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Smoking and alcohol addiction, have severe back pain, aggravates on sitting or lying, low appetite with lack of taste. What can be done?

Hello Doctor, I am calling so that I can get information as to what may be medically wrong with my father. He is 60 years old and still works as a trucker. In his job he remains in a sitting position for more that sixteen hours on end driving. The thing is when he got home he kept having intense back pain for the fours days that he has been home so far. He is in pain when he is sitting and laying down. I am very worried about him actually even though he says that he is fine and that he does not want to see a doctor. I bought him some Bengay and Advil . He used the Bengay cream but it did not lessen the discomfort that he is feeling and he does not want to take the Advil i got him because he is very skeptical of all pills. I am also concerned that he is not eating. He says that he has no appetite and cannot taste the food he eats, and says that he has no desire to eat in the first place. He drinks beer and smokes a lot, which I am sure is bad for him.He is very thin now and barely has any fat on him. Do you think you can tell me what is wrong with him or what medication i should get for him? We live in Washington DC so please feel free to recommend me what doctors and hospitals to take him to in the area.
Asked On : Mon, 16 Jul 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  32
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Spine Surgeon 's  Response
Dear Cassie, Driving trucks for long hours is a risk factor for faster degeneration of lumbar spine (lower back). However, at the age of 60, with history of smoking, loss of appetite, and recent weight loss (if any) strongly point to the need for investigation of the low back pain by clinical evaluation and some basic investigations to rule out the presence of any serious disease (need to think of tumor/ osteoporotic fracture/ infection).
It would be wise to take him to an Orthopaedic /Spine surgeon.
Answered: Tue, 17 Jul 2012
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