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Spine and Back Health

Pinched Nerve in Spine

07/27/2009

Question:

The doctor has told us my mother has scoliosis which is causing her legs to tingle all the time. We know it is a pinched nerve but because of her age there is nothing he can do. Is there anything to help with the tingling? We don`t seem to be getting any answers.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. You might wish to see if your mother can be evaluated at a University hospital spine center where more sophisticated techniques are available. You didn't mention her age, but if she's in relatively decent health, and in her 70s or 80s there may be minimally invasive surgical options that could help her. If she truly cannot be treated surgically, there are options for trying to control nerve pain and tingling, which include medications or possibly cortisone injections into the spine. Medications can include gabapentin or pregabalin (trade names Neurontin or Lyrica), which are special 'nerve-calming' medicines. The cortisone shots are referred to as 'nerve blocks' and can sometimes provide relief. These injections are usually given by a pain management physician or a neurologist or sometimes a radiologist. I hope this information helps, and good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University