Back pain and previous history of epidural

Patient

Q: Dear Drs, HI my name is Candise. I am 22 yrs old, I have a baby at 16 and had an epidoral, about a year after my back popped and every since then I have had sever back pain and headaches. It is so bad sometimes that i cant stand up straight, and it kills me to walk on concrete. I have a family history of back disorders, my dad has digeneritive bone disorder, 1 of my uncles just had surgury to have bone removed from the spinal cord, and another uncle just had to leave work because his back gave out and he is in a brace. Should I be worried or could this pain be from the epidural I had? Should i go to a doctor?

Doctor

A:    After one year of the epidural injection and with your previous history of back problems (as you described “popped”), it is not likely that your back problems are entirely caused by the epidural injection. I advise you to get an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon to rule out a possible Lumbosacral nerve compression. Some of the major causes of acute and chronic low back pain (LBP) are associated with radiculopathy (nerve compression). Lumbosacral radiculopathy, like other forms of radiculopathy, results from nerve root impingement and/or inflammation that has progressed enough to cause neurologic symptoms in the areas that are supplied by the affected nerve root, the legs  for example. During the acute phase of the pain, the physical therapy is very important and involves the use of ultrasound, TENS, heat to control pain, teaching you back-protection techniques (e.g., proper lifting, posture awareness). A lumbar stabilization program is also useful in instructing you in various techniques to control back pain, and you also can work on strengthening the stabilizing muscles of the lumbar spine.

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