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Had salmonella poisoning. Lower back pain, leg pain, difficulty walking. What action can be taken?

Dec 2012
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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2012
Answered : 1704 Questions
Hi there, I've just come out of hospital after 7 days with salmonella poisoning, I'm at home, resting but have been experiencing severe pain in the very lower back, more so 'inside' the back as opposed to where one would normally experience back pain. It limits my ability to walk without limping and after trying to run and push myself thinking it was stiffness from laying down for a week, I experienced shooting pains down my leg, what are your thoughts on this? I'm fearful it could be a type of arthritis, how would I be able to tell and what actions could I take. Thank you
Thu, 11 Apr 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Nsah Bernard 2 hours later

Thanks for posting on XXXXXXX

I guess after being hospitalized for salmonellosis you spent much time in bed and as a result it is possible that you have developed sciatica or lombosciatalgia or lumbago. Sciatica is a type of nerve pain usually caused by compression/injury (in your case probably due to lying down for too long). Based on your age, arthritis is easily exclude from the picture. Non-septic arthritis is less likely in a young athletic adult male while septic arthritis is rare but there should be a notion of portal of entry of a bacteria infection.

My impression is that you have a sciatic nerve pain and possible causes of your sciatica is slipped disk, piriformis syndrome (a pain disorder involving the narrow muscle in the buttocks) and others are rare (tumors, pelvic injury or fracture)
what you can do now is:

- Apply heat or ice to the painful area. Try ice for the first 48 - 72 hours, then use heat after that.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB) or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
- Reduce your activities for the first couple of days.
- Consult a doctor (possibly an orthopedic surgeon)
- Scan of back (MRI, CT scan or X-ray etc)= these would rule out other possible causes of lower back pain like herniated disc, arthritis, strain, spinal stenosis etc

Hope this helps and let me know if you have other questions.
Dr. Bernard
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