• Trice June 02, 2009
    June 02, 2009

    I suggest you go to your doctor and get your back evaluated. It may be a disc problem that causing irritation to a nerve. I suffer from sciatica and the pain your describing is similar to the pain I feel. I have pain in my lower back (especailly when sitttng or lying down), buttock area, radiating out towards my hip and down my leg. My leg also goes numb at times or I get pins and needles type tingling sensations. My first three toes on my foot also go numb. I think having a doctor look at it sooner rather than later would be best.



    • Helen
      July 30, 2009
      July 30, 2009

      Your situation sounds similar to mine. I have 5 herniated disks in my lower back

      and severe spinal stenosis and arthritis all over. Plus I have 3 herniated disks in

      my neck . I had surgery for my severe spinal stenosis 2 years ago which helped

      be about 80% for the severe sciatica , but I still have bad low back pain and

      lately for about 2 month now , I experience bad leg pain when reclining and

      also some numbness and the feeling of pins and needle sensation in my lower

      legs. Last week I had a very scary experience. Suddenly my entire left side of my

      body , starting from the lower leg to my head went terribly numb with a terrible tingling sensation . My Doctor thought that I might have had a TIA and I had

      a brain scan which was normal . Now I am really scared and I think that I will

      return for a visit to my Neuro surgeon who performed my back surgery.

      Has anyone had symilar symptoms and what could be done.

      Thank you for reading my problems.

    • Steve Chiocca
      October 15, 2009
      Steve Chiocca
      October 15, 2009



      The first thing I'd like to say is to stop panicking-I don't think you have had a TIA as damaged tissue would probably have shown up in the brain scan. Even if you have experienced a TIA (and you sound like you are really worried), treatment is very simple and effective and you can take a few simple steps to avoid this happening again in the future (if it was a TIA or Mini-Stroke as it is often referred to in the UK).


      Also, by worrying about it unnecessarily, you can cause your blood pressure to rise which can contribute to a TIA through elevated stress levels, especially if you have a poor diet and high cholesterol as this stress simply increases your heat beat and the rate at ewehich blood travels around your body and this increases the amount of fat that is being pushed around your body with each heart beat and will narrow your arteries even faster, so the first thing you should learn to do is to control and slow down your breathing (while in a comfortable(ish) position) and to calm yourself down by gradually slowing down your breathing every day for 10-15 minutes a couple of times per day. Sounds a bit crazy but it could increase your life expectancy considerably as this slows your heart-rate down and will lower your blood pressure and if you do have high cholesterol, this will reduce the amount of fat-filled blood that is travelling round your body. When you are in as comfortable position as possible, breathe in slowly through your nose as far as is comfortable, hold for two to three seconds and exhale from your mouth. Repeat this four or five times, gradually increasing until you can hold your breath in comfortably for 8 to 10 seconds and your heart-beat and blood pressure will automatically lower. You will feel slightly dizzy when doing this the first few times and it is quite common to 'see stars' while doing this so don't worry if this happens. It is also common to see stars when rising from a sitting position and is almost certainly not a sign of a TIA.


      Your symptoms sound like they are more related to your spinal problems than a TIA and it is very common to have numbness and tingling sensations due to nerve compression caused by your herniated discs and these sensations can come and go regularly, especially if you had been fairly immobile or in one position for long periods of time in the weeks leading up to the tingling sensations you describe. If you were still able to move the left side of your body while the tingling sensations were happening (even though it felt slightly numb) it is extremely unlikely to have been a TIA and I know the worry this causes as I have had many different symptoms due to my own spinal diseases and lack of mobility and several times have thought I may have had a TIA. It is much more likely to have been a blood clot that may have moved around your body and I would urge you to get this checked out as clots regularly form in people that have little mobility/exercise. As you have had surgery, it is 99% certain that some nerve endings were affected which would account for some of your numbness and this can change daily as your spine, discs and nerve endings do move about slightly inside your body.


      HOWEVER, I would not rule out the possibility that you have had a TIA, especially if your Doctor thought it was a possibility and especially as you said that your head went numb as well, which is an unusual sign for a spinal problem, though you will have nerve root damage along various sections of your neck as you have three herniated neck discs. This is probably the Thorassic bones and it is very common to experience numbness in the head due to this but as you seemed to experience this sensation all at once i.e. your head, arm, and leg went numb and you felt a tingling sensation in all the areas at the same time, it could be a very mild TIA (and nothing to worry about) or more likely a small blood clot that had moved about inside your body.


      As your Doctor thought that a TIA may be a possibility but the brain scan was negative, he/she should now organise a cholesterol test to rule out narrowing of the arteries due to your limited mobility (which can cause a TIA) and/or if you have a poor diet-especially if you are a smoker, eat and drink chocolate or high sugary foods, or high fat foods such as butter, margarine, cream, milk, burgers, chips and processed meats such as sausages, ham or bacon etc. and if you do not have a good and varied fruit and vegetable intake daily and if you are aged over 35 and/or overweight, you should insist on a cholesterol test.


      Also, because you have limited mobility due to your spinal diseases, it is common for clots to form and for numbness and tingling in your limbs to occur after spending long periods of times in one position, especially if you have been in hospital during the last couple of months and have been much less mobile than before. However, because you said that the tingling went to your head also, there is a small possibility that you did have a TIA and therefore it is essential that this is investigated further and your Doctor can easily organise a cholesterol test simply by taking a blood sample. If your LDL (Bad Cholesterol) is elevated, your Doctor would prescribe Statins that reduce the fat in your blood by 33%. I don't know if you are UK or US (I'm UK) but my Doctor advised me to additionally drink one Benecol daily which reduces blood fat by a further 10%. If you are not allergic to Aspirin and with your Doctor's consent, you could take one or two Aspirin tablets daily in order to thin your blood out to a normal level to avoid a repeat of these sensations. Aspirin would help if you have had a TIA and it will also help if you are developing clots due to your limited mobility. If you have low white blood cell counts or bleed easily and for long periods after a minor cut, Aspirin should not be taken.


