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What causes pins and needles sensation on leg?

Feb 2014
User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 5930 Questions
Hi, Here is my MRI report- Cervical spine- early spondylo disco degenerative changes seen, postulasr annular tear in C5-C6 disc, diffuse posterior and bilateral foraminal C5-C6 disc bulge withe arly poteacentral early disc protrusion impinging thecal sac and indenting bilateral netral foramen contents, hydrosyrinx from C6-D3 vertebra likely. Dorsal- Disco degenarative changes in dorsal spine, mild prominensce of central spinal canal from level of D6 to D9 vertebra- milk mydrosyrinx likely. Lumbar- L5-S1 disc dessication with mild diffuse bulge/pseudobulge of the disc, mild L5 over S1 retrolysthesis is noted. My question really is based on a problem I faced with my hamstring last year. I was running, following the correct procedure of warmup, stretch and then run, and on my first step I felt something catch in my left leg near the hamstring. Not sure what it was, I continued with yoga (at that point normal Hatha Yoga at home) with a lot of hamstring stretches to fix what appeared to be a catch in my hamstring. The basic feeling was that my hamstring (top 4-5 inches) felt heavy suddenly. This was a year ago, now I have been practicing Iyengar yoga regularly. Some days I am ok, some days my left leg (affected one) feels like deadweight. Except the feeling of deadweighted-ness follows on to my calf as well now and sometimes I get a low level pins and needles feeling on my whole left leg. No pain however. Can you'll please help me figure out what I should do? My physio says that my hamstring is fine because there is no pain and the range of motion is shorter on the left side than the right but it is ok. He said it is a weak obturatur externus muscle, and thus isn't the muscle isn't holding up my hamstring and the weakness is probably aggravating a nerve. He also says it will take a couple of months for the exercises to show any change. I am continuing to do exercises prescribed by my physio to strengthen the obturator externus. Any other opinions? Thank you.
Posted Thu, 20 Mar 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 6 hours later
Brief Answer: hamstring seems to be Ok. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for your query. I have gone through the reports attached. Your hamstring seems to be Ok. Pins and needles feeling on your whole left leg seems to be due to nerve compression. Nerve compression might be at the level of lower spine or due to pyriformis muscle compressing the nerve fibres. I do hope that you have found something helpful and I will be glad to answer any further query. Take care
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Follow-up: What causes pins and needles sensation on leg? 6 hours later
If it's the lower spine, wouldn't it show in the MRI report? Wouldn't we be able to conclusively say that or not? Also, what is the solution you would recommend to make this better since clearly earlier this feeling was more restricted to the hamstring and now it's extended to the calf. What is the solution- 1) If it's the lower spine or 2) if it's the piriformis muscle? Exercises for each if that's what you prescribe.
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 6 hours later
Brief Answer: Description below. Detailed Answer: Hi, In lower spine there is L5-S1 disc dessication with mild diffuse bulge. This might causing some compression over nerve roots. If it is the lower spine, you have to do back strengthening exercises under guidance of your physiotherapist. Avoid forward bending and lifting heavy weight as it increases pressure over disc. If it is the pyriformis muscle, you have to do piriformis stretches . Consider the use of ultrasonography and other heat modalities prior to physical therapy sessions. Avoid running or exercising on hills or uneven surfaces.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes pins and needles sensation on leg? 28 hours later
Hi, I had a check up with my physio yesterday. 1. Lower spine (there was no pain or inflammation around the L3-S1). Does this mean that the lower spine could still be a contributor? 2. Pyriformis muscle- my physio determined that there was no pain/inflammation/soreness/tenderness. According to him, the piriformis muscle is not the contributor. Even without pain or inflammation, could the piriformis muscle actually be responsible? My physio continues to think it is the obturator externus (and on pressing that was the only area of my buttock with soreness and inflammation. Did ultrasonic and electro therapy and today hamstring is feeling about 10% better. Could this muscle be the cause of my symptoms, or is that not possible. Please lend some clasrification? What activities are a definite NO with the symptoms I have mentioned above? eg. my iyengar yoga teacher (practitioner for 20 years) has advised against walking, swimming, jogging, gym, and wearing heels. What is your recommendation? Thank you. XXXX
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 27 hours later
Brief Answer: Description below. Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX Sorry for late reply. If there is no pain or inflammation around lower back and piriformis muscle then possibility could be obturator externus as there is soreness and inflammation on pressing this area. Your presenting symptoms could be de to combination of both obturator externus and hamstring muscle. I suggest you to continue physiotherapy as this is very helpful in these cases. Walking, swimming, jogging is not harmful in your case. Avoid wearing heels, heavy weight lifting and sternous activity. Hope this will help you.If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.
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