nothingwithoutchristMemberOctober 20, 2011 at 8:38 amPost count: 4
Hello Dr. Corenman. I hope you’ve been well.
Actually lately, I have been experiencing a weird pain in my lower right side in my back that does not go down my buttock or leg anymore, but does go toward my hip area (I hope that makes sense)… my lower back also becomes stiff when I sit for more than 30 mins and then that pain in my lower right side starts ‘shooting’.
I have also been experiencing the same sharp pain in my left lower side in my back that does not go down my buttock or anything.. ?
My left foot is never numb, but my right one is at times (every few days when I’ve sat down for a long period). I experience all that even when I’m resting in bed!
Do I have facet syndrome or what?
God bless!Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorOctober 20, 2011 at 1:05 pmPost count: 8465
Your symptoms could be associated with a facet disorder but more likely this is degenerative disc disease (DDD). The radiation into the hip is not uncommon with L5-S1 or L4-L5 degeneration. A back that “stiffens up” after prolonged sitting is also typical with DDD.
The occasional “numb foot” could be from a positional compressed nerve or from the knee or even the foot itself.
A good core strengthening program may help the back pain.
Dr. CorenmannothingwithoutchristMemberOctober 21, 2011 at 11:05 pmPost count: 4
Hello Dr. Corenman.
Is DDD the same thing as a herniated disc?
Also, what do you mean by a ‘positional’ compressed nerve? Does that mean that the nerve is compressed due to poor posture, or is it compressed because of the Disc?
Thanks.Donald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorOctober 21, 2011 at 11:42 pmPost count: 8465
Degenerative disc disease or DDD for short simply means that the disc wall has a tear in it. This occurs because the central “jelly” (nucleus) has lost pressure similar to air leaking out of a car tire. A tire low on air causes bulging of the side walls of the tire and eventual tearing because of abnormal loading.
This tear of the wall of the disc causes degenerative disc disease. This tear can cause a bulge of the wall (a bulging disc) or if a complete through and through tear, a disc hernation if the jelly is pushed through the tear in the disc.
If this disc herniation causes compression of the nerve root, leg pain will occur. Not all herniations compress the nerve root so leg pain is not inevitable with a herniation.
The spinal canal changes in volume with different positions. Bending forward will open the exit hole for the nerve root and open the spinal canal. If the nerve root is compressed in the exit hole, bending forward will relieve pain and standing up (which causes narrowing of the exit hole) will increase the pain. That is a “positional compressed nerve”.
Dr. CorenmannothingwithoutchristMemberDecember 17, 2011 at 7:56 amPost count: 4
Hello Dr. Corenman.
Over the last few weeks, my lower back would just stiffen up after a very short time of sitting. And now I rarely experience pain in one side of my lower back area. (which used to be my right side)
Also when I sit down for a long period of time, my whole lower back (specifically in the middle back) stiffens up, I asked a spine specialist about it and he said I needed to do a couple of exercises, and I’ve been doing them for a week but no improvement.
He also said that I seemed to be having muscle problems not associated with Disc or facet syndrome (I was diagnosed with 2 discs almost 3 years ago and this specialist was the one who read my MRI X-rays).
Dr. Corenman, I have also been experiencing tremendous pain in my neck. I get very little sleep because of it along with my back pain. If I sleep on a particular side, the pain starts in it (my neck) and I have tried many pillows but no point.
One last thing, my lower back also hurts and sometimes stiffens up when I’m in bed in an appropriate posture.. what is going on with my spine?
Thank you so much!
God bless you!
-nothingwithoutchristDonald Corenman, MD, DCModeratorDecember 17, 2011 at 12:17 pmPost count: 8465
Stiffness in the lower back with prolonged stationary positioning is the hallmark of degenerative disc disease. I cannot comment on “muscular problems” not associated with disc or facet syndrome. The only spinal muscle problems (pain and spasm) not related to degenerative spine problems are either overuse (too much gardening early in the season), trauma or systemic problems such as polymyalgia rheumatica.
I would agree that there are specific exercises that can help. Ask you doctor if there is a pilates trained physical therapist that can rehabilitate you.
You neck is a different subject and may have its own set of problems.
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