      A rapid change of diet may also be a good idea, such as lowering your sugar levels, giving up smoking, smoking less or switching to lower tar cigarettes (if you smoke) and cutting fat off bacon before grilling instead of frying, using oven chips instead of fried chips and generally improving your diet. High sugar drinks such as Coke and/or alcohol should be moderated, although one or two medium to large glasses of red wine daily may actually help by reducing stress and the enzymes in it are also believed to reduce the possibility of having a TIA.


      I don't know your age but most Doctors rule out high cholesterol tests for under 40's but I was diagnosed two years ago at 39 after repeatedly requesting cholesterol tests for 5 years before my Doctor eventually agreed and I had dangerously high cholesterol levels and now take a 40mg Statin tablet daily and from having an expected 10 year life expectancy, this has increased to 40 years, so I probably would have been dead by 50 but my Doctor now states that I will live to be 80.


      I have Degenreative Disc Disease, compressed nerve roots, arthritis of the spine, 2 dehydrated discs and a large disc extrusion and suffer with sciatica and deep cramps in my left leg and foot, plus I have lost 80% use of my left foot. If you were able to move the side of your body while you thought you were experiencing a TIA then you probably weren't having one at all but as above they should all be checked out.


      I had similar sensations about three times as your most recent ones, when one side of my head and brain seemed to throb and although it wasn't very painful it felt really odd and disorientated me, almost like a robot-controlled part of my brain was buzzing of it's own accord and I thought I was experiencing a mild stroke and since my diet change and daily exercises, I have not had a repeat of this particular symptom for some time.


      My specialist physiotherapist has assured me that all of the sensations and pain that I was experiencing was typical of my spinal disease and the nerve compression. Add to the fact that when I am in severe pain, I am virtually immobile and I get numb. The best thing to do is to actually exercise the joints slowly several times daily by doing a few simple exercises. The easiest is to lay on your front with your hands at your sides and to slowly lift your left leg 10 times to the point just past where it hurts (not before as most people would say), and to then repeat this with the right leg. It is ESSENTIAL that you lift your leg until you feel the pain and to raise it another inch or so and to try to hold it for a second or two before releasing your leg slowly down as this will start to loosen up the nerve endings. If you stop before you get the pain (probably in your lower back), you may as well not do the exercises. It is important to ensure that you change position every 20 minutes and I have a pill-box timer that I now set at 20 minute intervals to remind me as I often forget especially when in I have reduced pain and am on the internet. As my beeper goes off, I get up or move position or do an exercise for a few minutes before resetting the timer. It sounds like a lot every 20 minutes but you can gradually increase this to 30 then 40 minutes the more mobile you become. By raising your legs like this while laying on your front, it will ensure that blood is circulated throughout your body.


      I don't know the extent of your neck problems but I am sure that you probably feel a burning sensation in your shoulder/s and arms and probably can only raise them slowly to about 75% before you experience pain in your shoulder and neck. Again, if you are able to lift your arms and shoulder, you should do these exercises several times daily, to just past the point of pain. Arthritis is particularly bad for the first three hours after waking and although you can be in extreme agony, the quicker you start to do these exercises after waking, the quicker you will feel more mobile. A good anti-inflammatory medicine such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Diclofenac would shrink the affected area slightly while taking the medicine and a Codein based Paracetomol such as 30/500 Co-Codamol would help the pain and a muscle realaxant/shrinker such as Diazepam (for short term use only) would relax the muslces so that you have can reduce your pain by about 80%+ in a day.


      You have severe disabilities and qualify for a lot of help so don't know what you are getting from your local authorities or Disability Benefits. One of these would be swimming on a daily basis (or as often as you would prefer) which would greatly assist you as you effectively weigh half your weight in water and this can massively reduce the pain you are in while in a pool as it does not cause any pressure between the spinal bones and reduces the need for your discs to act as 'shock absorbers' while in water.


      You can get funded for this if you aren't particularly well off and you would get free transport to and from a swimming pool and free entry as often as you liked. I hope this answers your question and hope that you worry less and get on with enjoying your life rather than having to cope with daily pain (easier said than done as I rarely want to do exercises when I am in the most pain-but two or three hours after I have done these exercises, I start to feel the benefit).


      If you get really cold feet, this is a good sign that you have poor or limited blood circulation and this can be caused by immobility and/or high fat in your blood. It is very usual to experience extreme pain when reclining while sitting as this increases the pressure to the lumbar verterbrae and literally pushes your bones into the nerve roots causing excruciating pain. The only position I can get sort of comfortable is to lie down and place a small cushion under my lumbar region and to use a thin or no head pillow, although this take two or three goes to perfect as it is initially very painful to get into that position, though this is the best position for loosening up your joints (especially if you have arthritis). Another popular position is to place a small cushion under your knees while laying down with a small or no head pillow. Good luck, keep mobile and get well soon-Kind regards-Steve Chiocca.

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  • lana September 25, 2010
    September 25, 2010

    low left back fill like a brused all the time ,traveling to my hip tuching all musculas and pulling ,specialy in the morning ,I have to get up to fill beter 

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