Back trouble

Hurt my back on Wednesday, and it seems to be interfering with my leg.

Wednesday: Woke up with some pain in my back, so I tried to stretch it a bit. Usually this helps, but this time I felt a pain in the left side of my lower back, going from the spine outward. I took some Orudis and that seemed to help. About halfway through the day, I started noticing some pain and some tingling in my left leg.

Thursday: Pain in my leg was still there, so I decided to go to the doctor. I managed to get an appointment for the same day, so I left work early and went there. It turns out my blood pressure has gone down (good news). The doctor (man) and the assistant/trainee/intern doctor (woman) both took turns examining me. Everything was going along fine until she said “OK, walk around on your toes.” No sweat, I can do that. “Okay, now walk around on your heels.” No problem, I… wait, that used to work before. This time I couldn’t hold my left foot up with any weight on it at all, not due to pain, it was just like I had no strength to raise my foot up. That was scary. This being my first experience with partial paralysis, I didn’t really want to make the moment last.

Anyway, the doctor said it’s probably due to damage to my muscle or connecting tissue, and that I should keep on a high dose of Advil for the pain and inflammation, apply heat, do some stretches here and there, and if it’s not gone in a week, come back. A week, yow.

The pharmacist didn’t have the prescribed size of Advil, so I bought Advil off the shelf. I was supposed to take 300mg three times a day, but they only come in 200mg tabs. So I took the max dose on the Advil label (400mg). When I got home, I went in the hot tub, that seemed to help a bit.

Friday: Walking was a bit awkward, and my calf and foot were really starting to hurt. My guess is that the muscle I need to raise the foot is not working due to pinched nerve, so all the other muscles are over-compensating. I think that the numbness, tingling, and pain that shoots down my leg are directly related to the nerve being pinched or damage, and the localized muscles that ache are the still-working ones that compensate for the non-working one. I could raise my foot part way, but I couldn’t raise it all the way and I couldn’t overcome any resistance with it. Same with my big toe, though I was able to bring up the other toes, I couldn’t bring up the big toe enough to put pressure on the inside of my shoe. Though this didn’t stop me from trying to raise my foot, which may be part of why the other muscles were straining, like maybe the ones that normally move side to side were straining against each other or something. I could tell that the large muscle that pulls the foot up wasn’t doing anything, since the big tendon at the top of my ankle wasn’t pulling. Went down to the hot tub again, that was good. Sleep was interrupted a couple times due to pain in my calf and it was hard to find a comfortable position. Laying on my right side with a pillow between my legs turned out to be the best.

Saturday: Went down to the hot tub twice. The first time (9:30 am) it was raining a bit, but later the sun came out, it was nice. I entertained myself by going into the cold pool and sitting under the cold water for a full minute, then going back to the hot tub. I came back up, and watched TV for a while, then decided to take a nap. After napping from like 2:00 to 6:00 I came out again, ate again, went in the hot tub again, and came back. Since I was probably going to be restless again, I decided to sleep in the front room on the air mattress and let M have the bed. I kicked off the blanket a couple times and got really cold, so I turned the heater back on and got inside the sleeping bag, that seemed to help.

Sunday: That’s today! The leg feels a little better, though walking is still awkward. I will probably hit the hot tub a couple more times, and use the heating pad on my back, etc. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…

0 thoughts on “Back trouble

  1. esmerel

    Definitely sounds like some nerve pinching going on there to me. Your muscles around it will definitely try to compensate, which pulls on stuff around *those* muscles, and then everything gets out of whack. Been there, done that :) If it’s not better soon, and your doc doesn’t give you actual stretches to do and something more than ‘take lots of advil’, you might wanna check with a chiropractor and see if you’ve got a vertebrae out of alignment. In your lower back, that’ll /really/ screw up your legs and being able to walk.

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