Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

186 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

Hello, My question is hopefully simple...about 5 days ago, I

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 1789 Questions

default
Posted on Thu, 24 Jan 2019 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: Hello,

My question is hopefully simple...about 5 days ago, I attempted to lift something too heavy and pulled by back/groin, resulting in outer right back pain, right testicle pain, and leg cramps. I've been examined by a doctor and they did not feel a hernia and the pain listed above has improved significantly since. However, my leg cramps have gotten a little worse in my right leg (in front and behind the thigh). I saw my doctor today and she said not to proceed further medically since recovery has been good. She only said to contact her if in 7 days, it isnt better. I had an inguinal hernia in 2015 and was repaired that same year. The doctor I saw today did not feel a hernia (whereas with the 2015 hernia, the doctor felt it immediately).

My question is can a pinched nerve cause leg cramping days later (maybe due to healing)?
default
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 0 minute later
Hello,

My question is hopefully simple...about 5 days ago, I attempted to lift something too heavy and pulled by back/groin, resulting in outer right back pain, right testicle pain, and leg cramps. I've been examined by a doctor and they did not feel a hernia and the pain listed above has improved significantly since. However, my leg cramps have gotten a little worse in my right leg (in front and behind the thigh). I saw my doctor today and she said not to proceed further medically since recovery has been good. She only said to contact her if in 7 days, it isnt better. I had an inguinal hernia in 2015 and was repaired that same year. The doctor I saw today did not feel a hernia (whereas with the 2015 hernia, the doctor felt it immediately).

My question is can a pinched nerve cause leg cramping days later (maybe due to healing)?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Cramps may happen later

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I carefully read your question. A pinched nerve generally causes the pain immediately when the trauma happens but this is not to say that it can not cause it at a later time. It is possible that if you have pain it can be from a pinched nerve. On the other side I would expect you to have the pain in a certain location based on the nerve being pinched. Knowing exactly which areas do you have the pain will help. It is not expected that a pinched nerve would cause pain all over the leg and foot but certain pattern depending on the nerve. Most of the time patients get sciatica pain that is a shooting pain that goes in the back and spreads in the buttock and back of the leg.

In any case even if it is a pinched nerve the treatment is similar to muscular pain to help local inflammation and pain settle. I think your doctor should have already done a neurological examination making sure the nerves are working well and if this is the case then just ibuprofen and doing the daily activities (rest is not recommended) is crucial and it is time that will heal the cause of the pain (muscular or pinched nerve). Physiotherapy might help as well as it may help the tender muscles relax (even when we have pinched nerve muscles can stay contracted and be painful) and will help also strengthen the right muscles to help you improve quicker.

So to conclude i would say:
- even though most likely a pinched nerve causes pain at the moment of being pinched, a later pain does not rule it out as sometimes other small trauma (unnoticed) can happen and cause the already hurt area to be more vulnerable and hurt further.
- it is not a major difference in treatment of simple muscle pain from pain due to pinched nerve (as long as the doctor has examined the nerves and they work well like muscular strength, sensation and reflexes). In both cases ibuprofen, keeping active as much as possible and physiotherapy are the mainstay of treatment.
- the follow up in a week is important so the doctor checks the function of the nerves again and also the improvement of pain and any worsening should make you seek medical attention.
- if you have swelling or redness in the leg the cramps are not due to a pinched nerve or muscular strain and other causes should be looked for.

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

Kind regards,
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj, General and Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
Cramps may happen later

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

I carefully read your question. A pinched nerve generally causes the pain immediately when the trauma happens but this is not to say that it can not cause it at a later time. It is possible that if you have pain it can be from a pinched nerve. On the other side I would expect you to have the pain in a certain location based on the nerve being pinched. Knowing exactly which areas do you have the pain will help. It is not expected that a pinched nerve would cause pain all over the leg and foot but certain pattern depending on the nerve. Most of the time patients get sciatica pain that is a shooting pain that goes in the back and spreads in the buttock and back of the leg.

In any case even if it is a pinched nerve the treatment is similar to muscular pain to help local inflammation and pain settle. I think your doctor should have already done a neurological examination making sure the nerves are working well and if this is the case then just ibuprofen and doing the daily activities (rest is not recommended) is crucial and it is time that will heal the cause of the pain (muscular or pinched nerve). Physiotherapy might help as well as it may help the tender muscles relax (even when we have pinched nerve muscles can stay contracted and be painful) and will help also strengthen the right muscles to help you improve quicker.

