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Worn disc in back causing a great deal of pain


My mother is 60, and has been over weight all her adult life.  for the past year she has been suffering with terrrible pain (espeically at night) in one of her legs, initially her doc told her he thought she had osteoarthritis in her spine however he sent her for an MRI and she has now been told that she has a worn disc in her back, and that an operation to 'fix'  this condition will more than likely make it worse, her only option it seems is painkillers for the rest of her life.  My mother is still fit and enjoys life and I hate to see her in pain and on long term painillers, my questions to you are;
Can you please explain why she would have pain in her leg if the problem is in her back?  
If you feel there are other options available what are they? and what she could do to help herself ie. exercise, supplements etc.?
Is this condition likely to get worse?
Thank you very much for your help
Joanne Foley
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233190 tn?1278553401
To answer your questions:
1) Disk problems can lead to nerve impingement causing radiating leg pain.

2) I would recommend physical therapy.  A referral to a pain management specialist can be considered for possible trigger point injections, or epidural injections.

3) There is a possibility that the condition can worsen.

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
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144586 tn?1284669764
A good physical therapist will prescribe therapy that will relieve the pressure. You have to have this shown to you by a professional. I don't believe it can be conveyed via the net. The exercises can involve a large beach ball and there are a dozen others. All well worthwhile. A TENS device is also useful, but again, you really need a professional to show you how to use it properly.
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