As a Neuromuscular Therapist, how do I think about the muscle pain and numbness caused by a herniated disc?
Whenever there is a problem in the low back such as a herniated disc, the nerve signals generated by the irritation there can cause symptoms down into the muscles along the nerve pathway that can persist long after the spinal irritation is gone. My job is to treat the aftereffects. Muscles in the butt and leg will be painful and develop Trigger Points and local dysfunction from previous herniated discs.
Structural asymmetries are a commonly overlooked cause of muscle pain. A postural examination revealed that Pablo had a leg length descrepancy (one leg was shorter than the other) and Morton’s Foot Structure (second toe longer than the great toe) both on the same side as his symptoms.
What concerned me most about Pablo was the foot drop, and the numbness and burning pain in his toe. Numbness is never a good sign and foot drop means that a nerve signal is not getting to the foot, sure signs of nerve entrapment. In this case the piriformis muscle was the source. The combination of factors from what is now better known as piriformis syndrome were hardly known 18 years ago.