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How can my leg pain be treated?

Q: I am a 29 years old woman who has been havingpain in both the legs for the last 2 months. I cannot walk for more than 5 minutes at a stretch. The pain never goes away even after resting. The doctor took my spinal cord x-ray to check any nerve damage and the result is still awaited. However, he gave me Lyrica tablets. Is this a correct treatment? I had thyroid for the last 4 years and I am taking synthroid 50 mcg. Also I have had two c-sections. Please suggest.

A:Your symptoms suggest that you might be having what is known as spinal canal stenosis. In lumbar spinal stenosis the spinal nerve roots in the lower back are compressed, or choked, and this can produce symptoms of sciatic pain - tingling, weakness or numbness that radiates from the low back and into the buttocks and legs especially with activity. Spinal stenosis is related to degeneration in the spine and usually will become significant in the 5th decade of life and extend throughout every subsequent age group. Most patients first visit their doctor with symptoms of spinal stenosis at about age 60 or so. Most cases, however, have pain that radiates into the leg(s) with walking, and that pain will be relieved with sitting. This is called claudication. If it progresses patient can have pain even with no activities, which is called rest pain. I am not sure whether you are having numbness/tingling on walking and your age does not fit into a classical case of spinal stenosis. X-rays do not show spinal cord compression although they will show degenerative pathology. To rule out this condition you should get an MRI of your lower back, which will clearly show this condition. Even if there is no stenosis MRI will still help to rule out other conditions of your spine.


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