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loss of muscle strength in right leg
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loss of muscle strength in right leg

I'm 65 and very healthy and active however, recently I developed a slight pain in lower right back.  Have had 3 chiropractic sessions and two professional massages.  Yesterday I stepped up on a 12" step with right leg and I could not use that leg to pull me up on the step.  Today I stepped down from a bleacher step with my right leg and my leg gave out under me.  There is no pain involved just very little strength.  Any suggestions or ideas?

Dave
Tags: loss of muscle strength, Leg Muscle
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As far as I know, this is on account of the pain you have in your back, which could be from a number of things, perhaps a disc bulge is pressing on a nerve root and this causes this "outage" of nerve signals to your leg.  See, I have a goofed-up lower back, and maybe five years ago, I had the identical thing happen at the top of the stairs, I was fixing to take the first step, and the moment I put my left leg down and started to shift weight, I knew it wasn't going to hold.  But I was grasping the doorway, so I got myself back up.  Then I went down with the right leg doing the work.  Couple other moments like that, but it went away.  Matter of fact, some neuros will treat this sort of thing moderately, with medications, physical therapy, maybe a temporary back brace, just to kind of ease your back into the right position.  I do know that strengthening the tummy muscles will help this a lot, because that's what holds the lower back together.

But some may also call your situation a muscle weakness thing, which is not something I know too much about.  In any case, it would be smart to check with a doc on the problem, because you could take a bad fall, and also because could be it's a muscle weakening, which treatment differs if it's a nerve thing or a muscle weakness thing.  But I do think the pain in your back suggests a direct correlation to what happened with your leg almost giving out.
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One of the big issues I have with chiropractic treatment is that, by and large, they do not have access to an MRI, instead relying on an x-ray for diagnosis. An x-ray, circa 2012, is not appropriate to diagnose nerve compression. Many chiropractors end up doing more damage to the nerve, then had they left things alone. You require an MRI, preferably a 3T MRI as of yesterday. Your symptoms are characteristic of a pinched nerve, and if nerves are pinched for two long they atrophy, and function does not return. Normally a surgical procedure such as a laminectomy represents a last-ditch procedure, however it may be indicated immediately for a severe compression.  There are several nerves that exit through the lumbar region, but it seems probably you have severe compression of the sciatic nerve. You require evaluation by a neurologist as of yesterday.
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