View Full Version : Leg pain question

Chris Haldeman
05-04-2004, 11:41 AM
My dad is 49 and has driven a tractor trailor all of his life (past 30 years) to make a living. Recently, he's been getting this pain around the top of his right leg towards the hip. It starts from the hip area and radiates mid-laterally down his right leg. He's been to 2 doctors already and they have both diagnosed it as a back problem and given him an epadoral shot(sp?). The 2 shots have done nothing for his pain and it still persists. When he goes to work at night and drives, the pain gets the worst. About every hour or so he has to pull over on the side of the road and get out of the truck and walk around for about a minute or two and he feels better. Sometimes he can stand up bent over inside of the truck, and it helps also. But then about 1/2 hour goes by and he starts to feel the pain again.

I was just curious if anyone out there had a 2nd opinion? He thinks the pain might be his hip pressing up against a nerve? Ever came across this type of injury before and what (sitting position, exercises) can be done to help? Thanks for reading.

Brian Hand
05-04-2004, 12:01 PM
Chris, that description sounds like it could be sciatic pain, caused by pressure on the sciatic nerve. This is a common problem and back trouble can certainly cause it. Whatever the problem is, I'd be a little concerned if the doctors haven't come up with some course of treatment other than the pain killer. Even if it was effective, it isn't going to fix the cause; unless it clears itself up on its own (which it might) this is not a long term fix.

Some of the things that a doctor / physical therapist could check: tight hamstrings, weak back muscles, weak abdominals, tight hip flexors, right / left imbalance in tonus or flexibility, etc. etc.

I'm sure you've thought of this but a change in the seat can cause trouble too, either a new seat or the old one has broken down and is no longer supportive. Sometimes those lumbar pads give people relief, but you have to be careful - sometimes they make matters worse, too.

You might try a chiropractor, I am partial to chiropractic care, in large part because the physical therapy is more convenient. Sometimes the adjustments (cracking!) are helpful too. Only caveat is, make sure you find a good one, because there are plenty of bad ones around.

Chris Haldeman
05-05-2004, 11:04 AM
I'm pretty sure he does see a chiropractor on a regular basis. Also a MRI showed a slight bulge in one of his lumbar....I can't remember which one though.

Another thing is if he gets a truck with cruise control this helps. If he can lay his foot flat on the floor of the cab and not have to continually ride the pedal all night, he said he gets some relief also.

I was thinking of showing him some kettlebell swings as suggested on another site and I told him to hang from a pullup bar to get some Cerebral Spinal Fluid to the area.

Thanks for the respone.

John Frazer
05-05-2004, 02:10 PM
If the doctor's only suggestion is pain killers, I'd look for a second opinion, and would certainly be open to options such as physical therapy and massage therapy.

05-12-2004, 12:05 PM
no doctor here, but it could be piriformis syndrome - where the sciatic nerve is impinged by a muscle deep in the hip/buttocks - and there are specific stretches that can help to keep this at bay. Try a google search on "piriformis" or "piriformis syndrome".

05-12-2004, 04:11 PM
here are some piriformis stretches your dad could try:
Figure 4 stretch - my favorite: use your hands to bring the leg even closer - even roll slightly to the opposite side to incr. stretch
seated:I do these at work: http://www.drbackman.com/piriformis-muscle-stretch.htm
standing: http://www.drbackman.com/piriformis-stretch-standing.htm
other piriformis stretches
http://www.dcdoctor.com/pages/rightpages_wellnesscenter/homeexercises/back/stret ches/exer_back_st_piriformis.html (http://www.dcdoctor.com/pages/rightpages_wellnesscenter/homeexercises/back/stretches/exer_back_st_piriformis.html)

Lynne Pitts
05-13-2004, 08:32 AM
GREAT links - I thank you from the heart of my bottom... :lame:

Chris Haldeman
05-14-2004, 10:22 AM
Thanks for posting that Lisa. good links

Mike Yukish
05-14-2004, 11:38 AM
Ask him to try something. Sit in a chair and position himself so the pain just starts to occur (leg straight, lean forward at hips). Then reach down and rub either the top of the calf on that side, or just behind the knee. The goal is to put the muscles that stretch down to there from the hip into a little more tension. See if this causes the back pain.

I have a similar situation, and was surprised when rubbing behind the knee did cause back pain. Kind of interesting. My fix has been lots of exercise and stretching.

Chris Haldeman
05-14-2004, 08:08 PM
Thanks Mike. Thank you all for the responses and keep em coming if you have any other suggestions. I'm going to print this thread out for him to read the next time I see him.

Joe Burks
05-18-2004, 06:44 AM
Read Matt Spiller's article "Press Up for Back Pain" here http://danjohn.org/gu11.pdf

This has helped knock out a chronic Sciatica problem, along with a little DMSO.


Chris Haldeman
05-24-2004, 11:28 AM
Thanks Joe. That was a good read.