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Back and Neck Injury/sudden onset weakness in lower back and legs


I have history of multiple lower back surgeries, with three being for spinal stenosis and the last one a fusion of l5 & l6.  I also have stenosis in the neck and currently a bone spur growing directly into the spinal cord.  Yesterday afternoon, arriving home from 4 hour hour car trip, I noticed when removing things from car to house, my legs felt very weak.  I figured it would work itself out.  Now the next day and not much better at all.  Would this be more lower back or could it also come from the neck problem they are watching?  Two different Doctors involved and want to start with the best one for what is causing it.  Please let me know when you can as this is quite scary.  Appreciate any help you can give.  Maggie


Scary stuff!!  

I read your note as saying you have a fusion of L5 and 6.. do you have 6 lumbars?  

The truth is that the nervous system is like a river of electrical information, going up and down the spinal column.  Direct pressure on the nerves of an area can in fact affect everything "south" of it.

Some questions to ask you are:

Are you experiencing any pain with this, or only weakness?

Is it your entire legs that are weak, or is it a certain part, like going on your toes , or walking on your heels alone?  That may help limit the problem to your low back, as well.

Go to the doctor much sooner than later.  Whenever "motor-side" functions are involved, it's always a worse sign, I'm sorry to say.  I don't feel like I allayed many fears for you, but I think it's best to see a doc face to face on this. I have written an article about lumbar stenosis on my website, but it's only for a very specific form of stenosis, which I don't think you are suffering from.  

Back and Neck Injury

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Dr. Peter Carr


I can answer spine related issues, as well as golf, running, and whiplash related issues. I run a very busy practice in Downtown Seattle, Dynamic Chiropractic Clinic, and sometimes do not get to answer questions every day, but when I do, I'll try my best to answer the question(s) you have.


I have a doctorate from Palmer College of Chiropractic, and am a Certified Chiropractic Golf Practitioner. I am also a lecturer on whiplash injury, certified in the etiology and treatment of auto accident cases, and was a national-level mid distance runner.

American Chiropractic Association, Washington State Chiropractic Association, Whiplash Seattle Member and founder

Dynamic Chiropractic, The Beacon


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