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New, Scoliosis, Bulging Disks/Pinched Nerves L4-L5 and L5-S1


I stumbled on this site when googling a symptom I've been dealing with and am definitely curious how common this is.

First, to tell you a smidge about myself.  I am 35 and was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 13, I can't recall the degree of curvature, except that I have three.  Upper, middle, and lower.  I spent much time as a teen working on my upper curve and straightening my shoulders, but wasn't able to continue past a year into treatment due to family life and subsequent loss of insurance.

Years have gone by with my seeking treatment inconsistently and highly dependent on my insurance and employment situation.  

Fast forward to now, where three years ago I injured my back lifting a keg incorrectly at work (I was tending bar at the time and we were very busy).  Was not able to seek any appropriate worthy medical attention.  Recently I have found that my nerves have been pinched at the L4-L5 and L5-S1.  The disks evidently are bulging and my doctor believes I have degenerative disk disease and sciatica with atypical symptoms.  

I obviously still have scoliosis, which has worsened.  I know I vary from 25 degrees to 35 degrees in my curves.  My middle and lower obviously being the worse.  The lower curve shows twisting vertebrae and a tilted pelvis which bulges my left side and makes my left leg look longer. This coupled with the pinched nerve issues seem to be creating some off and on pains and symptoms of a bizarre nature.

Generally it's tolerable pain or constant almost cramping back pain, coupled with the occasional numbness in my left foot on the side to my baby-toe. I do off and on also get a pain sensation on my skin, where even a light touch feels painful, something that lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to a few days always in different spots.  Nothing is consistent, at all.  Sometimes it's bad and was for months and lately it's been better.  Off and on the thing that has sent me twice now to the ER is this weird heat issue.

Since the heat is my primary concern let me explain.  My left leg, upper thigh on the outside one evening started feeling exceptionally hot.  Like it was on fire.  Nothing really relieved it at all, no matter what I did.  Eventually some hours later it subsided and went away.  I had checked all my pulses and everything due to worry of a possible blood clot, all were well, nothing swollen nothing weird except the burning sensation.  I also noticed a slight temperature difference in my legs which I thought was weird.  It went away and I stopped thinking about it.

A couple months later it happened again, I went with friends to see a movie, we got in the car and all the sudden with my friends leg touching mine it felt like it was on fire, so much so I had to ask him to move his leg.  It was far worse this go and hot enough my boyfriend noticed the temperature difference.  He is the one that took me to the ER the first go.  They did an ultrasound, checked my pulses and everything seemed normal.  By the time they were actually doing the ultrasound, the heat was going away.  I found out during that trip about my bulging disk issue and pinched nerves.

Again, a couple months passed and similar scenario.  Doctor looks, checks, nothing.  This doctor told me he was pretty sure this was a nerve issue.  I know this sounds weird, but I have had such terrible luck with doctors, I really don't know how I feel about the quick dismissal of something he told me he's never experienced with a patient before.

Tonight my cat jumped on my lap and I felt the heat start up again, again a couple months later is this go.  I had to remove her from my lap and start checking on things the feeling is so nerve wracking for me.  So here I am again, typing this and all my pulses are fine yet there is again a temperature difference in the side that feels like it is burning.  I am curious if this is a possible nerve issue/sciatica symptom that anyone else has experienced.  It is completely random when it decides to strike, there is the burning sensation which is uncomfortable and the heat to the touch.  It can last anywhere from 1 - 5 hours so far.  I don't really know how else to describe it, except it's definitely in a specific spot which is the leg most often bothered by the pinched nerve. 

Thank you for allowing me to say hello and share my story.



  • hello, sesameseed!

    nerves can be very temperamental!!  i can somewhat relate to what you're experiencing, only the burning sensation began after i had surgery.  i had a herniation at l4/l5, and a bilateral pars defect (two broken bones that hold the vertebra up and back) at l5/s1. 

    my surgeon told me the feeling of burning skin was due to irritated, inflamed nerves.  it happened a few times, and each time i was given a steroid taper to calm the inflammation down.  perhaps you could bring this up with your healthcare provider if you don't have any preexisting conditions (diabetes, lyme disease) that would prevent you from taking a short course of steroids? 

    i'm sorry to hear you are going through these struggles, but you've come to the right place in terms of finding people who are not only compassionate, but have a unique understanding of what you are experiencing.

    i'd like to welcome you to spine-health!  please click on the following link for some helpful information to get you started!

    <a href="https://www.spine-health.com/forum/discussion/66152/announcements/spine-health-announcements/welcome-spine-health-how-get-started" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">welcome to spine-health</a>

    Kimmy72, Spine-health Moderator
    Firm believer in PMA!
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