So to conclude i would say:
- even though most likely a pinched nerve causes pain at the moment of being pinched, a later pain does not rule it out as sometimes other small trauma (unnoticed) can happen and cause the already hurt area to be more vulnerable and hurt further.
- it is not a major difference in treatment of simple muscle pain from pain due to pinched nerve (as long as the doctor has examined the nerves and they work well like muscular strength, sensation and reflexes). In both cases ibuprofen, keeping active as much as possible and physiotherapy are the mainstay of treatment.
- the follow up in a week is important so the doctor checks the function of the nerves again and also the improvement of pain and any worsening should make you seek medical attention.
- if you have swelling or redness in the leg the cramps are not due to a pinched nerve or muscular strain and other causes should be looked for.

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

Kind regards,
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj, General and Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 48 minutes later
Thank you so much for your response doctor!
The pain from this injury (lifting a very heavy box) is in predominantly three places; on the superior portion of my right hip/lower back, my right testicle, and then the cramping pain in the right leg. So I initially thought this was another hernia (due to it feeling very similar to my actual hernia back in 2015 (that was repaired)). As this hip/testicle pain is getting better, this cramping is becoming ever-more noticeable. I don't know if I should be worried considering I had a physical exam today by a surgeon (who did not see anything immediately worrisome; she just said to meet her again if the pain has not subsided even more within the next week). I tend to overreact, plus being in nursing school, I'm afraid of having to miss any school, therefore be removed from the nursing program.

Does this appear to be something serious or not likely, considering that it is getting better (albeit slowly)?
default
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 0 minute later
Thank you so much for your response doctor!
The pain from this injury (lifting a very heavy box) is in predominantly three places; on the superior portion of my right hip/lower back, my right testicle, and then the cramping pain in the right leg. So I initially thought this was another hernia (due to it feeling very similar to my actual hernia back in 2015 (that was repaired)). As this hip/testicle pain is getting better, this cramping is becoming ever-more noticeable. I don't know if I should be worried considering I had a physical exam today by a surgeon (who did not see anything immediately worrisome; she just said to meet her again if the pain has not subsided even more within the next week). I tend to overreact, plus being in nursing school, I'm afraid of having to miss any school, therefore be removed from the nursing program.

Does this appear to be something serious or not likely, considering that it is getting better (albeit slowly)?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 6 minutes later
Brief Answer:
I don't think this is something serious

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

It does not seem something serious to me. Signs of a serious injury to the back would be due to spinal stenosis from the disc and in this case the patient gets numbness in the genital area, and looses control of the urine or bowels. This would be the only serious condition that would need urgent attention and it does not seem to be the issue in your case.

Pain is common with muscular strain and nerve pinch and generally improves with time and there is nothing to worry. The reassuring of the visiting doctor should also help you feel better as she did a physical examination and did not find something to worry her. You will need quite a good dose of Ibuprofen, 600-800 mg 4 times a day after food. Sometimes combining with codein small dose might help. Be aware of possible stomach problems with Ibuprofen so using Omeprazole while taking ibuprofen might be a good idea and also if any stomach problems you will need to stop ibuprofen.
Physiotherapy might help you improve earlier so consider it. Pain may take weeks to completely settle, most are better in the first week but in some cases might last longer so I don't think you are outside of the normal. Make sure you don't hurt your back or muscles again (avoid heavy weights and use your knees when you need to bend).

As for the hernia the best way to rule it out is an ultrasound even though the fact that the pain is better and the examination being normal is quite reassuring. Any recurrence of pain there would warrant an ultrasound examination (is the best way to surely rule out hernia).

I wish you success with your nursing studies and quick improvement and healing.

I hope this answers to your query but please feel free to let me know if i can assist you further.

Kind regards,
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj, General and Family Physician

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
I don't think this is something serious

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

It does not seem something serious to me. Signs of a serious injury to the back would be due to spinal stenosis from the disc and in this case the patient gets numbness in the genital area, and looses control of the urine or bowels. This would be the only serious condition that would need urgent attention and it does not seem to be the issue in your case.

