Help! I have a horrible pain down one side of my body from my lower back, through my buttock and down my leg. Can you tell me what is happening?

by Karlee
(Devon, UK)

For some time now I have had discomfort down one side of my body from my lower back down through my buttock, thigh and down my leg. Sometimes I don't get it for a few weeks then it comes back again for a while. Do you think this stems from a back problem?

Comments for Help! I have a horrible pain down one side of my body from my lower back, through my buttock and down my leg. Can you tell me what is happening?

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Jan 14, 2013
It's going to be the back!
by: Sarah says

The widespread nature of your pain seems to suggest you are suffering both referred pain from a malfunctioning spinal segment, and possibly a degree of actual irritation of one of the spinal nerves roots as well (which gives you the pain further down the leg). This usually happens if the bottom (or second bottom) lumbar disc has lost some of its water ? either through injury or too much vertical compression from sitting. The vertebrae sitting on top of the problem disc then rides down too closely to the one below and you get what is known as a 'stiff spinal segment'. The poor mobility and the lack of space between the two vertebrae amounts to a low-grade sort of 'grinding' between the two vertebrae and the pain you are suffering can be the result.
Although you should probably see a manipulative physiotherapist (or osteopath or chiropractor) to un-jam your back, you can actually start the decompression yourself. You can do this in two ways: firstly by squatting on your haunches with your back rounded at intervals throughout the day and secondly by lying for 60 seconds over a 7cm stack of books placed under your sacrum (the hard flat bone at the base of your spine). This is best done at the end of each day because this is when your spine is most compressed and all your discs the most lacking in water. Once you have plumped the spine up again, rolling back and forth over your lower spinal segments (with special attention to pivoting on the sorer ones) will mobilise them and help them move more freely. Twenty curling up exercises (with the knees bent and the feet secured) after the spinal rolling with strengthen your tummy and help keep the segmental separation.

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