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L4 nerve pain in my leg while running?

SoldierMomSSoldierMom Posts: 3
edited 01/15/2015 - 8:47 PM in Lower Back Pain
I broke my lower lumbar spine (L3-5) in a car accident in 2004. I joined the Army as soon as I was out of my brace. I experienced some numbness sometimes during ruck marches and while running holding a weapon. I've been in 10 years now and only experienced lower back pain occasionally. I had my second son in December of 2013 and I had sciatica with him. When I started running again, I initially had no issues. Last October, however, I started having pain down the side of my right leg after 10 minutes or so of running. It gets increasingly worse when I continue. A physical therapist informed me that a nerve that runs between two of my fractured vertebrae runs right down the side of my leg, where I'm experiencing the pain. She said when I run, my spine is compressing and pinching that nerve. My question is, why would this just start now, after 10 years of running with it, and what can I do to stop it from happening? I need to be able to run. Thank you!


  • LizLiz Posts: 7,832

    Liz, Spine-health Moderator

    Spinal stenosis since 1995
    Lumber decompression surgery S1 L5-L3[1996]
    Cervical stenosis, so far avoided surgery
  • Have you had it checked by a dr? Unfortunately we all age & so do our bodies. It could be wear & tear as part of ageing.
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • I have only seen a physical therapist. She recommended some core strengthening exercises which I admit I did for a while then fell off. I took 3 months off of running and just tried yesterday and still having the same problem. Are there braces or something I can wear when I run to absorb the shock of my running?
  • I'm not a runner so I don't know about braces.

    I'd go & see a dr for advice seeing as you've already had back problems. A lot of people on here have been told not to run while others have gotten back to it. I've never asked my surgeon as the only running I do is chasing the occasional child escape artist at work.

    Microdiscectomy L5S1 January 2014
    Microdiscectomy L5S1 March 2014
    Fusion L5S1 11th August 2014
  • Thanks for the advice, I'd really like to see a real doctor but unfortunately in the Army we just have PA's, physician assistants. Usually Soldiers go years needing surgery before getting it. The physical therapist wouldn't even do an MRI, she said unless I'm losing feeling in a limb or having incontinence issues, they won't do an MRI :/
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