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Difference of opinion on bulging disks, etc?


I saw an orthopedic spine specialist, neurologist, rheumatologist and my primary doctor and all say the tingling and numb sensations I get in my lower legs and feet could not be related to my back. My MRIs show a minor bulging disk I believe around L4 or L5 and also I believe the same around T3 and/or T7? Can’t recall. Also shows minor foraminal narrowing and facet arthrosis. I have minor pain in the mid back, what feels like spasms and also tingling, pain and numbness in the feet and also some of the sensations into the lower leg. It for the most part vanishes at night when relaxing and sleeping. It returns with sitting, standing, walking, etc. The M.D.s say now way! They think it is my feet. They don’t think I have a neurologic or rheumatologic condition.My Chiropractor says my symtoms could absolutely be related to the back no matter how minor the MRI appears. I went through my MRI with my chiropractor and she feels it is related. I have been going for adjustments and decompression table for about 3 weeks or so. I did realize I may not have been doing the table correctly because it was pulling me along. Apparently I was supposed to hold on to the side of the table so I wonder if the last 3 weeks were wasted. Anyway, I have a few more months of steady treatment and I hope I see results.Any thoughts on why the variance in opinion???


  1. Hi! You are absolutely right! The only area on the spine that affects the legs is the L5!!! I have several issues with this as well and most of my problems are due to bulging discs on C5/6/7. This causes all the vertebrae on that side with the bulging disks to have problems and pinched nerves even including my L5! I even was limping and had shooting pain and numbness. Thanks to my chiropractor and receiving adjustments I am back to normal! I fought for years with a neurologist, rheumatologist and Md.s…they never understood what was going on with me and only prescribed pain pills and muscle relaxers. This only intensified the problem because I was left UNTREATED! Listen to your chiropractor and L5 bulging disk is an unfortunate place for this problem…I’m sorry.

  2. There can definitely be a correlation between the back and the symptoms you are experiencing in the extremity. In this case, the medics are of the opinion it’s not possible and that’s absolutely wrong. Anything is possible. It is by far a definite possibility from what you have said and should be included in the differential diagnosis and ruled out. Are we taking both feet or just one? I see some of what the MD’s are thinking but most rheumatologic disorders are systemic (affecting the whole body) not just one part. I would have some nerve conduction tests done and I would run a arthritic panel to check for arthritic markers. Neuropathy in the feet is often present in those with diabetes.

    • Thanks for the response. Yes, it is both feet, but only the right foot has pain and tenderness in the ball and arch to cause limping on some days. I get tingling in the entire leg at times….tingling, spasm type sensations in the mid back and I even have had stabbing pain in the mid back in the middle of the night. Once in a while I will get cold fingers and the shakes in the hands, etc…….nausea, loss of apetite, etc. My right eye also flares up once in a while and I now see floaters in my eyes.These days, most of the issues are in the feet. I have seen so many doctors it is crazy. They say they have ruled out MS, Diabetes, Celiac, possibly Ankylosing Spondylitis, etc, etc. Once Rheumatologist thinks it could still be AS or Psoriatic Arthritis, while another thinks the problem is all with poor foot mechanics and possible tarsal tunnel, etc. He said the other symptoms I have had could just be anxiety related since the issue with the feet really had me shaken! They did find an abnormal protein band in my blood and an Oncologist is looking into this as well.My chiropractor feels it is all mechanical, or mostly.It is frustrating because I have been such an active person who eats so well for so many years and now this!-Rich