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Lower back pain that radiates through butt, hip, leg. Burning and tingling in toes

merrie-girlmmerrie-girl Posts: 4
edited 04/15/2014 - 3:34 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am a new member and am tring to post in the right spot (hopefully) I searched around for a while on here and read some articles and posts, but can't seem to find anyone with my particular symptoms (maybe because I am not looking in the right place so sorry if that is true).

Here goes.. I am a 30 year old female in relatively good health. I have a history of lower back pain that radiates down my right leg (through my butt). This has occurred off and on for several years, since I was approximately 17. Sometimes it is so bad I can't even put weight down on my leg, other times I am able to deal with it ok with advil and a heating pad at night.

My job, which is in a casual pizza/sandwich shop seems to make it worse. Lots of standing in one spot, hunched over a counter, or if not doing this then lifting things, cleaning things, etc. I did go to my primary doctor when I was about 20 with this complaint, and he sent me for a X-ray, nothing there. I went to physical therapy for as long as insurance would allow, about three months, but it did not seem to help very much and there was never any actual diagnosis other than lower back pain. The pain continued but since nothing was found I stopped complaining, what is the point. (I also had some other issues, endometriosis and cysts that I was dealing with at the time and there is only so many doctors I can handle or afford.)

Anyway, fast forward to why I sought out this forum. I have recently (in the last 9 months or so) started to experience the additional joy of my toes in my right foot burning, tingling (not the athlete's foot type either :) , and sometimes throbbing pain. It does not seem to have much to do with anything I am doing, although it occurs more when I am standing than laying down. I did mention it to my doctor (a neurologist I see for migraines I have due to hormone therapy after a complete hysterectomy) and he did some physical tests to rule out MS, told me to change my shoes and stay off my feet more?

Well, I have changed my shoes several times much to my pocketbook's dismay, lol, and tried staying off my feet, not doing anything for me. Now I have been dealing with the back, butt, leg, pain for a long time with no complaint, but not sure if the burning, tingling, throbbing toes brings this to a new level. Or where I should head if it does. I have to say that I had more than my fill of doctors' appointments (no offense to any doctors) during and after my hysterectomy last year, so I haven't really been looking forward to opening up this can of worms, but now I am to the point where I can barely or not really do my job, and it is interfering with my personal life greatly as well. I have actually been looking for a less strenuous job, but don't know if that will help or not as it hurts when I am at home or out shopping too. So, any pointers, tips for the type of doctor I should try to see, if I should indeed see someone, questions I should ask, would be welcome. Sorry so long and hopefully I have covered all the bases. Sorry if I am repeating others' questions or story here.


  • DaveFusionDDaveFusion Posts: 476
    edited 12/28/2012 - 12:57 AM
    Your story sounds (unfortunately) like the classic sciatic, 'pinched nerve', story. (Been there, done that.)

    It's great that you have started to look around here. A great place to get stuck into learning this sciatica stuff is with the info in the FAQ at the top of the page.

    Then check out http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica (This info could also be found by navigating to the menu 'Treatment' tab (at top of page) --> then 'Sciatica' in drop down box.)

    Regarding treatment, you will come across this info, http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/sciatica/sciatica-treatment

    A few here were just discussing the importance of knowing, understanding and finding info to make treatment decisions just before reading your post, see http://www.spine-health.com/forum/treatment/back-surgery-and-neck-surgery/l5s1-microdiscectomy-newbie - there's info there that's relevant to you too.

    Suggest your next step be to get a referral to a good spinal specialist surgeon. In the Medical section of the FAQ, there is link to info on what type of doctor to see. Also, there are 3 links to discussions and suggestions on what to ask and how to prepare for the consultation with the surgeons. Additionally, there is also a link to 'finding a good surgeon' there as well. So lots of good stuff there. Note, surgeons! Always get more than one spinal surgeon opinion! I got 4!
  • merrie-girlmmerrie-girl Posts: 4
    edited 12/28/2012 - 2:09 AM
    Hi thaks for the links. I did go through the sciatica stuff before I posted, as well as the article on common causes of lower back pain bf I posted. There just seems to be so many different issues that can cause similar sciatic symptoms, its definitely impossible to try to play dr :( sigh, oh well. I am going to look at the links for finding a good surgeon, I feel like I am jumping the gun, but I guess it has been years of this, and now is getting worse, so I should just suck it up and see someone who knows what they are doing. I just really hate going to the dr's. Seen too many of them already, but I really hate pain too so I that is probably my answer huh :) I am about to switch jobs (hopefully) and will be then switching insurances, should I wait until the new one kicks in to follow up on this? I dont know if the back issue will be covered by the new company if there is a gap in insurance (which there would be). Well, might not even get the desk job so maybe getting too excited. Anyway, thank you for the links, I appreciate any guidance.
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  • Welcome. I also suggest seeing a good spine specialist, fellowship-trained and one that only works on spines. X-rays may not show what's happening. I can say that your symptoms mimic my lumbar stenosis, with standing and walking hurting like crazy and bending forward or sitting relieving the pain.

    Just because you see a surgeon (if you do) doesn't necessarily mean surgery. They usually have conservative methods to try first and generally insurance requires it anyway.

