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Read answers from our experts: Living Well | Diet & Fitness | Mental Health | Conditions

Expert Q&A

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What's causing myback and leg pain?

Asked by Jay Maddox, Red Level, Alabama

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What can I do to help the pain in my back? I can't stand or walk for more than 15 minutes without sitting or squating down.My right leg has a numb spot that starts burning and stinging very badly.The pain seems to come from my lower back or my butt muscle on the right side.

Expert Bio Picture

Conditions Expert Dr. Otis Brawley Chief Medical Officer,
American Cancer Society

Expert Answer:

I encourage you to see a good internal medicine or family practice physician and maybe even a neurologist. Pain and numbness with tingling down the leg generally means you have a lumbar spine problem. Herniated disks or arthritis causing a nerve coming off the spine to be compressed can cause your symptoms.

Even without low back pain you can have leg problems. These problems are most often treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin, occasionally high-dose steroids such as Prednisone and bed rest in a firm bed for several days. Surgery is done in extreme cases. The cause of these back problems can be a serious condition so it should be assessed by a qualified physician.

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