Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up


All communities will be placed in read-only mode (you will be able to see and search for posts but not start or reply to discussions) as we conduct maintenance. We will make another announcement when posting is re-opened. Thank you for your continued support and patience, and if you have any further questions, please email

Yours in health,
WebMD Community Management

Help for mom with severe back pain
gelaluna posted:
Hello. My mom has had severe pain in her back due to a herniated disc for about a month. She can barely go to the bathroom at times without experiencing severe pain. She is currently on a number of pain medications and they help while she is resting, but not enough. She saw an orthopedic specialist who told her surgery was not a good option, and that she should try physical therapy and loose weight! How that is possible when she can't even move is beyond me. Does anyone have information on surgery success and recovery? I know it can be risky, but I don't know how much longer she can deal with this debilitating pain. Thanks.
davedsel57 responded:
Hello and welcome.

I am sorry to read about your mother's pain. I fully understand.

There is a Tip at the top of this WebMD Back Pain Community that lists the recommended steps to diagnose and treat back pain. Read through that, plus there are links in there to good websites having information about spinal issues.

The success rate for spinal surgery is currently 60% effective for pain reduction and 80% effective for functionality. Surgery is risky, but there have been advances in medical technology that have improved the odds.

IMHO, your mother needs to see a different spine specialist such as a spinal orthopedic surgeon or spinal neurosurgeon for a fresh diagnosis and treatment plan. Your mom can then see a pain management specialist. Find one that is a physiatrist, as this type of pain management doctor focuses on various treatments more than just prescription medications to manage pain.

If you mom gets to the point where she is unable to urinate or have a bowel movement, get her to an emergency room asap.

I pray you can find ways to help your mom find the relief she needs soon.
Click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.


trs1960 replied to davedsel57's response:
another simple form of releif is, all opiads or anelgesics (pain meds) cause constapation. a stool softerner or laxative may help her tremendously. Severe constapation can be murder!!!

Other than that Dave hit all the impotant stuff,

gelaluna replied to davedsel57's response:
Thanks Dave. She did recently see an orthopedic specialist who did not recommend surgery, so our next step is to try pain management. The one we are looking into has a physiatrist in their office, so maybe that will be a good place to start.
Thanks for your help and good wishes. She is a wonderful mom and grandmother and I hope we can find her the help she deserves.

Thanks again,
bj1208 replied to gelaluna's response:
HI Angela - welcome to the support group -

I just wanted to maybe clarify something that Dave mentioned. When you stated your mom has seen an Orthopedic Specialist be sure that they are a Orthopedic Spine Specialist. There is a big difference between the two. Getting a 2nd or 3rd opinion would be in your mom's best interest and this is where Dave said to be sure they are either Orthopedic SPINE Specialist or Neurosurgeon SPINE Specialist. They are the only ones that can read film reports (MRI/CT Scan etc) of the spine accurately and give proper diagnosis along with treatment plans.

Dave has, as always, given you the best advise.

And, yes seeing a good PHYSIATRIST Pain Management is in your mom's best interest. I've been seeing one for almost 5 yrs and they are great at listening and treating my pains.

Please keep us posted~~
~~ Click on my name or picture and read my story ~~

Take care ~~ God Bless ~~

~~ Joy ~~

Helpful Tips

Yoga for Back Pain
My lower back has been causing me issues for a while but starting yoga 1-2 a week has helped quite a bit. More
Was this Helpful?
2 of 12 found this helpful

Helpful Resources

Be the first to post a Resource!

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Spine Center