Other More about Nerves

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
My PT expressed the other day that the muscles in my left leg have atrophied because of a compressed nerve. We started working on that and immediately I started having the same weird-ass super painful twisting feeling I was having in my leg all last winter.

It’s interesting because last year at this time I was in PT because I had torn my labrum on that side and no one could figure out why it was that even with months of constant strengthening exercises, I was not only still in pain, I also wasn’t getting any stronger. It was suggested that I take a break from PT because after almost six months, I wasn’t improving and I was in a pretty regular bad mood, too. I had a sciatica diagnosis but no one paid much attention to it. I left PT in February, I think, and just got back to it in October.

I don’t know if the impingement or dysplasia in my hips could compress a nerve that’s been making my foot numb for the last year -- both of these issues are considered mild -- they did cause arthritis which caused the labral tears but that’s because I have been walking around on them all my life. So maybe they could?? IDK. I do have a herniated disk in my lower back. Whatever the cause, I am starting to think that this nerve issue is the “why” that has not let me take the cane out of the back of my car.

Between the chaos of 3 moves in 4 months and struggling with executive functioning, anyway, I feel like I am about to drop the ball on this. So, I’m just going to ask with the knowledge that other people here have gone through nerve stuff.

Is PT the best place for me to be with muscle atrophy and intense pain from a compressed nerve? Or rather, should I be seeing anyone else in addition to my PT? Is there a way to know where the compression is and/or does it really matter in alleviating the symptoms?

I know that PT has as good a chance of helping as anything but my PT wasn’t exactly a beacon of hope the other day -- using the word “if” instead of “when” regarding recovery from this. I’m back to doing nerve flossing daily which I had stopped because my former PT did not see nerve issues playing a role, though I still had a numb spot in the middle of my foot.

I know I can ask my PT more questions and I will but I am a much better reader than I am a listener, so I thought I would ask here, first.

Thanks.
 

WonderWriter

Confident
@RussellSue, I had back surgery on Valentines Day this year because an MRI showed Spinal Stenosis and 2 herniated discs in my lower back. My spinal nerve canal had shrunk to the point my nerves popped out, and one of the herniated discs was literally crushing the nerves. They removed one of the discs (L4) and a facet bone to make room for the nerves. I still have pain if I exert my back, but I can stand and walk straight now.

Definitely worth having a conversation with your doctor. Hope this helps 😊
 

Sideways

Sponsor
Totally agree with @WonderWriter - time to go back to doc for a referral to a specialist. Another MRI should show up whether the impinged nerve has more pressure on it somewhere, or whether there's another level of your spine causing issues. A neurosurgeon should be able to pinpoint if that's happening somewhere in your spine, or in your hip, etc.

Even if the neuropathy you're experiencing is in the same place (feet & hands probably the most common spot), that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the same nerve being hit with pressure at the same spot as last time.

PTs are great, but they have their limits. A scan will at least confirm for them exactly where the problem is.

Ignoring new neuropathic pain is always a gamble. And if you don't need to take that gamble? Don't!
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
@RussellSue, I had back surgery on Valentines Day this year because an MRI showed Spinal Stenosis and 2 herniated discs in my lower back.
I am sorry. That sounds terrible. I believe that @Lionheart also had a possible issue with spinal stenosis.

Definitely worth having a conversation with your doctor. Hope this helps
Thanks. I guess I should, again. It astounds me how many conversations I have had with docs over the last 15 months or so, including one about a month before I posted this that landed me in an unhelpful hip specialist's office. Though, it would have been difficult for anyone to know what was happening with my nerves while I was in the early stages of recovering from the labral tears because my pain level was so high and I had no idea how to differentiate nerve pain from other types of pain.

At this point, my hip flexors on my left side are basically just lazy, not lifting my leg as high as they should, which seems to be a nerve issue but my PT says this will get better as my endurance increases. I don't know. It's been a while and I've been exercising this entire time. I still have the numb spot in my foot but I seem to have better control over my foot than I did.

PTs are great, but they have their limits. A scan will at least confirm for them exactly where the problem is.
My PT insisted that with two herniated disks, tendinitis, hip impingement, dysplasia, arthritis, and this concrete mass that is my hip flexors and hamstring, there would be no easy way of pinpointing the problem and that the treatment would be the same. Granted, PTs don't talk surgery, in my experience.

I will go back and talk to my doc, again and ask about talking to a neurosurgeon this time. I have been referred to hip specialists, PT, and sports medicine, but not to a neurosurgeon. That sounds appropriate, at this point.

