I am 68 year old female with family history of rhumateroid arthritis, arthritis, degenerate disc disease, diabieties. I have extreme low back pain with pain radiating down both hips and down the thighs. Sitting is fine. Getting up is very painful. have spasms when trying to walk after getting up. bone density is at high end of not good. never had an MRI. X-rays show osteo-arthritis really bad in hands and also in other areas too.
should I go to a neurologist? Would an MRI be helpful and show exactly what is going on? Taking 8 Ultram a day now. this is the limit on Ultram. It helps but doesn't totally eliminate the pain.
Thanks for using the forum. I am happy to address your questions, and my answer will be based on the information you provided here. Please make sure you recognize that this forum is for educational purposes only, and it does not substitute for a formal office visit with a doctor.
Without the ability to examine and obtain a history, I can not tell you what the exact cause of the symptoms is. However I will try to provide you with some useful information.
It is difficult to say what the etiology of your pain (such as herniated disc, spinal stenosis, local back pain, etc) is without more information. Herniated discs typically have pain on one side or the other and may spontaneously resolve with time, but some patients will require surgery. Another possibility is spinal stenosis. This type of pain is typically bilateral, involving the buttocks and spreading the feet. The classic presentation is pain with walking/standing and relief of pain with sitting or lying down.
One important aspect of your symptoms that will need to be evaluated is whether there is altered bowel or bladder habits. If so, you will need to be send urgently.
I would suggest you see at least your primary care physician. You would benefit from an MRI of your lower back. Depending on the results of the examination and imaging, you may need referral to a back specialist or a pain specialist. Additional testing such as an EMG/NCS would be at the discretion of the specialist.
Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions, I hope you find the information I have provided useful, good luck.
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