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Muscular pain from thigh to leg when cough or laugh. Sciatica?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 9730 Questions
muscle pull?sciatic? something worse?I have had a kinked or pulled muscle that runs from my behind to my thigh on my right leg since july. It comes and goes and is painful and I limp when its bad. When i cough or laugh hurts. I kept thinking it was a normal muscle pull or sciatic, but its been 9months of pain (level 8). If I try to push on my leg to find the painful section on my leg it usually doesnt act up; it seems to need to act up intermittently on its own. What can I do? I havent seen a doctor because I cant afford an mri and xrays but if it could mean i need surgery, I would go. Thanks.
Posted Mon, 23 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

A shooting pain behind the thigh upto leg can be due to sciatica or a nerve root compression at the level of spinal cord.

I understand the financial restraints but Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of lumbar spine would be extremely useful to know the exact level and extent of damage to the nerve root. The treatment depends on the type and severity of nerve compression or damage.

As far as treatment is concerned, usually medicines and adequate physiotherapy do provide the desired relief.
Surgery is not required in all the cases. Non - surgical treatment options are tried initially to restore the normal function.

I encourage you to consult your orthopedician for proper investigations so that proper treatment can be initiated early.

Meanwhile you can follow these measures:
- If the pain is severe, you need bed rest till the pain resolves.
- Get some analgesics prescribed and apply analgesic spray or ointments.
- While resting, keep a pillow under your knees if it doesn't bother you.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Back strengthening exercises and stretching exercises for your hamstrings daily as advised by a Physiotherapist.
- Avoid exercises in times of pain.
- Improvise your posture while sitting.
- Using an Lumbosacral contour belt of appropriate size might be helpful in providing support to back muscles.

I hope this answers your query. In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.

Wish you good health.

Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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