Lower Back Pain with numbed legs

Patient

Q: Hi i strained by back in football game and i went to my doctor. I was out for 2 weeks but when i went to start basketball i found out i had a hard time running or even walking because my legs would just suddenley go numb and i could hardly stand. I usally fall over but when the pain subsided a bit i could walk again but what do you think is the problem?

Doctor

A:    According to your description of the events and in the view that you are having neurologic symptoms (legs numbed), I advise you to get an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon to rule out a possible Lumbosacral nerve compression or inflammation consequence of your previous football back injury. Some of the major causes of acute and chronic low back pain (LBP) are associated with radiculopathy (nerve compression). Lumbosacral radiculopathy, like other forms of radiculopathy, results from nerve root impingement and/or inflammation that has progressed enough to cause neurologic symptoms in the areas that are supplied by the affected nerve root, the legs in your case. During the acute phase of the pain, the physical therapy is very important and involves the use of ultrasound, TENS, heat to control pain, teaching you back-protection techniques (e.g., proper lifting, posture awareness). A lumbar stabilization program is also useful in  instructing you in various techniques to control  back pain, and you also can work on strengthening the stabilizing muscles of the lumbar spine

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