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DrRussMd, Board Certified MD
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 64977
Experience:  Internal medicine doctor, diagnose and treat neurology patients, many years
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The back of my left leg, from the upper cheek down to my

Customer Question

The back of my left leg, from the upper cheek down to my feet, hurts. It is hard to get comfortable at times. Sometimes the knees hurt also. What do you think?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr Josh replied 1 year ago.


Welcome to Justanswer website.

Myself Dr Josh and I’m happy to help with your question today

The symptoms you have described of pain from upper cheek/hip down to the feet of back of left leg suggests the possibility of nerve root compression like compression of sciatic nerve.

Sciatica is generally caused by the compression of lumbar nerves L4 or L5 or sacral nerves. Any compromise of the nerve space in the spinal column can lead to compression of the nerve endings.This occurs because of lumbar radiculopathy,spinal disc herniation,wear and tear, or injury or degeneration of the discs.

You need following tests:

  1. Electromyography(EMG)
  2. Nerve conduction studies
  3. X-ray lower back (because compression of the nerve at lumbar area)

So the most probable cause of your symptoms is nerve root compression(pinched nerve).The treatment is as follows:

  • First, you'll probably need at least a few days of bed rest while the inflammation goes away.Approximately 80% to 90% of patients with sciatica get better over time with rest.
  • Apply heat in the form of a warm wash cloth applied to the area for 10 minutes or so 2 or 3 times a day increase blood flow to the area allowing to subside the inflammation.
  • Take tab. Ibuprofen 400mg from the counter. It is available as OTC(over the counter) without prescription & will help you greatly.

    Also prescription medication can be required accordingly to get relief from this pain.So my best advise for you is to make an appointment with your doctor to have these tests done so as to confirm the exact underlying cause & then treatment will be done accordingly.

  • Additional Information:
    The goals of sciatica treatments are to relieve pain and any neurological symptoms caused by a compressed nerve root. Bed rest & applying heat as described above will help you greatly..Overall, the vast majority of episodes of sciatica pain heal within few weeks of time span. Epidural steroid injection can be considered if the pain is very severe.
    See the picture for clear & proper understanding:
    Hope this helped.

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    Thank you.

    Kind Regards


Expert:  DrRussMd replied 1 year ago.


I am a double board certified US doctor and I have a different answer for you.

Ibuprofen, as an over the counter medicine, is dosed 1 200 mg pill every 6 hours.

You can add an additional pill own two of the doses, not to exceed 1200 mg a day.

More than that would be a prescription dose.

The first test for lower spine disc problems is MRI.

That is usually sufficient if testing is needed.

Rest alone is no longer adequate for medical care of sciatic.

Even if this resolves, you need a structural exam of the spine

Physical therapy is the mainstay of therapy at this point, and you probably need a course of that regardless of findings.

Standard of care would also suggest that you see an MD of physical medicine and rehabilitation, or an orthopedist, NOT a neurologist. The neurologist is not pursuing a structural diagnosis or treatment, which is the plan needed here.

Find me anytime by request in medical for safe, accurate and up to date answers.

I am here daily.

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