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Experiencing severe lower back pain. Temporary relief by painkiller. How to get relief?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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Hi Doctor Christensen. My mother (a middle-aged black woman) has rescently been experiencing severe lower back pain that radiated down to her left leg. she experienced two episodes of blacking out apparently caused by the pain. when she was admitted, all her vital signs were normal except for her Hb levels. which where way below normal 7mg/dl. she was given medication to help with her Hb levels and advised appropriately with her diet. she was also given pain killers to help with the pain. because of the pain killers, the pain is bearable but it still hasn't completely gone away. she can't stand for long hours or walk long distances now because of this problem. what should we do?
Posted Wed, 20 Feb 2013 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.

The pain in the lower back radiating to the legs is likely to be due to a degenerative disc disease. The main treatment of such problem is bed rest along with painkillers and muscle relaxants. Muscle relaxants can help with her symptoms if used in appropriate dosage in combination with a potent analgesic. You can get these prescribed from her orthopedician.
Local analgesic gels and hot fomentation may provide a short-term relief. She can use analgesic gels like Diclofenac gel. Exercise is not advisable in the times of acute pain.
Using an LS (lumbosacral) contour belt of appropriate size might be helpful in providing support to back muscles.
Physiotherapy also plays a major role in treating such conditions. Epidural steroid injections can be used if oral painkillers are not very effective. Discuss with her orthopedician and an appropriate treatment can be planned depending on the response to medical drugs.
I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
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