Pain is common with muscular strain and nerve pinch and generally improves with time and there is nothing to worry. The reassuring of the visiting doctor should also help you feel better as she did a physical examination and did not find something to worry her. You will need quite a good dose of Ibuprofen, 600-800 mg 4 times a day after food. Sometimes combining with codein small dose might help. Be aware of possible stomach problems with Ibuprofen so using Omeprazole while taking ibuprofen might be a good idea and also if any stomach problems you will need to stop ibuprofen.
Physiotherapy might help you improve earlier so consider it. Pain may take weeks to completely settle, most are better in the first week but in some cases might last longer so I don't think you are outside of the normal. Make sure you don't hurt your back or muscles again (avoid heavy weights and use your knees when you need to bend).

As for the hernia the best way to rule it out is an ultrasound even though the fact that the pain is better and the examination being normal is quite reassuring. Any recurrence of pain there would warrant an ultrasound examination (is the best way to surely rule out hernia).

I wish you success with your nursing studies and quick improvement and healing.

I hope this answers to your query but please feel free to let me know if i can assist you further.

Kind regards,
Dr. Antoneta Zotaj, General and Family Physician

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Kampana
doctor
default
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 19 hours later
Awesome! Thank you so much for your response doctor. Very informative and one of the only few I've had on here where it shows that the doctor cares :)

I just found it odd to be having muscle cramps (anterior and posterior on the thigh), and an odd feeling/pressure in the knee almost seven days after the event, especially when these issues were not present until recently. I started getting worried about having a hernia that was pinching the nerve and would result in loss of leg function, or maybe a lack of bloodflow due to the same issue.

Thank you,
Chase
default
Follow up: Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 0 minute later
Awesome! Thank you so much for your response doctor. Very informative and one of the only few I've had on here where it shows that the doctor cares :)

I just found it odd to be having muscle cramps (anterior and posterior on the thigh), and an odd feeling/pressure in the knee almost seven days after the event, especially when these issues were not present until recently. I started getting worried about having a hernia that was pinching the nerve and would result in loss of leg function, or maybe a lack of bloodflow due to the same issue.

Thank you,
Chase
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
It is a pleasure to be able to help you. I don't think there is any blood flow problem causing your pain.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

It is a pleasure to be able to help you.

A small clarification related to hernia. It is the inguinal hernia (in the groin area) that is best ruled out with ultrasound. This kind of hernia does not pinch nerves and the pain in the leg is not likely to be caused by it.

The disc hernia (or disc prolapse) is the prolapse of the middle part of the disc between the vertebra in the back. This can pinch a nerve and in this case you would have a shooting pain that radiates down the back of your leg but it would not cause the pain in the front of the leg. This kind of hernia is not dangerous generally unless you develop signs of spinal stenosis mentioned above.There is no need for tests to specifically confirm the prolapse of the disc as it generally is self limiting and improves with time.

What is happening in your case is very likely muscular pain. When we have pain in one area (as it first happened in the beginning with you) we try to protect that area and overstres other areas putting other muscles on tense positions that might hurt them and very likely this is the reason you started with these new pains in the leg.

The reassurance of the doctor that examined you also confirms that there is nothing to worry.

I hope this is helpful. Take care and heal soon.

Kind regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, General and Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
doctor
Answered by Dr. Antoneta Zotaj 0 minute later
Brief Answer:
It is a pleasure to be able to help you. I don't think there is any blood flow problem causing your pain.

Detailed Answer:
Hello,

It is a pleasure to be able to help you.

A small clarification related to hernia. It is the inguinal hernia (in the groin area) that is best ruled out with ultrasound. This kind of hernia does not pinch nerves and the pain in the leg is not likely to be caused by it.

The disc hernia (or disc prolapse) is the prolapse of the middle part of the disc between the vertebra in the back. This can pinch a nerve and in this case you would have a shooting pain that radiates down the back of your leg but it would not cause the pain in the front of the leg. This kind of hernia is not dangerous generally unless you develop signs of spinal stenosis mentioned above.There is no need for tests to specifically confirm the prolapse of the disc as it generally is self limiting and improves with time.

What is happening in your case is very likely muscular pain. When we have pain in one area (as it first happened in the beginning with you) we try to protect that area and overstres other areas putting other muscles on tense positions that might hurt them and very likely this is the reason you started with these new pains in the leg.

The reassurance of the doctor that examined you also confirms that there is nothing to worry.

I hope this is helpful. Take care and heal soon.

Kind regards,

Antoneta Zotaj, General and Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Remy Koshy
doctor
premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on