What is this tingling/numbness sensation on my side?
September 15, 2008 7:26 AM   Subscribe

Why does my hip/left side of my lower back have a tingling/numbness to it?

A few days ago I developed a sensation in the lower left side of my back and the left side of my hip. It is a small portion of my body, from the middle of my buttocks to the top of my hip bone. Maybe even onto my stomach just a little bit. It started out as an 'itch' and it just never went away. Now it will 'itch' basically all day and night. When I scratch it to try to relieve the situation it's hard to feel and just creates a weird sensation. Not completely numb but pretty close.

I have not fallen or had any kind of hard impact to that side. I tried some research of my own and came to the conclusion that it might be a nervous system issue. One thing I can think of is that I will something stnad up and twist kind of violently to each side to pop my back. That could be the cause right there.

I have looked at questions and answers that are smiliar on AskMeFi but nothing like my situation. Any help as to what might have caused it (to prevent it in the future) and how to go about fixing it is appreciated!
posted by jwfree to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I just had back surgery for a herniated disc. I had hip pain and numbness and pain in my thigh. They found that the disc was pinching the heck out of a nerve and after surgery the pain was relieved. Maybe a doc could refer you for a MRI or CT scan for your lower back.
posted by sandra194 at 7:54 AM on September 15, 2008

It could certainly have to do with a herniated disk, but it sounds a lot like Piriformis Syndrome to me. Or possibly some form of Sciatica. IANAD, but I am a massage therapist. I would suggest getting an MD's opinion. S/he might want you to get physical therapy if it persists. One thing I can say for sure is that low back and hip conditions sometimes worsen to the point of being untreatable if they are ignore for a long time, so I would address it sooner than later.
posted by Fenriss at 8:10 AM on September 15, 2008

Piriformis Syndrome is, in my experience, usually an undiagnosed herniated or bulging disk. Sciatica is a symptom of a herniated or bulging disk. You probably have a herniated or bulging disk.
posted by unSane at 8:29 AM on September 15, 2008

Do you have a rash? Because what you are describing sounds just like the very early stage of shingles. Take a look in the mirror and see if you have a rash. You really need to get to the doctor right away and, if necessary, take an anti-viral, because if you arrest shingles at this stage you will most likely escape longterm nerve damage (I did).

However, you also may be experiencing siatica. Sciatica can be alleviated through excercise (swimming is best) or by losing weight.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:47 AM on September 15, 2008

Yeah, sounds like an early case of shingles. The tingling extends from the midline of your back around to the midline of your belly? If you are seeing little patchy red rashes with small raised bumps that are maddeningly itch, that's what you've got.

Shingles is caused by herpes zoster, which you probably had as a child as chicken pox. You know the received wisdom that your mom probably taught you about how it's better to get chicken pox when you're young? That almost certainly dooms you to shingles at some point later on in life. Not that there was much she could have done about you not getting chicken pox at the time you were a child.

Get thee to the physician and get your anti-virals, as soon as you can.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 10:04 AM on September 15, 2008

My work has a clinic on campus and I'm going tomorrow morning (for free!) to have it checked out. I will follow-up with the results. Thanks for all the help!
posted by jwfree at 8:37 PM on September 15, 2008

Shingles it was, thanks for all the help everyone.
posted by jwfree at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2008

Would you mind adding "shingles" as a tag please?
posted by acorncup at 7:08 AM on September 23, 2008

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