"Electric shock" like pain in lower back and legs

Patient

Q: My husband has been suffering a non-stop shock like sensation in his lower back and legs that has lasted for almost 24 hours. He has had 7 back surgeries and severe nerve damage. He has never experienced this before and won't go to the ER. Is there anything I can do to get this to stop....he is extremely agitated and in severe pain

Doctor

A:   The “electric shock like” lower back pain radiated to the legs is most likely due to a nerve compression that may produce an inflammatory process affecting nerve roots (neuritis), maybe because you still have some bulging of the content of one disk in the lumbar region and also due to the multiple back surgeries that might have created adherences in the region causing some degree of nerve compression.
The treatment strategy would be as follows: during the pain crisis a physical therapy program should be followed and aimed to reduce pain and inflammation, you can take anti inflammatory medication ("Motrin", "Aleve"), try to keep a proper posture, avoiding repetitive lumbosacral stress (example weight lifting), adhering to a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition, physical activity as tolerated, losing excess of weight. For patients that show poor response to these measures the orthopedic surgeon re evaluation  may be considered.

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