Three months ago I picked up a heavy object, carried it several feet, and put it down. Right after that, the right side of my lower back began hurting. The pain was unbearable some nights. Soaking in a hot bath helped take the edge off the pain. There is also sometimes pain in my right buttock (towards the side) and down the right side of my right leg to my ankle (starting below the knee). I assumed it was a herniated disc, and given time, would heal. I still have some pain, although it is nowhere near as bad as it was initially. As the pain began to decrease, my leg/foot started to tingle, as if asleep. I also get an itchy tingle in my lower back, where the pain first started. The tingling in my foot and leg gets worse the longer I stand. As soon as I sit down, the feeling starts to disappear. My right leg and foot are more sensitive to cold.
I haven't had pain in my left leg at all, nor on the left side of my back. The pain does not spread to the front. Does this sound like a herniated disc? Would the tingly sensation be normal for a herniated disc? Is there anything I can do to help it heal faster? I have been trying to keep up my normal "light" activities (such as doing the dishes, folding laundry, etc), but no bending, lifting or stretching since the injury.
I don't have insurance or a job so going to the doctor is out of the question at this time.
The symptoms of pain and sensory changes can possibly indicate a degenerative disc problem which could include the possibility of disc herniation. It is also possible that you are experiencing a muscle strain/sprain which could be significantly affecting you.
The only definite way to obtain a diagnosis is through medical evaluation and diagnostic testing (ie x-rays) to assess the status of your lumbar spine.
The sciatic nerve is very large and can be easily irritated secondary to any inflammatory process involving your adjacent muscles. Since a doctor exam is not possible at this time, your current plan of keeping your activity levels light and avoiding bending/lifting is helpful.
I would recommend that you do light stretches, but do not go further than the point of discomfort. You could benefit from strengthening your core muscles of the back and abdomen and a home exercise program (advancing only as able) is desirable to reduce risk of further problems, You need to restore and maintain function of your back muscles as much as possible,
You may get additional information regarding home treatment options from this web site:
Without definite clinical evidence of a herniated disc, you can still utilize the techniques described to assist you in managing your current symptoms.
Hopefully, if and when the economic situation improves, you will be able to pursue medical treatment if needed.
Best wishes -----
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