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Lower back ache with tingling arm and shoulder - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 13-Jan-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 40 Questions
User :   About 2 years ago I started having spasms in my lower back and a nurse practitioner diagnosed it as arthritis. I've had back pain for the last few years that I assumed was from the sciatic nerve. Since the spams I have also developed on and off periods of tingling and pain running down my right arm that stops at my wrist. I have a place on my left shoulder that tingles and stings (it feels about the same as when your foot falls asleep). My headaches are getting worse and I can't seem to stay asleep. My legs and hips hurt almost constantly, a deep throbbing that feels like its in my bones and joints. I am over wieght but I have lost 30 lbs recently and that hasn't helped.
                                                  
Doctor :  
Let me read the query
User :   ok, this is my first time to this site so Im not sure what to do
Doctor :  
Give me couple of minutes
Doctor :  
May I ask you few questions to know about you?
User :   ok
Doctor :   Please give your Age, Gender, Location, Occupation, Marital status, Height, Weight and Waist circumference.
User :   26 female south AAAAAAA united states, single, 6'0", 235 lbs, and im not sure about my waist
Doctor :   ok
Doctor :  
Have you visited a doctor yet?
Doctor :  
Were any test done?
User :   ive seen a nurse practitioner, she had xrays done which didnt show anything and a month ago she said i had something going on with my nerves and was going to refer me and she hasnt
Doctor :  
Ok. are you on any medication?
User :   she prescribed me 800 mg iburprofen 3 times a day for pain. And flexeril for muscle spasms which doesnt help
Doctor :   Ok these medicines are to alleviate your pain temporarily along with the muscle spasms that occure because of the arthritis

Doctor :  
If your RNP is correct, you should get an MRI of the spine done to check the extent of the arthritis
User :   so arthritis causes muscle spasms?
Doctor :  
If the nerve is really compressed
Doctor :  
Arthritis of the vertebral bodies is degeneration
Doctor :  
where the nerve get impinged on
Doctor :  
When the nerve gets compressed, the muscle are in pain and gets into spasm
Doctor :  
So arthritis of the vertebrae is also called spondylosis
Doctor :  
If it is lower back it is called lumbar, if it is near the neck it is cervical spondylosis
Doctor :  
Lumbar spondylosis can lead to sciatic nerve compression and pain called sciatica
Doctor :   The pain runs down the bck of the thigh with tingling and numbness

User :   so other than losing wieght is there anything else that will help? i have a handicapped brother and run a dog rescue so I stay busy and just have to ignore the pain but its getting to the point where its getting hard to do so. I dont want to keep taking pills
Doctor :   Yes, there are some exercises to keep the pain away along with weight loss
Doctor :  
But I first suggest you to see an Orthopedician near your area to confirm the diagnosis
Doctor :  
and the MRI to check the damage if done
Doctor :   Sometime an MRI is not required a proper physical examination is enough
User :   is it possible for it to be cervical and lumbar? im assuming cervical would explain the pain and tingling in my arm and more that likely my headaches
Doctor :  
Once he confirms the same, then he put you across to the physiotherapist who can explain you the exercises
Doctor :  
Ofcourse he will suggest you some good pain relievers only taken in acute intolerable pain
Doctor :  
*during
Doctor :  
Yes you are right the cervical would expect headache and the tingling of arm
Doctor :   Do you smoke or take alcohol?
Doctor :  
Do you have family history of arthritis?
User :   I don't smoke and I might have a couple drinks every few mths with dinner when im out w friends. Far as i know no one in my family has arthritis. I'm not sure about my mothers side but on my dads there hasnt been anyone
Doctor :   Irregular lifestyle, Over weight and poor postures are most important factors of arthritis progression
Doctor :  
Chiropractor can help you during pain
Doctor :  
If you can lose those extra weight by good diet and exercise I am sure you will get most of the relief
User :   That's the intention. I did loose it before a couple years ago but it didnt seem to make a difference. I have noticed lately that as long as I don't pick up anything heavy it doesnt seem to be as bad
Doctor :   Yes you should not stand or sit continously for more than 30 minutes

Doctor :  
Keep changing the position
Doctor :  
2) DO not lift heavy weight
Doctor :  
3) Always try to keep the back straight
Doctor :  
even when you try to climb the stairs
Doctor :  
4) When there is pain in the back, take rest completely and do not work for that day
Doctor :  
5) Daily morning exercises demonstrated by your physiotherapy
User :   Ok so the next step it looks like i need to take is to get referred to ortho
Doctor :  
Now I think yoiu have to be extra cautious about your postures and weight
Doctor :  
Take the help in choosing the right diet
Doctor :  
that fastens the weight loss
Doctor :  
Yes exactly you are right
Doctor :  
you have to see the Ortho
User :   I've been following the diabetic diet since diabetes does run in my family on both sides and so far its helped
Doctor :  
Ok
Doctor :  
But there is nothing specific about the diabetic diet
Doctor :  
You have to make those necessary behavioural modifications also
Doctor :  
for weight loss
Doctor :  
Things like cooking daily
User :   i know, ive been walking and cutting out all the bad carbs and sweets
Doctor :  
eating in piece meals rather than at once
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