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Back/Leg Pain and Muscle Bubbles?

Bear with me...there's a lot of factors. For the past couple of years my girlfriend has experienced significant back pain, finally pinpointed as Degenerative Disc Disease (very recently). Prior to diagnosis she was managing/treating the pain on an emergency basis. Ie: when she couldn't walk, she would go to the ER. (We don't have health insurance)They would administer a steroid or cortisone shot and prescribe steroids to be taken orally. 2 trips ago, they administered the shot in a different location than usual, mid-buttock. A few days later the back pain was gone, but then she started experiencing symptoms similar to sciatica. Pins & needles down the leg (almost the exact path of the sciatic nerve from what I can tell from basic research) muscle aches, throbbing, etc. which has worsened into a general loss of feeling in her foot and ankle and general discomfort frequently escalating to acute pain in all areas of that leg, buttock and hip, as well as sporadic yet intense pain the lower back on that side. And MOST RECENTLY- she has something that feels like air bubbles under her skin in ALL of those areas. And they are not muscle knots, she gets those too and we both know that it just feels...different. In places it is similar to the "rice crispy" or "bubble wrap" analogy I've read descriptions of, but in others it's pockets sometimes larger in diameter than a golf ball. It is a constant struggle as she is a chef/restaurant owner with no choice but to be on her feet MANY hours a day. As there seem to be a lot of factors here, any guidance on possible causes and direction as to WHICH type of specialist to see would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
The sciatica sounds like something a competent chiropractor or physical therapist could handle. Since she is experiencing neurological signs, it would make sense to get that checked sooner than later. It's generally easier to fix a tingling problem than it is to fix a foot that is "neurologically weak".

As for the air bubbles, it sounds like subcutaneous emphysema. While usually benign, it could be the result of a past surgery, or a problem in the abdomen.

I would recommend having that checked as well.

Matt
Avatar universal
Thank you so much.  I've been trying to get her to the Chiro forever but it seems to scare her. Any thoughts on whether or not massage therapy would be a viable option? Or would it likely just provide temporary, symptomatic relief?
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