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L5/S1 affecting S1 nerve - causing other probs?

Started by cp on 03/02/2010 8:47am

3 yrs ago while bending over to do some garden work, I ended up with pain shooting down my left leg. A MRI said there was L4/L5 small disc heriation & L5/S1 moderate disc extrusion that impacted the S1 nerve root.

Some muscle relaxers and a pair of nerve block shots ended the pain until last May, when a lot of digging work in my crawlspace started giving me lower back pain again, but not the pain going down the leg.

But shortly after that I started having random episodes of frequent urination (not bladder control loss) It would come & go and the standard medicines for it didn't really help. A urologis mentioned that lower back pain can imapct that due to the nerves signals all being located around there.

I even started having problems with erectile dysfunction. Those nerves also seem to be around that area & the pills advertised on TV don't help all that much (at least not like they're advertised)

I was wondering if these problems can have their basis in nerve signals being impacted somehow by the disc problems - if anyone else has experienced things like this and if any type of back treatment alleviated the other problems.


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6 Responses


I just about crushed, destroyed, and any ohter thing you can do to your L5 S1 about 9 years ago. I oh so gracefully landed on my fanny at work and low and behold pain. According to my pain specialist and my bio feed back psychologist. Everything that you have going on with you can be caused by the L5/S1, S1 nerve root. Have you spoken to your pain specilaist about this? If not PLEASE let him/her know what is going on before it gets out of hand. Yes there are things that can be done to help all your situations. Have Him/her explain why your body is behaving in this manner. It helps to know what is going on. Forewarned is forearmed. God bless and Good luck


thanks - currently seeing a chiro that several neighbors praised for how he helped their lower back probs. Definetly hasn't hurt, just not sure it's done anything to help - but just starting that process out. I don't know if I'm interested in more nerve blocks or anything that just deadens the nerves from feeling anything. Right now I'm trying to gather info on minimally invasive techniques. I'm considering making an appt with an orthopedic who is board certified in those procedures & initially just get info on what shape my back is in & what possible treatment plans may be applicable.

The back pain comes & goes but is always present to some degree - just not at the level it was 3 years ago. But that combined with the other issues that just happen to pop up shortly after the back pain started makes me what to find a resolution that hopefully would solve everything.


I developed lower back pain after twisting while I was lifting a very heavy object. Ibuprofen managed the pain adequately for about one year. Then the pain became more frequent and much stronger, and I began to have feelings of "need to go". Not bladder control failure, but it felt as if I were "going" when I wasn't. Over two or three months the sensation became very urgent, powerful and almost like an electrical buzzing. Uroscopy was normal, and urologist suggested it may be related to my back pain. No medications seemed to help the bladder sensations much.
Then an MRI revealed a herniated disc at L5-S1. About 1cm bubble of ejected disc material causing nerve compression. Neurosugeon performed a micro-discectomy (where only the protruding portion of the disc was removed using an endoscope). The trouble with my bladder sensations immediately ceased and have not come back. Pain in my back was much reduced, I was pretty happy with the results.
5 years later an MRI shows a new herniation at L5-S1 (on left side this time instead of central). My current back pain is awful, but problems with bladder sensation have not recurred. Worst effect now is sciatica that is horrible and nearly constant. But problems with bladder sensation have not recurred.
I am a firm believer in the power of the MRI for diagnosis. My advise is get a solid diagnosis and go from there. In my case the MRI showed the problems very plainly. It is a great relief to know when you're onto something real.


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I have been on a 15 year search for the source of back pain from my C-Spine all the way down to my sacrum. Currently I am plagued by intense lower back pain, recurrent pain, if you will. Interestingly enough, I managed three years of celibacy as part of a personal ijmprovement initiative. I enjoyed a few experiences with my partner in a short time threafter, but not long after that I began to experience erectile dysfunction. I did not notice it as such, because I wasn't that active, but it became clear within a few months of this latest go around with back pain. Sure nuff, among other spots on my spine, L5/S1 is a hotspot. There is an old lumbro-sacral fracture, and herniated disc, and L5 root nerve compression. I am told that my L5 nerve is flattened. So, thanks for reading this discussion via internet search, I called my neurologist right away. I had never though to mention this, so thanks to this community, which I am proud to join. My vision is not so good so I typo often, but I will try to keep it clean while I share any progress I encounter. I'll be watching out for your stories too. Good hunting, cp.


hi, i have the same symptoms that you have. I hurt my back lifting some weights about 18 months ago and i woke up the next day with numbness, weakness on my right foot, numbness around my genitals (which only lasted a few days). I have recovered from the numbness and weakness in my foot and toe mostly. But i stated experiencing frequent urination 8 months ago and i have seen a urologist and ortho specialist and they don't have an answer. I used to get ED when my back pain was severe. But thats resolved mostly. My only issue now is the bladder/frequent urination which comes and goes . Please let me know if you found anything that helps.

I wish i knew why this was happening. My ortho doctors told me this couldnt be happening with a L5S1 disc bulge but i feel like they might be missing something.

And also, when i bend my toe on the right foot, i feel something in my bladder at times. Please help me out.