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Should I seek medical attention for back pain around spine area and weakness, numbness in legs?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 3094 Questions
I've been developing problems over the past few months with fatigue, having troubles walking (high amounts of pain, weakness, even had each leg go numb at one point, though at different times), and back pain around the spine area and slightly beyond it, that's been making life extremely difficult for me at times. I don't have a labor intensive job and nothing in my life that would cause the pain. Is this something I should immediately see a doctor about? I'm new to the area I'm living in and every doctor I've called has told me they aren't accepting new patients and right now, it seems my only option is the emergency room, which I'm trying to avoid using if possible.
Posted Sun, 29 Dec 2013 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Luchuo Engelbert Bain 1 hour later
Brief Answer: Very important to see a doctor as soon as possible Detailed Answer: Hi and thanks for the query, I really do agree with you that your health condition would deserve a more in depth evaluation, and should be managed at the level of the emergency room, except for relief in case of severe symptoms. Considering the gradual aggravation of the symptoms, especially walking disorders, weakness and pain at the level of the back, a careful neurologic exam is compelling. It is very possible that there should be a problem at the level of the vertebral column or spine. It might be necessary to recognize the fact that the nerves that supply the lower limbs do originate from the spine. A problem at this level thus has direct consequences on the motor and sensory aspects at the level of the lower limbs. An X ray, CT scan of the spine and a Magnetic Rasonance Imaging Scan, supported with clinical examination findings could give a proper diagnosis. Causes could range from infections (Bone Tuberculosis of Potts disease,) inflammatory diseases at times tumors of the spine. It might be important to note if you have lived recently in an high at risk for tuberculosis, if you took your Tb vaccines appropriately, any notion of weight loss, night sweats and tiredness could support either spinal TB of infections. A complete blood count to check for white blood cells (infection), an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (degree of inflammation) and tests for other rheumatologic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, connective tissue diseases) are essential tests to be considered in the evaluation process. A past history of joint disease is also required. Booking an appointment with an internist or a primary care physician first for a complete clinical review, and necessary tests is important. It is only when aspects of your medical history, laboratory tests, and results from the scans are evaluated that an appropriate diagnosis and management plan can be made. I suggest you book an appointment with the doctor. simple Analgesics like acetaminophen, Anti inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and Vitamins could help as initial agents as you wait to see a doctor. Please do feel free asking any other specific questions in case of need. I would be glad to make my humble contributions. Thanks and kind regards as I wish you the best of health. Dr Bain
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