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27 Feb 2004

Numbness and weakness in right leg

Sometime last week my back gave up on me and I could hardly stand. I took an anti inflam and two painkillers then I was ok for the day. My back was still not right for the following 3 days or so, but now I have pain in my right bum, all down my leg, and numbness in my toes. I can feel my toes, but the sensation is different to my left foot. If I touch my left foot it feels normal, but when I touch my right foot (mainly my toes) there seems to be a kind of tingling feeling. It’s weird, very hard to explain.

Nine years ago I feel off a horse really badly and landed on my back. I was not on medical aid so did not see a doctor, even though I could not stand for days after that. The problem I am having at the moment is in the same area as where my back was injured when I fell.

I was also in a bad car accident a month ago and I had whip lash which landed me in bed for a week, as I couldn’t move. The pain was excruciating. I did have x-rays but nothing was wrong with my neck area.

I don’t know if this is related to the car accident, or the injury 9 years ago. When walking around my right leg feels weak and weird. I have had back problems for years now, but this is the first time I have felt this numbness and weakness before. When I sit at my pc, I can feel a stretching sensation in my lower back / right bum. When I sit on the bed with my feet out, and I bend my foot towards me, I feel the same thing in my right bum. It is not all that painful, but is more a strange feeling. When I flex my leg I can also feel what seems like all the muscles up my leg on the outside.

What should I do and what could this be? I don’t know who to see – a doctor, or a specialist of some sort. I am 27, have never had numbness in my toes, so I don’t know what to do.

Answer 370 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Karen
It sounds as though the sciatic nerve is getting trapped somewhere. The good news is that if it were from the spine it would be localised to a specific area, but because it is not I would say that piriformis - a small bum muscle is more than likely catching.
Two things to try: Sit in a chair - cross your right leg over the left (the way guys do) and bend forwards- this should give you a good releasing stretch. Do this three times holding for ten seconds at a time, with this you can also look for a very sensitive point on your pubic bone and release here too.
Second try rubbing your left jaw muscle - your whiplash may be triggering the back symptoms.
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