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What is the treatment for oteo arthritis in my back?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 8479 Questions
I have numbness and pain in my outer thigh. I have had this pain for 18 years and no doctors take me seriously. it is now at the stage that it is keeping me awake at night whether I am laying on it or not. pain killers don't seem to make too much difference. I was diagnosed with oteo arthritis in my back last year and keep getting told that the pain is from that. but like I said 18 years of this. it is now starting in my other leg. walking and exercise make the pain really bad. I can't walk up or down down stairs. it is like a burning pain in the leg.
Posted Tue, 21 Jan 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 1 hour later
Brief Answer: neuralgia Detailed Answer: HI, thanks for using healthcare magic This type of pain is called neuralgia- nerve related pain. Dermatomes are an area of the skin that are supplied by a specific nerve. It allows you to determine which nerve may be responsible for abnormal sensations in a particular area. In the inner thigh-the dermatomes are L2 and L3. In the outer thigh it is L1, L2, L3 and L4. L1 is in the upper aspect of the thigh and L4 for the lower part of the outer thigh , with L2 and L3 in the middle. This means that the nerves that are likely causing the pain and numbness in that area are coming from this part of the spine- the 1st to 4th lumbar vertebra. Your doctor may consider imaging of the spine to see if there is anything that may be affecting the nerves in this area such as osteoarthritis, protruding discs. Other conditions such as diabetes,vitamin deficiency can also cause this problem. The normal pain killers may not effective on their own, you may need to use additional medication. Antidepressants and anti seizure medications are often used for nerve related pain. In addition, physiotherapy may also help, your doctor can refer you to a center. It the blood tests reveal vitamin deficiency, replacement may have an effect. In summary- likely related to the area of the spine mentioned and more than one pain medication may be needed to use together. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any additional questions
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