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Dr Subbanna MD
Dr Subbanna MD, Neurologist (MD)
Category: Neurology
Satisfied Customers: 5486
Experience:  American Board Certified Neurologist, Internal Medicine
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I believe I have a pinched nerve in my lower back. It has

Customer Question

I believe I have a pinched nerve in my lower back. It has bothered me for over two weeks. I now have lots of pains in my right leg and is now in a numbing stage. Is this something I should be going in for ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Neurology
Expert:  Dr Subbanna MD replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I am Neuro Doctor, an American Board Certified Neurologist with vast clinical experience and I am very glad to help you with your health question.
Your symptoms in the lower back along with the pain & numbness in the leg does indeed raise a strong suspicion for pinched (or irritated) spinal nerve in the lower back. The pinching of the spinal nerves result secondary to various spine conditions like arthritis/bone spurs, disc bulges, disc herniation, spinal stenosis, or slipping of the vertebra etc in the spine. I am not telling you have all these spinal conditions but these are the various conditions in the spine that commonly cause the pinching of spinal nerves. There can be few other structural problems too in the spine that can cause pinched spinal nerves.
The next step is you need a test by name EMG/Nerve conduction study (a nerve & muscle test) of the leg & lower back along with an MRI of the lumbar spine area. The EMG test will help is confirming the diagnosis of pinched spinal nerves, whereas the MRI scan will help in identifying the pathology in the lumbar spine like disc or arthritis etc or any other spinal problems that may be causing the pinching of the spinal nerves. If you see a neurologist they will first conduct a thorough neurological examination followed by the above mentioned tests (MRI scan & the the EMG nerve and muscle test) and this will help in finalizing the diagnosis and also will help you with the treatment of your condition.
The treatment for the pinched spinal nerves includes non-surgical and surgical treatment options. Non surgical treatment options are tried first and the following are the examples for non-surgical treatment options;
Physical therapy
Traction therapy
Anti-inflammatory pain meds like Tramadol or Diclofenac
Nerve-pain Pills like Gabapentin, or Amitriptyline
Muscle relaxants like Baclofen or Tizanidine
Narcotic pain killers like Lortab, or Percocet
Electrotherapies like TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) or Interferential therapy
Lidoderm anesthetic pain relieving skin patches
ESI (Epidural steroid injections) etc
I am not telling all these above treatments are required in your case but providing you with a list of several different non-surgical conservative treatment options that are available for your condition. If the above conservative non-surgical treatments fail then surgical treatments are considered too, however surgery is generally avoided as long as possible and tried only if the above mentioned conservative treatments fail, and the good news is generally most of the patients with pinched spinal nerves do not require any surgeries since one or more of the above mentioned conservative non-surgical treatments help them.
You may please try to see a neurologist in the clinic and discuss the above points (diagnosis, investigations, and the various treatment options as pointed above). An early diagnosis and treatment gives the best chance for quick and complete recovery so please try to see a neurologist as soon as possible. Also in the meantime please try to avoid excessive especially strenuous physical activities that involve the spine including twisting, bending the spine, lifting heavy weights, jogging, running especially long distance etc because all these activities can burden the spine further.
All the very best!
Please go through the above information and let me know if you have any further questions. And if you feel you have received the answer to your question please rate me to compensate me for the time and effort put by me in answering your question.
Best regards,
Neuro Doctor