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what relieves radiculopathy symptoms in the legs?

KimD592KKimD592 Posts: 435
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Chronic Pain
Over the past couple of weeks, I've developed numbness and tingling in my legs and feet, accompanied by muscle spasms and electrical shock-type pains in both legs and feet. It's been really bad over the past few days, to the point that my legs have given out on me on several occasions, and I'm having trouble walking. My mid to lower back has been extremely painful as well. Is there anything that can relieve these symptoms in my legs? I've been trying to ignore it, but it's becoming completely disruptive. Initially it would happen just on occasion, but now it's all of the time. There are areas on my feet and legs that are numb to touch.


  • Kim, have you read any of the articles posted on spine-health? When I first joined here I was overwhelmed, but quickly learned that this site was a wealth of information. Did your Dr. Rx anything for your nerve pain, mention sending you to PT or offer any other treatments before surgery? If your symptoms are that uncomfortable it is probably something you need to discuss with your Dr/s.

  • I also think you should consult with your specialist asap. It sounds like things might be getting serious and you don't want to fool with this kind of pain. It never hurts to get a consult, and know what is going on.

    I also have residual radiculopathy but no numbness. I am not a doctor and can't give medical advice but when you are in increasing pain coupled with numbness, be pro active. If your current doctor won't answer your questions or give you the time of day, find one that will.

    It is your body and your pain, and you should not have to be suffering if it can be avoided, nor do you want permanent nerve damage...not suggesting that this is what is going on, as I don't know.

    I have been blessed with a great surgeon and pain management doctor who take lots of time talking with me, and giving me options, but had to look long and hard.

    Good luck!

  • Thank you both for your responses. I have tried PT along with various other conservative treatments that they typically recommend with spine issues. Currently, they have not prescribed anything for nerve pain. I plan to call and ask tomorrow. I am under the care of a NS, who has recommended surgery, which is tentatively scheduled for June 8th. However, I am getting a second opinion first, and I'll definitely mention it to him.
  • Definitely get as many opinions as you need to feel comfortable. You didn't mention what tests have been done (MRIs?) and what was found to warrant surgery and where. I have neck and lower back issues and have had radiating pain down the legs and numbness in my right foot as well as pain in arms. I was told by multiple surgeons that cervical trumps lower back and must be addressed first. I had the cervical surgery (ACDF) 3 weeks ago, and at least thus far it has helped the pain in my legs (although it hasn't totally gone away)and still have some numbness in my foot.

    At least I can walk more normally. I am interested to see if my balance improves over time.

    Take care,

    4 level ACDF C4-C7 5-2-11, laminectomy & discectomy L4-L5 1/26/12, ALIF L4-5, L5-S1 12/10/12.
  • Fortunately, I have not had to contend with cervical issues so I can't help you there. But I would still consult with your doctor about what he/she considers normal at this stage in your cervical recovery. Also look on this site for more information about what people have experienced and what tests are possible.

    For lower back usually MRI's and CAT Scans are used, but it varies from doctor to doctor. Again, I can't give medical advice, but encourage you to ask lots of good questions from your doctor, and if you are getting them to your satisfactions, seek a second opinion.

    That is what I did and I am very glad for it. I wish I had done it sooner. It would have saved me lots of pain and unnecessary tests, and surgery... but it is all a learning process. Remember there is a lot they don't understand about what causes pain and what relieves it. We are all individuals and respond in an unique fashion to each treatment.

    All the best, my thoughts are with you-

  • Well, the numbness in my right arm seems to be better today, so perhaps it was just a fluke? I'll still mention it to the doctor, but for now at least that part is okay. I continue to have a pins and needles sensation in my legs, along with what feels like electrical shocks going down both legs. I had both an MRI and a CT myelogram done (both of the thoracic spine), and both showed several herniations, two of which are compressing the spinal cord. I'm hoping to hear back from the NS's office at UPenn today, to see about setting up an appt for a second opinion. I'm hoping they can squeeze me in prior to June 8th, which is when my surgery is scheduled for. But if they can't, then I'll obviously postpone the surgery until I get the second opinion.
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