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Ask Family Physician Your Own Question
Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 2592
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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How do you cure lower left back and leg pain in the left

Customer Question

How do you cure lower left back and leg pain in the left leg?
JA: Have you had any recent injuries? What seems to make the pain better or worse?
Customer: I have not had any recent injuries. Walking makes the pain less.
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I think I have a slipped disk in my lower back plus arthritus
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

his is Dr. John and I will be helping you today.

I will be reviewing your question and will respond shortly.

I may need to ask a few more questions in order to best serve you.

Thank you for your patience.

Answers here are for education and information only.

Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

I would like to ask a few more questions:

How long have you had these symptoms?

Did they start all of the sudden or did they come on gradually?

How bad are the symptoms (mild, moderate, severe)?

Is there anything you had done that have improved your symptoms?

Is there anything you have done that worsens your symptoms?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have had these symptoms for several year. They came on gradually. Severe pain when I stay of my feet for an hour.
Nothing has improved the condition. Nothing has worsened the symptoms.
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

Thank you for the additional information

  1. is the pain in the back worse that the pain in the leg?
  2. have you noticed any weakness or numbness in the leg?
  3. any problems with urination or bowels?
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The pain in my left leg at night causes me to dream troublesome dreams and wakes me up. Yes the pain in my lower back is worse than the pain in my left leg. No weakness felt in left leg. No problems with urination or bowels.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
When I walk on the left leg the pain gradually subsides if I am walking on a soft rug.
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

There are a few causes of back pain. The most common causes are:

  1. Herniated disc in the lower spine
  2. Arthritis of the lower spine
  3. Infection of the disc in the lower spine
  4. Compression fractures of the lower spine
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

Since you are also having leg pain, with the back pain, a herniated disc irritated the sciatic nerve which runs into the leg would be a likely cause.

Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

As long as there is no weakness, numbness, or change in bowel or bladder function, herniated discs can be treated with physical therapy and exercises (no surgery).

Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

One book I recommend to patients that want to try a home-treatment for their back pain is by the physical therapist Robin McKenzie called "Treat Your Own Back"

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My back and leg pain wakes me up about every hour. I go back to sleep by sleeping on my left side or right side. I do physical therapy using my back and legs in light exercise. I cannot detect any improvement because of the physical exercise.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I am more interested in the cure than in the cause.
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

ok, I understand. Have you seen a physical therapist in the past, or are you doing your own exercises?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
The pain occurs mostly when I am off my feet. The physical therapist dismissed me last week, leaving light exercises of the feet and legs to do.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
On a scale of one to ten an eight tends to wake me up. I think the troublesome dream is caused by the pain.
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

Next step would be for some type of imaging (MRI) to see if you do have a herniated disc causing your symptoms or if there is arthritis causing the pain. The MRI would help obtain an accurate diagnosis and then guide the proper treatment

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I have had an MRI. It shows a herniated disk. That is a possible cause. I want to know the cure.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
My physical exercises include arm and elbow exercises.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
As well as leg exercises.
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

If you are continuing to have painful symptoms despite a well-designed and focused physical therapy program, then consultation with a back surgeon would be the next step.

However, I also usually recommend two rounds of physical therapy with two different therapists since they can have different approaches to which exercises they recommend for back pain from a herniated disc.

So next step would be working with a second physical therapist and seeing if their different approach helps.
If that doesn't and the symptoms are impacting sleep and lifestyle, the consultation with the back surgeon would be appropriate.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If you do not have a sure cure, please cancel my membership. Thanks
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Will I be charged for this interchange? Thanks for your input.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Topical applications to my leg and back have been ineffective.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
They only make my skin sore.
Expert:  Doctor John MD replied 1 month ago.

I'm sorry that the information didnt meet your needs.
You can contact customer service to help with the cancelation of your membership.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I can't afford a "call" fee, especially since I did not get a cure.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Cancel me. I have no further comments.