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tingling sensation near crotch, L5 S1 protrusion, travelling in two weeks

kaifmahmoodkkaifmahmood Posts: 12
I have to make a very important decision soon and since it has got to do with my back problems, I would be really interested in what people on this forum have to say.

I have been troubled by a disc protrusion at L5 S1 since January 2008. Earlier the pain was only in my lower back but since June 2009, I usually get most of the pain in my feet and legs. Last month I met a new physiotherapist who added more exercises to my exercise plan and that has made my pain quite bearable (On a scale of 0 - 10, 5 being the limit above which I cannot ignore the pain and need to do something about it, my pain is 2-3 on most days, or is not there at all. Once in 8-9 days or so it does go up to 7). Probably the protrusion had become worse because I had not been doing the right exercises.

In two weeks time, I plan to go to England for studies for a year. My orthopedic doctor said I am unnecessarily worried and I should go and I agreed with him till yesterday.

Yesterday I tried picking up my packed suitcase (about 15 kg/ 33 lbs) and placing it on and off the bed twice - a movement similar to what I will be required to do at the airport, etc. I wanted to see if I can do this without pain and using the proper lifting techniques I have read about on this website. Lifting it was no problem, but about 10 minutes later I started to get pain in both feet and more worryingly, a tingling sensation down both legs and a slight tingling sensation around the perineum, genitals and buttocks. I have had this tingling in these last 3 areas a couple of times before since August but ignored it. It always goes in about half a day or so. Yesterday too, it went after some hours.

As I understand it, this is the sciatic nerve or some other nerve getting irritated. I am afraid that if I do this kind of lifting I may damage the nerve to the extent that I lose bowel and bladder control (that has not happened at all yet) and have paralysis. If this happens while I am in England, it will be also be a huge hole in my pocket to pay for the treatment. Since I am going for a long time, I will have lots of stuff to carry on my journey (perhaps 2 suitcases of 25 kg/55 lbs). I can get help at the airports, but I am not sure whether I will get it every time I need it all the way from my city to London to Cambridge.

My condition here in India seems quite comfortable because my pain is either not there or mild and the new exercises seem to be helping me. But in the year that I spend in England I may have to do stuff that worsens my condition.

I got an MRI done and will show it to another doctor and my physiotherapist next week to get their opinion, but I would also like to know what people here think of this.

I am sorry for such a long report of my condition. Basically I would like to know

a- if this reminds you of some of your own experiences and what you have learnt from that.

b- does a mild tingling sensation around the genitals mean I should be alarmed, or is there a very long way from mild tingling to losing bowel/bladder control?



  • But if I were you I would see a doctor for a second opinion. The tingling in the genitals does warrent further testing. It is not something you want to overlook with your doctor or any doctor for that matter.
    For me it was a short step from tingling to loosing control of bladder and bowels. Please don't wait to tell your doctor about this.

    As for lifting and carring such heavy suitcases, I can't lift nor move something that weighs that much anymore as my back has gotten so much worse. I used to work in nursing homes and had to lift patients that weighed far more than that.

    Talk to your doctor, don't put that off.

    Good luck on your trip.
  • i cant tell you about how serious your spine is but i know two smaller bags would be better than one. also a nylon/elastic back brace would allow you to lift more without as much stress to your spine.
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  • thanks for the replies!

    pete, i don't think i will be really carrying anything on my back but if i do i will remember what you said.

    achin, yes i am seeing another doc this week. how are you doing now? did you manage to regain bowel and bladder control after surgical intervention?
  • I have not had any surgery to help with that issue. I am using meds to help for now, so far so good lol.

    Hope you get some answers soon about your back and congrats on studing abroad. It really is something you don't want to miss.

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