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VERY DELICATE SUBJECT - I will mention it in case you can help???

SueDSSueD Posts: 545
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Chronic Pain
Believe me! This is not something I usually chat about and I'm sorry if you're eating at the moment. But I'm just wondering if any of you have more intense back pain when you need to pass a motion, or is it just me?

For me personally, it doesn't seem to matter if I'm constipated, got the runs or am totally normal - my lower back is always so much more painful when I need to evacuate (Oh, I do hate that expression, I'm sorry!). Today it's particularly uncomfortable with added 'twinges' for good measure and I just do not understand it. Also, this increased pain can last for a whole WEEK if it's around the time of the dreaded monthly cycle.

The pain medications I've tried over the years (and am on now) have caused constipation as a side-effect and I'm aware of that, but even if I take something to help, I still get increased lower back pain just the same. It's very strange as nothing seems to help with this particular problem.

I'd be very interested to know if you, or someone you know, has experienced more intense back pain for the same reasons? Has anyone explained to you why it happens? or what can be done to alleviate it? My local GP could not explain, but I'm sure I can't be the only one with this problem??? I do have other back issues going on, but this is something that puzzles me at the moment.

I'd especially like to read the comments from the ladies of course, but if any guys think they have an answer too, then please feel free to chip in. Thanks guys/girls!!!
2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!


  • I experience this pain/pressure when I have to go or more often when I backed up... sorry, but like most of us a daily bm is not in my cards.
    I think it has to do with full bowels & intestinal bloating causing pressure on lumbar spine & sacrum. My thought.

  • I think there's more pressure and blood supply and bloating going to that area that causes pain with constipation. I take colace a stool softener daily once in am and one in pm if necessary to ease up the pressure. I hate going less than the usual once a day like normal and after a couple of days it hurts more because of the pressure and even weight and bloating so it's painful for us with facet joint or herniated disc or Degenerative disc disease in the lumbar area.

    I used to take Milk of magnesia if the stool softeners don't work but they seem to work good and I also take Metamucil as I'm trying to get my cholesterol lowered that way. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Good stuff! Like Charry I take Colace. I do myralax in am, I like to put it in a glass of chocolate milk. The colace I take 1-2 per day and citrucel at night. Keeps things moving as best as they can with all the meds.
  • I will investigate different products to help in that department, so perhaps I should take them more regularly and then I may not experience so much discomfort. I'll try that for a couple of weeks and see if it improves.

    Thank you for responding. It's not the most talked about subject, so I appreciate your help.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • hiya sue,
    as my grama always said make it a good day and have a glass of prune juice...its gross but works...
    i have tried the ovc meds but seems in long run cause more issues...
    so i try more natural things...do you have a juicer...i got one and a lot of fresh fruits help in the juicer...
    how about that activia stuff...
    when my back hurts yes ontop of that we have to endure all the other unpleasant issues...
    i hope you find something that helps
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Hi, I don't want to cause alarm here hun but.....I remember when I prolapsed my L5/S1 (discectomy later), I was often asked by the GP and specialists if I had the sort of problem u r describing.
    I didn't and so when I asked why,I was told that sometimes with disc damage, Pressure felt during bowel or bladder movements can be a sign of another problem but.....I can't remember what they said the problem was (sorry hun - memory shot to bits lol)

    I am assuming you have trawled the internet for answers??
    I too,like so many others take laxative drinks (magrodol or something like that)-tastes like a salty fruit drink YUK!!!!! And Lactolose as a softener ;-)
    Are u sure it is only pressure becAuse of constipation etc??

    Due to 10 years on these meds I am not as (mentally) sharp as I was lol BUT I do clearly remember the difficulty through pressure on blader/bowel issue being raised often- if u haven't, please look on internet and see what u can find out ;-)

    I am NOT a hyperchondriac but I do know there was something about this - just can't remember what it was!!pmsl Also,if I do remember I will get back to u and u can raise the issue if necessary with docs ;-)

    Take care hun - sarah
  • Hi again sue,
    The problem was buggin me because I could not remember why the Docs were asking about bladder and bowel problems so........I looked it up and found it!!

    I am not suggesting for 1 minute that u have this but it may be worth finding out what you can about it in prep for your next GP appointment;-)

    The "thing" is called cauda equine syndrome apparently and now I understand wht they kept asking me about bladder/bowel movements etc.

    I am not trying to cause alarm - just pointing something out ;-) lol
    Hope it sorts itself out for u hun - take care xx sarah
  • Also called the "horse's tail" is where your spinal cord ends and the nerves branch out forming the horses tail. Usually somewhere in your upper lumbar spine region. Everybody's anatomy is a little different therefore it can be at different levels. My myelogram showed that some of my caudal equina nerves were being touched up at L 1/2 area. I have an extra lumbar vertabrae.
    BUT I do not have cauda equine syndrome, thank God! As Sarah mentioned above it is very serious and usually causes loss of bladder & bowel functions.
    I did research on it as at that time, in November 2010 I was suffering from bladder issues as well as GI problems ie constipation BIG time. Again thank God the two issues were unrelated. Bladder back on track & constipation kept at bay....most of the time :o)

    Just sharing my experience. : -)
  • but I don't think it's cauda equine syndrome and I'll tell you for why.

    In the past week I have also noticed that my fingers, elbow, knees and feet have also been hurting me (especially in the morning and after I have rested for any time, i.e. watching TV or having a crafty afternoon nap!). My back pain has still been worse this week even though I'm on the morphine patches and solution etc.

    I'm going to my doc's tomorrow as I'm wondering if I have arthritis in other parts of my body as well as in my spine and fingers (which I already knew about).

    I just think, since I've hit 50, the road leading downwards has suddenly got much steeper and I'm trying to stop myself from running down the hill too fast lol!!!!

    I'll see what the doc says. Unfortunately, our system of consultation means that you cannot discuss more than one thing unless you request a 'double' appointment first. I'd be there all night if I were to exercise this procedure.

    I will look up the syndrome you mention just to compare symptoms and to be on the safe side. Thanks for all your comments and advice - I wouldn't know who to talk to about such things without you all.
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Hi,R U from UK? Its just that many people on this forum R frm US and it gets confusing lol Crikey 10 years on opiates and my name is confusing lol

    The docs system of double appointments I understand well as same situation here (uk)! I have friends that are GP's (old type) and they get frustrated with the system that allocates 10 mins per patient as they feel sometimes (not with painkillers obviously) a patient having "a good moan" their words not mine ;-) can often save on the drug bill!!lol

    I really wld talk to ur doc about this - it may well be more arty righteous (bored/sore so appaling jokes sorry) as we are prone to it aren't we humph!! ;-) Also it will rule out anything more nasty:)

    Downhill, heck I'm on rollersk8's I think lol
    Take care hun and good luck at docs ok?? X0x0
  • for some movicol .then phone me and i will tel you how to take it without is tasting like 541T! it will sort you tolling requirement out no problem
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • Yep, I'm in the UK.
    And yep, I already use Movicol with a bit of Ribena to make it taste better (in fact, I got a repeat prescription only last week).

    Still got issues (with waterworks, or the lack of it ha!), but have written everything out that I wish to talk to the doctor about ('cos if I don't, I will forget it all).

    I'll chat to you soon Tony. How's 'