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Chronic lower back pain upto the neck, numbness in the skin, chronic diarrhea. Treatment to reduce the spreading pain?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I have been having chronic lower back pains for 3 months now. It has gotten worse and is now going up my all up my back and neck. Just recently it has gone down both legs. I also have no feeling when you squeeze the skin on both outer hips. I have been having chronic diarrhea starting about the same time, maybe a month or so before. It's effecting my everyday activities and just seem like the pain keeps spreading and get worse and worse.
Posted Sun, 8 Jul 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 14 hours later
Hello and thank you for sending your question.

Your question is a good one and I will work on providing you with some information and recommendations regarding the symptoms you are experiencing.

Regarding back pain, associated neck pain and loss of sensation on the outer part of hips and chronic diarrhea, looks like you are suffering from radicular pain (spinal nerves) from the cervical and the lumbar region. In view of the sensory loss I would like to consider polyneuropathy secondary to infection, nutritional deficiency due to chronic diarrhea and immune mediated neuropathies. Rarely anxiety and depression can cause problems similar to this and needs to be considered once other causes are excluded.

My recommendation would be for you to see a Neurologist for a good physical examination and consultation. You may need to do ENMG studies to look for involvement of the peripheral nerves. MRI of the cervical & lumbar spine is required to exclude other causes of spinal nerve involvement. Couple of blood tests like Vit B12, thyroid profile and screening for vasculitis along with routine tests would be required to looks for the etiology of the problem. You need to see Gastro-specialist to look for the cause of chronic diarrhea and treat appropriately. Till then take plenty of fluid to avoid dehydration and continue on medications for depression.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you find my response to be both helpful and adequate.

If you have any additional concerns regarding your question I would be happy to address them.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist & Epileptologist.
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