Dr. Keith Roach: Neurologist can offer second opinion on spinal stenosis plan | To Your Good Health

Dear Dr. Roach • • I am a 77 year old woman with spinal stenosis and have been treated by a pain medicine specialist for several years. My pain extends from my neck to my lower back and extends to my legs. The pain is constantly moving from one place to another and sometimes everywhere at the same time. I received numerous injections in different areas and it only helped for a month or two at most. I use muscle relaxants and Voltaren gel regularlywhat a lifesaver is. I’ve read that a neurologist can be helpful, but I’m not interested in surgery. Would it be a waste of time to see a neurologist? Is there anything else for my condition? – VD

reply • Spinal stenosis occurs when a major nerve structure, nerve root, or the spinal cord itself is compressed by hard structures around the spine such as bones and ligaments. The hallmarks of the condition are pain and numbness, but as the compression progresses, numbness and weakness can develop. Weakness is a major concern because if the nerve is not decompressed quickly, the weakness can become permanent.

Local injections, medications, implantable devices, and surgery are all possible treatments. Pain care professionals are very experienced in the proper use of these treatments and can turn to a surgeon if necessary. A neurologist comes from a different background but likely also has the skills and experience to deal with this disease. I would consider visiting a neurologist as a way to get a second opinion.

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