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Avatar universal

Lower back/buttocks/leg issues

I have a lot of questions and wanted to give the history of my situation.  First off..about 10 months ago, I began to feel some resistance on my left side(buttocks region)when stretching to touch my toes.  It never bothered me much so I didn't think much of it.  Note: I always stretched before playing basketball - 6:00am in the morning.  About 4 months ago, for ~ 5 days I could feel more resistance in the hamstring area and buttock area when doing the toe touch or just extending my leg to rest it on the coffee table.  I would feel slight tingling down my leg when doing this.  I started to research this and I looked for some stretches to do.  I started stretching my hamstrings while lying on my back, worked on some back strengthen exercise, piriformis stretches, quad stretches and calf stretches.  This extra resistance that I was feeling went away in about 5 days.  I still felt that original resistance in the upper buttocks area.  Now...just 3 weeks ago I was playing basketball and got a very painful and all of a sudden "back attack" while going up for a rebound (back got twisted slightly).  This happened on the right side of my lower back.  This was very painful and it was difficult to walk and get in and out of my car for 4 days.  I could barely bend over with it hurting severely.  The doctor prescribed some pain meds and flexeril and diagnosed me with a lumbar strain.  It started to gradually feel better.  After 3 weeks, I felt good but was still a little tender.  And then something hit again...I was carrying my 7 month old son in his carseat (on my right side - yes this was stupid) and then I got an all of a sudden sharp pain and had trouble walking.  This time though, not only did I have a sharp pain in the right side again but I also started to feel that extra resistance in my left thigh area like I had felt before.  I could feel a dull ache in the bottom of my leg when sitting and a burning pain in the same area when walking.  The sharp pain on my right side went away and it just feels a little tender now and appears to be healing up.  I still have that annoying dull ache on the left side.  I have a little massage ball that I use every once and a while and when I apply it deeply to about where the piriformis muscle starts, I can feel pain radiating down my sciatic nerve to at least my knee.  I also get this feeling when I press in deeply down toward my lower buttocks (left side still).  I can feel the pain also when I press in deeply on the back part of my leg and knee.  When I try this on my right side, I can’t feel that sharp nerve radiating.  When I do stretches, moderate walking, massaging, it seems to feel a little better for a while and then tense back up later..  I also feel a slight tingle down to my foot after all of these exercises.  I know I need to give some more time for healing....but could anyone help me figure out what is going on with my lower back area?  Notes: I would sometimes in the past feel low dull aching in the lower back after an extensive weight workout in the gym.....the dull ache began to worsen a bit after getting sick for 5 days and began to worsen a little more after moving (lifting a lot of heavy objects)...Mostly..just a little hard to get out of bed in the morning..
7 Responses
Avatar universal
With just the little info you wrote, it sounds like (unprofessional opinion) some stenosis and sciatic nerve irritation.  Nerves take long time to grow and heal.  So make sure to eat foods high in B vitamins.  A good exercise for lower back pain is pilates to strengthen the core muscles that support the spine.

NO lifting and try to do as much walking as possible to give your spine and nerves a chance to heal.  If you are sports nut, then swimming would be excellent option for you.

Hope this helps.
Avatar universal
Given the extent of your activity level and the history presented, these symptoms could be related to a muscle strain that was never fully resolved (torn muscle fibers or tendon and ligament involvement).
Did your physician obtain a lumbar spine x-ray?  Were you referred for physical therapy?
There does appear to be some irritation of the sciatic nerve, but it could be related to inflammation and swelling of the adjacent muscles and not necessarily related to any nerve compression.
Contact or have a followup visit with your physician and inquire about having x-rays done and a possible short course of physical therapy to be certain your back exercise program and stretches are appropriate.  It may be helpful to get instruction in different exercises that will promote a healthy back and decrease the risk of further injury.
Hope you resolve your symptoms soon ---
Avatar universal
Thanks for the responses thus far.  My doctor did order an x-ray, only because I kept talking about the issue I had previously had with the left side of my buttocks, leg..  I will probably go in for an x-ray so they can analyze that.  What are some things they could possibly detect with an x-ray related to some of the information I have given?
Avatar universal
An x-ray of your lumbar spine would show any possible structural changes in the alignment of your spinal column as well as any possible degenerative changes in the vertebrae themselves.  It may also provide information regarding the adjacent soft tissue areas and whether muscle spasms are producing changes in the normal curvature of your spine.
Your buttock and leg pain may be related to these muscle spasms or may be related to some nerve involvement producing pain and irritation.  If nerve involvement is suspected, an MRI would be needed to assess the nature and extent of this condition.
Based on the clinical findings on x-ray your doctor may refer you to physical therapy or obtain further diagnostic tests (MRI).
Keep us  posted ----
Avatar universal
Ask for the MRI first.  That will tell what is happening with the nerves and the spine.
If you have any spine issues needing attention, then the doctor would have you do an xray at various positions to see how the spine moves.  

But an xray itself is not going to help with any diagnostics.  The MRI first is far more important.
Avatar universal
I take 4 aleeve every day and do not suffer except off and on. If I lift anything heavy or
sit too long, I have pain in my buttocks. I have been able to control the pain sitting in
the car on a 5 hour trip by sitting on a pillow, but does the lifting pain indicate a different
problem? I am a small person and any item over 15 or 20 pounds can be painful, but the
pain does seem to go away shortly after. Since I am a senior, I am concerned about my
hip joint. I am a very active person, walk a lot  and I don't want anything to slow me down.
                                                   Thanks   tricia8822
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