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Neurologic leg pain

whatafallwwhatafall Posts: 3
I am expierencing chronic pain(sciatica) in my left leg which extends from my buttocks to the end of my four small toes however my doctor is saying the pain is caused by scar tissue although he cannot tell me where the scar tissue is located. I can understand how scar tissue could cause a constant pain but I dont understand how it can be causing pain that increases with activity. If I go for a short walk my left leg will begin to stiffen up and radiate, the longer I walk the worse it gets. In my opinion there is something that is either swelling or rubbing against the nerve(S) and gets increasingly worse the more I use my leg. Can anyone help me with understanding how scar tissue can cause these symptome? Or has anyone had a similiar expierence? I think the diagnosis of scar tissue is lame and is being used to cover up that the doctor may not know what is wrong.

I was at work and fell 35 feet landing on my left buttock in 1994. I fractured my sacroilliac joint, split pelvis, burst L3 and broke both wrists. I was fused from T12-L2 until 2009 then L3 was added to make it a fusion from T12-L3. A 3rd surgery removed the hardware on the right side and a fourth surgery was needed to remove the hardware on the left side after a screw came out.

My sciatica was evident from the moment of impact and has never left. I have also had 3 surgeries to relieve the sciatica but neither surgery worked.


  • biobabe131bbiobabe131 Posts: 47
    edited 06/27/2012 - 5:23 AM
    Hi whatafall,

    I have heard about scar tissue causing sciatic pain. Here is a website I found earlier, while searching this topic: "ART® stands for Active Release Techniques®. It is a new and highly successful hands-on treatment method to address problems in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, ligaments, fascia, and nerves. What makes ART different from other treatments is that it is designed to identify and address scar tissue adhesions that are interfering with the normal function of the body. By locating and treating the soft-tissue adhesions with ART, it allows the practitioner to, 1) break-up restrictive adhesions, 2) restore normal nerve sliding and movement, and 3) more completely restore strength, flexibility, balance, and stability to the surrounding area.
    You can think of an ART® treatment as a type of active massage. The practitioner will first shorten the muscle, joint capsule, or nerve, and then apply a very specific tension with their hands as you actively stretch and lengthen the tissues. As the tissue lengthens the practitioner is able to assess the texture and tension of the tissue to determine if the tissue is healthy or contains scar tissue that needs further treatment. When scar tissue adhesions are felt the amount and direction of tension can be modified to treat the problematic area. There are over 500 specific ART® treatment protocols which allow the practitioner to “feel” which structures have become problematic and require treatment. In this sense, each treatment is also an assessment of the health of the area as we are able to feel where the problem is occurring.
    There are even specific ART® protocols that have been developed to facilitate proper sliding of the nerves between the muscles and muscle layers.
    An additional benefit of ART® is it can allow us to further assess and correct problems along the entire length of the Sciatic nerve. This ensures that all the soft tissues that have become dysfunctional and all potential entrapment sites are addressed, which helps ensure complete resolution of the problem.
    One of the best things about ART® is how fast it can get results. In our experience the majority of Sciatica symptoms that result from nerve entrapment in the hip or leg respond very well to ART® treatments, especially when combined with home stretching and strengthening exercises. Although each case is unique and there are several factors that will determine the length of time it will require to fully resolve each condition, we usually find a significant improvement can be gained in just 6-8 treatments – even in cases of longstanding symptoms that have not fully responded to other treatment approaches.. By what I have read, micro-tears in the muscle cause scar tissue to build up over time as part of a protective measure. I think that the adhesions can increase the pain with movement as the adhesions can cause the sciatic nerve to get "stuck" to the muscle, which compresses the nerve and increases the sciatica as a result."

    My sciatic nerve is compressed, but my doctors are still trying to figure out what is trapping it. I have had an MRI on my spine, so that seems ok, but I am waiting for an MRI on my pelvis/ hamstring area. My doctors believe scar tissue may be a possible cause of the compression. I have heard active release therapy (ART) may be able to help release the scar tissue.

    I too have a hard time walking very far. If I do too much movement my legs muscles get super tight and I can hardly move for days. Does this also happen to you?

    Hope your pain decreases soon and that you find a way to treat it!
  • Thank you biobabe131,
    I know it's been a while since you wrote that reply but it took me that long to find out I had posted a question here. ART is an Interesting technique, I will be seeing my PC doctor in the next 2 weeks and will be asking if he can find a person familiar with those techniques. If I can I will update this thread with any info I can. btw I still don't have a reliable diagnosis for my left leg.
    I hope you have found some relief since you replied and wish you the best.
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