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What causes tingling and numbness in the lower back and buttocks?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 15853 Questions

Posted on Wed, 9 Sep 2015 in Back Pain
Question: Hello, over the last 3-4 weeks I have had some odd symptoms. Tingling and numbness feeling from my lower back, buttocks, back of thigh and sometimes legs. I thought everything from Herpes to Cancer lol. It has been constant for at least the last 3 weeks. I have not noticed any sores or things they might resemble an STD. Although I have been checking my buttocks and found one or 2 pimples. Not sure if its related or I get them and just never noticed until I started checking. What could this be? Would herpes cause constant tingling and numbness for more than 3 weeks?
I'm freaking out here!
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
different possible causes

Detailed Answer:
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic

Tingling and numbness are due to abnormal function or/and structure of the nerves (peripheral neuropathy).

The abnormal sensations would be called paresthesia.

There are different possible causes: (1) trauma to the nerves in the area eg if there are any issues with the lower back, it can affect the nerves exiting the back.

These nerves are responsible for sensations in the thighs and legs

An xray (and possibly other imaging, depends on entire symptoms) would be needed

(2)vitamin b12 and folate deficiency can cause paresthesia

This can occur because of inadequate intake in the diet, alcohol use or if there is a problem with absorption


(4)liver or kidney disease can also cause these issues, there are blood tests that can check liver and kidney function

(5)infections such as shingles or herpes but this would be associated with a rash

(6)exposure to toxins

(7)some hormonal eg thyroid disease,

(8)autoimmune disease-RA,lupus

(9)idiopathic- cause is not known

The first step would be an xray of the lower back to look for any structural changes.

Blood tests to check vit b12 and folate levels, checking thyroid levels and screening for infection or diabetes.

There are medications that can help with nerve sensations, your doctor can prescribe one for you if you wish

I hope this helps , feel free to ask any other questions

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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