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Burning pain to just tightness in leg?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
I was curious if anyone has had their on going sciatic pain in their leg change in feeling?

I have sciatica down the back of my leg into my toes for over a year now. It was always a burning sensation down the leg and tingly toes.
Now for the past 2 months it has changed to a feeling of Tightness mostly down the side of my innner thigh (some days down the back of leg). I still have tingly toes.

I also find that i can't stand on my bad leg now because it gets soooo tight. I could stand on it more easily when it was just the burning sensation. I also get relief when i lay down (NO LEG PAIN At ALL- except tingly toes). With the leg pain, it's only tight when i stand or walk on it.

Does anyone know why my leg pain has changed from burning to tightness? And why does it get tight now when i just stand? I use to stand no problem with the burning pain, but now i can't stand very long.

Thanks :)


  • I am actually grateful that you sent your message and mentioned that you have real tightness up the back of your thighs as opposed to the sciatic pain which you used to have down the back of your legs and into your toes. I still have the tingling in the toes and outpart of my foot. And you are so right about the tightness in the thighs and legs being a hindrance to standing up and walking with ease. The tightness throws me off balance and it makes it hurt more when I walk.

    Per my PT, I do do "nerve glides" 2x a day to loosen up the sciatic nerve and that helps somewhat but does not get rid of the constant pulling I feel. I have been very discourage about this new development and want to find out what I can do to treat it!?!?! I see my Pain Mgmt Dr. on Sept. 8th and if I find out any new information, I will let you know.

    Perhaps others here in the Forum can post about their similar experiences. Keep the faith!! Stay hopeful!!

    Richard J.
    Chicago :H
  • yep same with me very tight leg, do you guys get buzzing(not pins and needles) along the leg becuase of the muscle tightness?
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  • i guess u could say that i get a buzzing type feeling when i extend my leg....along the nerve as I extend the leg...tingling or zinging....

    i still would like to know what can be done to help get rid of this muscle tightness in the back of the thighs?? I see my Phsyical Med. Dr. on Monday...so will let you know what she says...
  • What tests have you had? Are either of you working with any kind of spine specialist?

    I went through many changes in my sciatica over the years and even now in my recovery.

    Last year I was doing the flossing stretches and they helped relieve the spasms, but never fixed it.

    Good luck,

  • Thanks for your comment Julie. If you mean by the "flossing exercise" the extension of the leg while laying on your back and then bringing the lower leg down while bending at the knee; and then extending the lower leg again as far / high as it will go....my Dr. calls this the "nerve glide"...yes I do this several times a day and it was helping to relieve the tightness. But not so much anymore...the muscles in my hamstrings are just pulled tight and I can't get them to relax. I see my Physical Medicine Dr. on Monday.

    I am treated on a regular basis at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, one of the best in the country. I see Pain Mgmt Dr. / Dr. of Physical Medicine, and PT's. I also have a spine specialist at Northwestern University here in Chicago who did my spinal fusion of L4L5S1 in Feb. or 2005.

    The spine surgeon said that further surgery would require undoing the titanium metal cage of the fusion and putting in longer rods to extend to L3L4 so the fusion would then go from L3 to S1 (4 level fusion). The recovery would be fairly long just like last time; having to wear the TLSO brace for 3 months, lots of PT etc. And he said the chances of this surgery relieving my foot drop situation would be only 50-50.

    I am going to ask about either more PT; chiropractic which they offer; massage; perhaps more spinal injections. My ability to walk is getting less and less and I am scared.

    Will write more after Monday's Dr's appt.

    Have any of you had this prolonged muscle tightness in conjunction with your sciatica, stenosis, etc???

    Thanks much. O:)

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  • Richard it sounds like you are working with the right people.

    Good luck,

  • Thank you Julie for the info on how to edit my signature. Hopefully it will appear below.

    Richard O:)
  • I saw my PM Dr. / also a Dr. of Physical Medicine. She examined me thorougly and she said that what I have (the pain and tightness in the butt and hamstrings) is another flare up of sciatica. And she expects it to either go away or subside in some period of time.

    Meanwhile she started me on Suboxone for pain management. We had talked about taking Suboxone at my last visit; and I researched it as well. I took my first dose in her office and then she had me stay one hour to check for any side effects. Right now the main side effect I have is dizziness. It's annoying and may interfer with my getting around for a couple days...we will see. She also gave me her "pager number" to call her if I need to....and I really appreciated that.

    So...that's my update....btw the Suboxone is helping relieve the pain!

    Take good care everyone!

    Richard J.
  • Thanks for the input everyone.

    I too think it is just another form of sciatica, but i am hoping that it also means it's getting better. At least it's not the burning pain, but the stiffness is a real pain when it comes to standing and walking.
    I also forgot to mention that i get groin pain now when walking when i never use to, as well as some hip pain. It's a real tight and achey feeling. Does anyone experience the same symptoms along with the stiff/tight hamstrings?

    I'm glad that you are getting some relief Richard with the medication. Lets hope things only get better from here.

    Oh... and i only get the buzzing feeling in my toes, not down my leg anymore.
  • Hi ,
    First sorry your having some problems.

    This is what my leg pain is. I do not know if it will help anyone reading this or even myself.

    When I start off walking my ankles get very tight. I cannot bend them. Like they feel "twisted" Then it gradually goes up both legs into my hips. I get sharp pain in my hips(then turns to "stiff" and its almost like my legs "freeze up".I either have to sit or find something to lean against as I cannot put any pressure on the bottom of my feet. Once I sit down it eases after about 15 min.
    I can only walk for about 1-2 minutes and this all starts.
    Its very painful.

    I do not know if this helps at all my explanation of things.
    We are not sure what it is. We will know after my second PLIF for a revision next week...

    Good luck to all of those having issues with their legs!! >:D< >:D< >:D< >:D<
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