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Spine and Back Health

Electric /shock type pain

05/30/2001

Question:

I have pain in my back. It`s a lightening type pain like a shock I don`t have it all the time but its so painful I can`t move. Its made worse when I try to move. I know this sounds strange but its located in the dimple part of my back. My sister gets the same type pain. I have had this for years aprox. 12 years now. I recently have been seeing a doctor because I am having trouble with my arms and legs with weakness. The weakness gets worse the more I do, the more I get weak. Could this be connected somehow? Even if you could give me an idea what this pain in the lower back is would be helpful...thanks so much...

Answer:

It does not seem likely that your weakness in arms and legs and `dimple area` low back pain are related. Weakness can have many causes including abnormal thyroid function, calcium levels, muscle function, myasthenia gravis, medication side effects, anemia, etc. That should be evaluated by your primary care doctor. Your focal back pain could be do to a problem with your sacroiliac joint, lower disks in the back (L4/5, or L5/S1) or the smaller facet joints at those same levels. It is unclear what your age and gender is, if post-menopausal female osteoporosis of the sacrum or spine is possible. If your primary care doctor is unable to evaluate and treat this problem, you should ask about being referred to a spine specialist, like a physiatrist ( PM&R doctor), orthopaedic spine specialist, rheumatologist, or neurologist/neurosurgeon. If nothing serious detected, physical therapy, chiropractic, or osteopathic manipulation might benefit your problem. Good luck!

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Response by:

James Plunkett, MD
Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehab.
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati