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Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Multiple spine problems


 texaslillady - Sat Mar 12, 2005 12:48 am

I actually signed up for my son. Have some questions about his condition. He is 28. Has been having mid and lower back pain since MVA 2 years ago. Symptoms worsening. Then had fall from horse about 4 months ago. Has back spasms so bad he nearly passes out at times. (Spasms actually show up on x-ray. X-ray also showed "slight curvature of the spine to the right") He has some numbness in left foot. Has tingling and pain in left thigh. Also, pain now radiating from mid thoracic area of back around to front of chest. MRI shows "small herniated thoracic disc at T6, T7 level with some slight flattening of the spinal cord". Also noted to have some "lumbar spondylolysis" and "facet hypertrophy". He has difficulty standing, bending, stooping, and has ALOT of pain when coming from a bend to straightened position. Limited ROM in left leg also noted. He has been to a neurosurgeon who noted all of the above plus "multiple small disc bulges" in the lumbar spine, however, Neurosurgeon states he "feels the pain is primarily muscular" and put him on anti-inflammatories, narcotics, and gave him an exercise routine. He has been following medical advice, but pain is getting steadily worse. (Saw neurosurgeon about a month ago). We left with the impression that this doctor was not really taking his pain seriously. How long do we wait for some improvement? Should we seek second opinion? How serious can his condition be, and what are the chances of full recovery without surgery? Thanks for your assistance.
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:12 am

User avatar Dear texaslillady,
In most of the cases with back pain, strain of the back muscles and ligaments, is the primary cause. This usually results from wrong or heavy lifting, or following a sudden improper movement. Muscle spasm alone can cause the back pain which can be an unidentified cause.
In these cases, self care and avoiding the precipitating cause will lead to a gradual but clear improvement in the pain. Home treatment includes the use of analgesics, cold or hot therapy.
Rest for maximum two days is also beneficial. If these measures fail to relief the pain or to improve symptoms in 48 hours, otherwise the pain is more likely to be due to other causes, like:
Herniated disk, in which the intervertebral disc press on his nerves,
Spondylosis which is similar to arthritis but affects the spine etc
You mentioned that the imagine studies he has done showed similar changes. These are conditions that need specific therapy.
I think you should not wait more and you have to consult your physician immediately,
Best regards,

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