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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Can pinched nerves cause pain in the lower back?

Answered by
Dr. Sudhir Kumar


Practicing since :1994

Answered : 5751 Questions

Posted on Wed, 13 Mar 2019 in Back Pain
Question: I need help understanding MRi scan results. At L3/4 there is annular disc bulge with small posterior central disc protrusion and radial tear, impinging the thecal sac and indenting both descending nerve roots.

At 4/5 level, there is annular disc bulge with posterior central and right paracentral/foraminal disc protrusion (showing radial tear), impinging the thecal sac, compressing and displacing posteriorly the right descending L5 nerve root, indenting the left descending L5 nerve root. There is mild to moderate spinal canel narrowing (more prominent on the right side).

I have been getting pain down the sides of my legs into my hips when I walk for more than 10-15 minutes. I also get pain in my calves and legs at night - could this be the reason?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Yes, your pain is because of the pinched nerves in the lower back region.

Detailed Answer:


I have noted your symptoms and MRI spine details. As per MRI, there is compression of nerves at two places in the lumbar (lower back) region.

These nerves start in the back and go to thigh, calves, and legs. Compression of nerves may result in pain, tingling, numbness or weakness of legs.

The pinching of nerves has occurred due to bulging of discs (soft tissue located between the two vertebral bodies of the spine).

At this stage, you would require medications such as Pregabalin or Duloxetine to relief the pain.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Take care

Dr Sudhir Kumar, Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
Follow up: Dr. Sudhir Kumar 20 minutes later
Thank-you. Could this also cause stiffness in the muscles? I have a problem with very tight thigh and calf muscles even though I cannot do much exercise.

Also, when I am get sharp pain in my legs when exercising is it ok to continue, or is it best to rest?
Answered by Dr. Sudhir Kumar 37 minutes later
Brief Answer:

Yes, muscle stiffness can be due to this.

Detailed Answer:


Muscle stiffness can be due to this problem.

It is better to relax for a few minutes when exercising causes leg pain. Once the pain subsides, you can resume the exercises. Avoid lifting heavy weights and also avoid forward bending, as it could increase the compression of nerves.

Hope I have answered your query.

Take care

Dr Sudhir Kumar, Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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