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Leg Pain

Q. For several months now I have had pain in my left leg. No swelling, no back pain just a sever pain usually from my knee down.

Walking or standing only makes it worse. Lately it has gotten so bad that my leg starts to give out. When going to bed at night I have a hard time getting to sleep and laying on my left side makes it worse. When I get up in the morning there is no pain until I start walking around.

Is this a pinched nerve? Everything I have read says that I should have back pain which I do not have. I am really not sure if I should see someone or hope this goes away some day.

A. Pain originating in the spine often does NOT create spine pain!

This could easily be coming from your back. Your description of difficulty sleeping and increased pain upon standing are often signs of disc problems.

Often, as disc problems resolve, the symptoms actually centralize (move closer to your spine). Definitely, an evaluation by your physician and physical therapist is warranted.

While it certainly may "go away" on its' own, this is often a warning sign of potentially worse problems if left untreated.

Q. I recently developed a pinched nerve which resulted in severe pain in my left leg. This occurred the day after I had a pilates class from a different instructor. I've enjoyed pilates since last April and believe it has improved my overall flexibility.

Are there any specific forms that I should avoid to prevent this from recurring. I'm told by the Dr. who looked at my MRIs that I have bulging discs.

A. Bulging discs are very common and in fact, many of us are walking around every day with bulging discs and we don't even know it.

The disc does not become painful until the disc puts pressure on to the nerve. For the most part, Pilates is a wonderful core strengthening activity, however it concentrates on "flexion" of the abdominal muscles which can sometimes be counter productive to keeping a bulging disc from settling on a nerve.

Pilates, when combined with "extension" exercises could be the right combination for you. A consult with a physical therapist can devise a proper combination.

To learn more about NovaCare Rehabilitation, with 24 NE Ohio outpatient clinics,please visit us online at www.novacare.com/neohio.htm

Or call 216-292-6363 ext. 236


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