Thanks @WonderWriter and @Sideways for your insight. I am utterly baffled as to why no one on my medical teams has had much concern about these nerve issues. It does seem like a big deal but I have been trying to follow direction here thinking they were the doctors and ought to know where I ought to be going and what I ought to be doing and because I am what my grandfather used to call "stupid-stubborn" I almost always assume that if I work harder, I will whip this shit into place. But this has been a lot of work for a long time and it's not fixed, so it is time to get in there and look for a different kind of help than what I have been offered.
 

WonderWriter

Confident
I am sorry. That sounds terrible. I believe that @Lionheart also had a possible issue with spinal stenosis.


Thanks. I guess I should, again. It astounds me how many conversations I have had with docs over the last 15 months or so, including one about a month before I posted this that landed me in an unhelpful hip specialist's office. Though, it would have been difficult for anyone to know what was happening with my nerves while I was in the early stages of recovering from the labral tears because my pain level was so high and I had no idea how to differentiate nerve pain from other types of pain.

At this point, my hip flexors on my left side are basically just lazy, not lifting my leg as high as they should, which seems to be a nerve issue but my PT says this will get better as my endurance increases. I don't know. It's been a while and I've been exercising this entire time. I still have the numb spot in my foot but I seem to have better control over my foot than I did.


My PT insisted that with two herniated disks, tendinitis, hip impingement, dysplasia, arthritis, and this concrete mass that is my hip flexors and hamstring, there would be no easy way of pinpointing the problem and that the treatment would be the same. Granted, PTs don't talk surgery, in my experience.

I will go back and talk to my doc, again and ask about talking to a neurosurgeon this time. I have been referred to hip specialists, PT, and sports medicine, but not to a neurosurgeon. That sounds appropriate, at this point.

Thanks @WonderWriter and @Sideways for your insight. I am utterly baffled as to why no one on my medical teams has had much concern about these nerve issues. It does seem like a big deal but I have been trying to follow direction here thinking they were the doctors and ought to know where I ought to be going and what I ought to be doing and because I am what my grandfather used to call "stupid-stubborn" I almost always assume that if I work harder, I will whip this shit into place. But this has been a lot of work for a long time and it's not fixed, so it is time to get in there and look for a different kind of help than what I have been offered.
In my experience, I had to “jump through hoops” dictated by health insurance before any real treatment happened. I went through 8 weeks of physical therapy and 3 rounds of epidural shots before surgery was a possibility. Not defending your med teams’ oversight, but I’m sure it played a big part. Unfortunately, insurance won’t authorize x,y,z until you have a,b,c.
 

Justmehere

Moderator
Is your primary care involved?

That's a good landing place for me when trying to sort out what is the next step. I have had labral tears in my hips and compressed nerves in various places in my body. Sometimes PT is enough to resolve the issue. PT is going to be crucial, even with surgery. A good pain medicine specialist may also be a good doctor to have in the mix - not for narcotics (they have downsides that are good to avoid) - but because they can explore procedures and options.

Have you tried TENS unit to wake up the muscles? I just had a nagging issue with muscle atrophy in my leg, and a TENS unit used on a setting to make the muscle contract felt super weird but finally got it firing right, which reducing swelling and a number of very painful issues.
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
Is your primary care involved?
Yes, she is. She sent me to PT and a hip specialist and she's continued my gabapentin RX for pain. I just started seeing her in Sept. or Oct., so this is a new go-round.

Have you tried TENS unit to wake up the muscles? I just had a nagging issue with muscle atrophy in my leg, and a TENS unit used on a setting to make the muscle contract felt super weird but finally got it firing right, which reducing swelling and a number of very painful issues.
Thank you. No, I have not tried this! And I have a TENS unit.

My PT has done a couple of rounds of dry needling with electrical stimulation and some cupping, both of which seemed helpful.

I am going to look for my TENS unit, now. It's still packed but from your description, it sounds like you used yours for just the same problem I am having. I seem to be improving but if that could speed up the process, I would be so happy!

Thanks again!
 

RussellSue

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks for the input @Justmehere , @WonderWriter and @Sideways

I finally made an appointment for tomorrow to see my primary care. The last three days have been stupid painful and I'm not sure just what pushed it over the edge. I've been doing so much to try and deal with the moderate pain, I think I turned it into severe pain via massage, TENS unit, exercise, or whatever. No matter - it seems that I ought to figure out what is going on with all of this, even if it turns out I am doing all I need to/can do to deal with it. The mystery is officially stressing me out.
 
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