Patient :Dear doctor
Hi I am 41 years old and for about 2 years now my back has been numb from the middle to lower and now I'm getting very sharp stabbing pains on the right lower part of back too what do u think is causing this.. Need your help
The spinal cord carries multiple nerves which co-ordinate movements and help us recognize various sensations. The spinal cord is enclosed in a long bony structure called vertebral column made up of individual small components (vertebrae). There are two sites in the column which can produce compression
1. The discs between the individual bodies (they normally smoothen the movements of spine) can herniate (move from their position forward) overtime causing compression of the cord.
2. Spinal canal stenosis- Slow narrowing of the whole canal overtime
Numbness in the lower back is an unusual symptom of spinal cord disease. More common would be numbness or pain in the lower limb because the nerves which go to the cord start from these limbs.
The sharp pain that you are describing is probably due to compression of the nerve root (site where the individual nerve exits the spinal cord) This is described as “root pain”. Root pains most probably are caused by herniating discs and are an indication for definitive intervention.
I suggest you to meet a neurologist/ neurosurgeon. You will need an MRI of the spine and based on the degree of disease either medical management (rest, lumbar corset, physiotherapy) or surgical therapy (repair/ removal of the disc)
These Q&A’s are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.