Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!


Quick Start Forum Video Tutorial

Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

The main site has all the formal medical articles and videos for you to research on.

Lower back pain that radiates down leg and into foot

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,321
Hey all, first time post here with terrible pain. A little on the history here. Im a 29 year old male, 6-2, 185lbs. Ive had some mediocre back pain for a few years but nothing too bad and always went away after a few days. Anyways, last June i was lifting a trailer that was tongue heavy off and onto the ball of the truck and did this for about a week. I tried to lift it using my legs and all the correct techniques, but probably used the back some. Anyways, that weekend i played in a golf tournament and a few holes into it the back started hurting and on the second day, i took a couple swings and it floored me. I continued to play golf the rest of the year with a lot of back pain. Since then, ive had pain off and on with a really stiff back. Well last weekend i came down with a cold and bad cough. I was laying on the couch resting and i sneezed really hard and a violent pain shot down my leg and i knew something wasnt good there. Everytime i coughed pain would shoot down my leg. I went to the doctor on Monday for the cough as well as the back pain. They took an x-ray of my back and everything looked ok and the doctor said it was probably a herniated disk and gave me some NSAIDS that dont work and got me signed up for the PT. Ive been going now for 1.5 weeks and im very skeptical about what im doing there. Between going to the doctor and going to the PT (2-days), the pain became so bad that i had to basically walk with a limp and had to walk hunched over. The pain was/is still unbearable. The pain is really bad in the butt muscle and into the hamstring and then goes into my right foot and has a bad tingling feel. My foot is also always cold. I have also lossed control over my calf muscle. If i try to jump or raise my heel, i cant do it. When i flex my calf muscle, i can get about half a flex. Its been about 2 weeks now since the onset of all this and i still cant walk really. Like i said, i am skeptical on how this PT is going to work. All i do is do some stretches and he puts some ultrasound and shock therapy and then does some leg pulling (traction?). At this point, i do want to get rid of the pain, but more importantly i need to be able to walk normally for work. I am a land surveyor but can only walk about 5 minutes before my back muscles are so worn out from keeping my body upright that i have to sit down. What do some of you think? Do i really continue this Therapy? or should i look at other options already. I go back to my family doctor on the 26th to re-evaluate everything and see if we need to look at other options, but i feel like im wasting my money on this PT. Thoughts?


  • Sorry to hear about your back. Even though I am a woman, you are describing almost exactly what I went through last year. Especially with the muscle weakness and loss of ability to stand on your tip toe. When that happened to me, my ortho sent me to a neurosurgeon, who then did and mri which showed a disc herniation where the disc was strangling my nerve. He performed a microdiscectomy a week later. He told me that if you wait too long,(longer than maybe 3 months or so) you can have permanent nerve damage.
    He did my surgery Feb. 1st of 2008. It went extremely well, and within about 2 months I had almost all of my feeling back in my left leg and foot.The leg pain relief was almost immediate following surgery. I was back to better than normal in less than 12 weeks. I was back to running and in Aug. was able to do a half marathon. Good Luck!!
  • :D hi and welcome to the forum! =D> we are here to offer you support and answer what questions we can. i am sorry you are having chronic pain. ~X( i use a nerve pain medication for my sciatica. i have had good results despite a weight gain. please make yourself at home!! good luck as you search for pain relief! =D> Jenny :D
  • advertisement
  • Thanks for all of your replys. Do you think i should just go in and ask to get an MRI done. The pain is just as bad as when i went to the Doc the first time, but the tingling in the foot and muscle control in the calf has come on since then.
  • Your doctor should have had you do one right away to confirm it and know what level is implicated. Yes, pick up the phone and call the office.
    It is normal to be sent for PT because it is a part of conservative treatment for herniated discs. I think that you should be in the care of a spine specialist once you get the MRI. Family doctors don't have the training to deal with complex back problems like herniated discs with nerve involvement. A spine specialist might have you do PT and make sure it's someone qualified in dealing with this type of problem. They might sent you to have epidural steroid injections to help lessen the pain and inflammation.
    I had herniated 2 discs in my lumbar spine and had terrible nerve pain. I went through PT and injections and wound up having surgery to decompress the nerve. It's been a long hard road. I developed other problems later on and had a 2 level fusion with titanium rods and screws.
    I think you really need to contact your PCP and request to have an MRI, and take no for an answer. It's your back at stake here and you want to make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment so you don't wind up having chronic back pain. Take care
  • With the pain you describe it is almost a certainty that you have an L5-S1 herniation. Physical therapy will most likely make it worse. You need to get an MRI as soon as possible to confirm. Then they may want to try to get it to heal on its own with an epidural steroid injection (ESI). They may want to try this a couple of times before resorting to a microdiscectomy, where they cut off the herniated portion of the disc.
  • advertisement
  • I really think so. Like I said before, that is exactly what I went through.
  • I really think so. Like I said before, that is exactly what I went through.
  • Is the microdisectomy a procedure that i dont want to go through? From what i have read, it seems like my best option for the fastest recovery. I have read that the epidural doesnt work for most people. I really need to get this corrected now. I'd like to be able to play golf this spring and summer, but more off; We start the construction season in March, or whenever the ground is pretty much thawed out and need to be in the field as i am a land surveyor. i am ok inside for now as this time of year is pretty much all done in the office doing design work, and sitting in the chair all day really hurts my back as well, but at least its bearable
  • I had a microdiscecomy 3 months ago. I was not even in the hospital overnight. I was back at work in 2 weeks, and walking 45 minutes a day since then. I still have about half of the pain remaining. I am going back for an MRI next week to see if the disc is re-ruptured, broken, or if I now have scar tissue. They may tell me that it will just take longer for the nerves to heal as I had a severe L5-S1 rupture that was crushing the nerves for about 6 months as they wanted to try exhaust all non-surgical options first. I had 2 sets of epidural steroid injections and one selective nerve root block. The epidurals somewhat worked for awhile. The selective nerve root block did not work at all. They usually will not just immediately refer you for surgery no matter how much pain you are in. I would say my pain was about a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, at it's worst. Alternating Vicodin and Motrin 800's every 4 hours only knocked down the pain to about a 5. Not much of a life when you are in that much pain and still have to go to work every day.
  • i can tolerate a little bit of pain, but i need to be able to walk normal and able to carry my 30-50lbs of equipment and able to swing (windmill) a 8lb sledge hammer. Ive got a couple months to get to this point and i dont want to be all drugged up on valium or any of that, as i do a lot of calculations that i cant screw up.
Sign In or Register to comment.