Persistent and severe back pain for three months

Patient

Q: My husband is 30 years old and has had back pain for 10 weeks now, which started in his upper back and made its way round the top half of his body including his arm now it is in the lower bk He has been to gp 3 times first of all they told him he had tennis elbow, then, just a bad bk now they saying trapped nerve. its starting to effect his everyday life now and his relasionship with me and his 2 children as he is constantly grumpy which i understand as he says its getting him down now going to sleep and waking up in pain he has tried what the doctors say painkillers 4 times a day propping himself up when he sleeps nothing is working on some occasions where there is pain his skin feels hot to touch and he sometimes gets a rash on his hips. he has taken tramadol which does ease it a little but he cant take it during the day as just 1 makes him sleepy and he works tried looking on web but there are so many things it could be that it just makes me more worried when reading them and to be honest our gps dont really seem to care 3 different doctors 3 different diagnoses we are desprate for some help

Doctor

A:   The persistent and severe back pain might be due to a nerve compression that can produce an inflammatory process affecting the nerve roots (neuritis) in the spine region involved (stenosis, degenerative hypertrophy of facets and disc herniations and bulging) In the younger patients, as your husband, lumbar radiculopathy may be a result of a disc herniation or an acute injury causing impingement of an exiting nerve. In the older patient, lumbar radiculopathy is often a result of spinal canal narrowing from bone (osteophyte) formation, decreased disc height and degenerative changes due to aging process. It can be associated or not to other symptoms as back pain, numbness, tingling or hypoactive reflexes. I strongly recommend you to get an appointment with a specialist to rule out a possible nerve compression, get the appropriate imaging tests done in order to determine precisely the cause of the pain, and from there decide what is the best treatment option for your husband

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