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Suggest Treatment For Persistent Lower Back Pain

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Posted on Tue, 18 Oct 2016
Question: I have been having lower back pains for about 6 months. I thought it was a strain and time would let it pass but it's just getting worse that it's constant and certain movements cause excruciating shooting pains. It's now painful 24 / 7 and 100% of time. Even just standing up causes shooting pains. New symptom is numbness in my right foot / ankle. Have recently moved to the North XXXXXXX area and trying to understand what type of doctor to look for.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (39 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Read below

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

Given the history with shooting pain with abnormal sensations reaching down to the lower limb, the most likely cause should be a nerve root compression due to a disc bulge or arthritis bony spurs. Initial management is conservative and consists in over the counter pain killers like Ibuprofen and physical therapy.

However if the symptoms persist for over 4-6 weeks like in your case then imaging is advised in order to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate the degree of compression as well as the need for a more aggressive approach such as local steroid injections or even surgery.

As for who is the most suited specialist I would say that apart from the family doctor the initial recommended specialist would be a neurologist. Afterwards depending on physical exam findings and imaging results there may be need for consultations with a neurosurgeon or a physiatrist, but the initial step should be to consult a neurologist.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3674 Questions

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Suggest Treatment For Persistent Lower Back Pain

Brief Answer: Read below Detailed Answer: I read your question carefully and I understand your concern. Given the history with shooting pain with abnormal sensations reaching down to the lower limb, the most likely cause should be a nerve root compression due to a disc bulge or arthritis bony spurs. Initial management is conservative and consists in over the counter pain killers like Ibuprofen and physical therapy. However if the symptoms persist for over 4-6 weeks like in your case then imaging is advised in order to confirm the diagnosis and evaluate the degree of compression as well as the need for a more aggressive approach such as local steroid injections or even surgery. As for who is the most suited specialist I would say that apart from the family doctor the initial recommended specialist would be a neurologist. Afterwards depending on physical exam findings and imaging results there may be need for consultations with a neurosurgeon or a physiatrist, but the initial step should be to consult a neurologist. I remain at your disposal for further questions.