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How to treat severe pain in the legs?

Q: My mother is 52 years old and has severe pain in the lower part of the leg which at times becomes unbearable in the last few years. The pain increases when she sits or lies down. She is not overweight. Doctors prescribe pain killers and vitamin supplements but thay have been of no use. She had a mild stroke two years back but nothing came out in the MRI/CT scan. Please advise.

A:Based on the symptoms described by you, it is very difficult to arrive at a diagnosis. However, I shall mention some of the important causes of pain in the leg. Usually, this could result from pain referred because of a problem in the back. But these pains often are worse on sitting but improve on lying down. If walking worsens the pain this could be because of a narrow spinal canal pinching the spinal nerves. But usually, this leads to numbness in both the legs. Severe pain the legs can also occur because of the blood vessels of the legs getting occluded. However, in your mother's case rest makes it worse whereas pain of a blood vessel occlusion gets better on rest. A severe loss of blood supply can cause pain at rest also. This is commonly seen in diabetics. Is your mother a diabetic? Pain could also be because arthritic changes in the knee. But this again would be relieved by sitting and resting. I am sure all these descriptions will make you confused and wonder what is causing the pain. All that I am trying to convey is the description is inadequate to arrive at any valid conclusion. Kindly have your mother examined by an orthopaedic surgeon. If you still have queries you could send me the detailed history and findings on examination and investigation.

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