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"pins and needles"

Posted: Fri Apr 14, 2006 7:33 pm
by Oleg
The book recommends consulting with a doctor "If you have pain below the knee accompanied with numbness, weakness or “pins and needles” in the foot or toes. " Can somebody explain to me what can cause this?

Thank you.

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:49 am
by randolph
Hello Oleg

Sciatica symptoms, as you described in your post, can be caused by any number of problems. In my case, a bulging disc is irritating my right leg's sciatic nerve. A friend has similar symptoms, but his problem is a tumor growing next to the sciatic nerve. Another friend was in a car crash so bits of broken vertebrae seem to be responsible for his sciatica symptoms. In each of our cases, competent medical diagnosis was necessary to find a different root cause for remarkably similar symptoms. Thus Dean's recommendation to get good medical diagnosis; and that means a good GP (they seem to best, in general, at diagnosis; please beware of alternative therapies - many are dangerous quackery - see

In my case, the RYB program is very helpful; in the case of my two friends, they would receive no help at all by doing the same exercises that help me so much. Both are candidates for surgery and have very reasonable hopes for full recovery. But surgery first; then I will encourage them to use the RYB program to rehabilitate their backs.

Yes, visiting a general practicioner doctor is going to cost a few hundred dollars, but there's a good chance you'll get a good answer to your question. Then you can confidently proceed with the RYB program if the GP eliminates the need for more aggressive medical treatment.

Hope this helps .. and good luck!

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 12:39 pm
by Oleg
Thank you very much for your detailed answer.

I've been suffering with sciatica since 1997, altogether I've had probably 4-5 flare-ups. I had a bad case of sciatica last November, went to a GP (one of those high-volume doctor centers in NYC) who just prescribed NSAID and a muscle relaxant. Went to a chiropractor who helped tremendeously - I know, many RYB reader don't believe in them - but right before New Year's started feeling tension building up again in lower back. And then on January 1 - what a way to start New Year! :( - slipped on ice, did not fall, but twisted my back, and this time the pain was shooting all the way down into right foot and into big toe. Went back to the same chiropractor, he even gave me few sessions of accupuncture for pain, which helped, but numbness stayed. Started going to the gym - mostly sauna, steam room, and gentle stretches, and it seemed to help, but couple of weeks ago lifted something heavy incorrectly - and the pain is back.

I will follow your advice and will go to a doctor - this time will use my wife's doctor. I did have some exposure to radiation (served in Soviet Airforce in Ukraine, not too far from Chernobyl, starting a year after a nuclear accident there) - so I want to make sure there is nothing more serious. Thanks again and I will keep this post updated.

And by the way, I did get the book yesterday and so far have done the daily excercises 4 times - they seem to help manage the pain a little.

Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 2:23 pm
by randolph
Hello again, Oleg!

:D Glad to hear you've seen a GP and you are going to get a second opinion. I'm assuming the first GP was willing to only prescribe NSAIDs because there were no indications of anything needing more than conservative care ... so you may indeed be a candidate for the RYB program. Glad you are giving the exercises a try. Keep reading Dean's books and articles. Lots of good info there that goes against the grain of a lot of misconceptions that many of us have.

You might want to check out and find out why chirpractic and accupuncture "seem" to help sometimes. Often those treatments are simply coincidental and benign to healing that would have happened anyway. Sometimes they're effective because of the placebo effect. Unfortunately, that is not the only problem with such alternative modalities (essentially, paying for nothing). Sometimes, for instance, unnecessary chiropractic adjustments can cause severe injury (even death very rarely). Of coarse, people die in response to care from GPs too ... so I guess I'm just trying to say: buyer beware.

The sauna and steam room sound WUNNNNNNNDERFUL :!:

Good luck!

MRI results

Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 8:42 pm
by Oleg
Well, I got the results of my MRI, and it is a herniated disk L4/L5. Made an appointment for physical therapy for next week, want to see what kind of excercise they will recommend, but still continue doing the basic excercises from Rebuild Your Back. I've adjusted my routine a little, doing shifted cobra instead of a regular one - and it helps tremendously. By the way, when I started doing shifted cobra, I started getting this tiny "click" sound somewhere in the middle of spine, only once per set - and somehow it helps psychologically. My flexibility improved significantly, pain in the leg is moving up into the buttock area and diminishing, I can easily fall asleep without any painkillers. Will continue report on my progress, in case anybody is interested.

Re: "pins and needles"

Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 11:49 pm
by SeafordMdf
Oleg wrote:The book recommends consulting with a doctor "If you have pain below the knee accompanied with numbness, weakness or “pins and needles” in the foot or toes. "
Hi Oleg ,

Randolf has pretty well covered it all .

The statement is there as a "Best to be very Careful" warning with these symptoms .

My understanding is that these symptoms "Very Rarely" can be associated with a stroke , But more commonly those syptoms present themselves in the arm and fingers

( However as Randolf has explained they are most often cased by something pressing on the Sciatic nerve ) so in your case likely is the L4/L5 Herniation.

Mention the exercises that you are doing from the book when you speak to a Physical Therapist , You may find they would have you doing some similar styles of exercises.