    As for the insurance gap, i believe that as long as its not more than 60 days, it's no problem. Otherwise, try to find gap insurance in any case.

    I know you're tired of doctors, but try and catch this as quickly as possible so you can get it treated without surgery if at all possible.

    Take care and please keep us posted!
  • So I just thought I'd say thanks first off. And second, since I have been internally (and externally) debating going to the dr's, now I have new pain in my back on the left side and going through that side of my buttocks and left leg. Also my shoulder on the right side, so...Guess its hiho hiho, off to the dr's I go on my next day off. :( I didnt even think it was possible to have sciatic (like) pain in both legs. Is it? And why my shoulder, maybe not a thing to do with the back crap but still, What the heck! Oh well, done complaining. Oh wait one more, did not get the less strenuous job I was hoping for, I was their second choice. Anyway, thanks again. My dr. cant even remember that I had a hysterectomy, so I am going to probably just ask for a referal, although there are no spine specialist that I could see in my state (maine). Wish me luck.
  • I'm dealing with lower back pain and butt pain numbness in right foot, three toes,lower right side of my leg and its been like that for seventeen months now,I've had lower back since I was 25 just dealt with it now its getting worse I have throbbing and tingling in my legs and feet .just wondering how your doing?
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  • You should go to a Spine Dr and get an MRI so they can look at your discs and see if you are herniated. They cannot tell by a mere x-ray. I've been dealing with spinal issues for 13 years. Sometimes they can go in and "clip off" herniations sticking into your nerves or spninal cord. Sometimes if your discs are just gone or completely herniated you may need a fusion. Also if you get a fusion you can just about depend on it weakening the above or below discs and then you are looking at more fusions. I have had GREAT success with cervical fusions (2) so four levels in the neck. I've also have the L5-S1 fused and as of 8 months ago L2and L3 fused and total disc replacement. As of late I have bent over to push with palms on a plant tub and now I am having stabbing pains in my lower back and tailbone then to left butt cheek and into the hip severe making me limp. Also the outer part of the femur and wrapping aroung to inner thigh all on the left side. I fear I have yet herniated something AGAIN.
    Sherrie Sweets
  • SherrieSweetsSherrieSweets Posts: 10
    edited 05/22/2013 - 5:01 AM
    I have found while heat feels great it is NOT what you want to use. You must use ice packs. I use gel ice packs and keep two in the freezer (the big ones) you can get them at just about any chiropractor office. Ice will reduce inflammation WAY more than heat will. IF you keep the two handy you will always have a cold one at the ready. You will find WAY more relief in using ice. Just a good tip as I have 8 levels of spinal fusions and and DDD bigtime. Us pain people gotta stick together.
    Sherrie Sweets
  • I have a physical therapist who knows backs well (her husband has had two back surgeries and sees a lot of us bad back people). She helped me get in comfortable positions and knows the right pace to go.

    But, before you dive into a PT, go see your doctor. The PT needs to know what is going on to properly treat you; experimenting to figure it out likely won't hurt you more, but won't speed the recovery. Many disc issues can be treated with PT. knowing where the issues are takes an MRI from what I know.

    The good news is that there are paths to recovery. None are "quick" - but there is a path.
    L5-S1 herniation (10mm), April 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy May 1st 2013

    Lumbar Laminectomy April 18th 2016

  • I have been at this since 2003 when I hurt my back. The quick and seemingly easy option given a lot is surgery. I was skeptical and so questioned my father about the surgery done on his spine. I found that the damage that takes place when a surgeon goes into your back can far out weigh the damage already in existence. I have been told by one doctor he wanted to fuse three discs and shave two. When asked what pain I would be in afterward he was unable to give me a straight answer. I saw another surgeon that informed me to never let anyone cut into my back, due to the severity of the damage it could leave me paralyzed. When I questioned a third he told me that he wanted to wait until there was no other alternative but to operate.

    Now my case is unique. I have severe damage and so have severe consequences if a surgery does not go exactly to plan, zero margin for error. So, do as I did and speak to a few Orthopedic Surgeons before committing to any solution. There is usually more than a singular option and there is new technology being developed often to help those of us with bad backs.

    Btw, I chose to do nothing but pain management (without narcotics) and core strengthening exercises until I can no longer stand the pain and then will be revisiting my options. Which after 10years looks to be happening soon.
  • GwenwivarGGwenwivar Posts: 2
    edited 06/30/2013 - 9:12 PM
    SherrieSweets said:
    I have found while heat feels great it is NOT what you want to use. You must use ice packs. I use gel ice packs and keep two in the freezer (the big ones) you can get them at just about any chiropractor office. Ice will reduce inflammation WAY more than heat will. IF you keep the two handy you will always have a cold one at the ready. You will find WAY more relief in using ice. Just a good tip as I have 8 levels of spinal fusions and and DDD bigtime. Us pain people gotta stick together.

    Ice is great for swelling but horrible for increasing circulation needed for healing. It is best to find what the doctor recommends before icing or heating up an injury. Thermotherapy for relaxing tightened muscles and increase circulation. Cryotherapy for numbing pain and reduce swelling.
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