of time without getting up and walking around. walk a lot....not all minor disc problems show up on mri. be carefull and it will go away....pete
  • I assume from your answer that you think it is actually a minor disc problem maybe between L5 and S1.


    Is it something else and that the course of recovery is similiar to that of a minor disc problem.

    Could it be damaged ligaments in my back?
  • go with the minor disc problem at l5/s1
  • Welcome to Spine Health. Did your doc ever give you a referral to Physical Therapy so that they could instruct you in stretching ad strengthening your core? Also they teach good body mechanics and lifting techniques to avoid injury or further injury.

    It's virtually impossible to say what could be causing your pain. The best person for that, is a trained specialist who can not only read your MRI instead of just the report as well as a hands on diagnostic exam.

    I would say that if you have the capability to see your doc, ask for a referral to a spine specialist and also a referral to Physical Therapy.

    Welcome aboard,

  • Before you get too fixated on this being a disc problem, you might consider that this a symptom of muscle spasm in the pelvis.
    After my back healed I am still going through a period of readjustment in my pelvis, glutes, piriforis, and hamstrings - all of which can press on that sciatic nerve.
    What you are feeling may very well be simple muscle spasm in the piriformis - because your symptoms sound very much like what I have. It may also be inflamation of the sacro-illiac joint, again another common problem from people who have serious back injuries - and sitting down all the time greatly contributes to it.
  • Many thanks for the replies - much appreciated,

    Surely if it were to be a disc problem then the pain would start at the top and travel all the way down to my feet. Instead my pain moves all round and is only present in one area at a time i.e. thighs or calfs or feet.

    Eigenvector, could you please explain to me exactly what pain you experienced and what treatment/exercises you carried out.

    I've gone down the physical therapy route and it seemed to really aggrevate the problem. i.e. when I've performed stretching etc I end up with shouting pains in my calfs instead of the usual dull ache I experience most of the time.
  • My treatment consisted of generic back strengthening exercise from the PT, however I never experienced sciatic pain until well AFTER my rehab was completed. Basically it manifested as a tingling sensation in my knee and shin, then a feeling of warmth in my shin and the top of my foot. Eventually the sciatica went away on its own, then came back after I made the mistake of overworking my back one day. This time the sciatica was much more persistant but less prominent. Again it was a feeling of heat in my foot, mostly my big toe, and some numbness in my big toe. That's currently what I'm dealing with, although it's essentially gone now. I had one bad episode where I laid down in bed and a burning tingling sensation shot up my leg and into my torso, but after sitting up it went away instantly. I talked to my Doc about it and he suggested that the sudden nature of the burning sensation made him believe it was related to a trapped nerve in my hip - otherwise it wouldn't have gone away that fast.
    But that's it for me, just this vague feeling of heat and numbness in my shin, and big toe that comes and goes depending upon my position and I ONLY feel it when sitting down and have my leg rotated to one side - which I guess is classic piriformis syndrome.

    It's easy to confirm, try stretching your piriformis, for me as soon as I tried it the muscle spasmed. Walking seems to help me. I've also considered the possibility that it may also be a circulation issue - perhaps a muscle is pinching a blood vessel, because wiggling my toes seems to make the numbness go away.
  • Hi,

    I don't seem to get any burning tingling sensations. What I do get is either a dull ache, but more recently a mild stabbing pain whichs can 1 minute be in my left calf and then swap totally to my right sole/heel of my foot.

    Any ideas still apreciated?
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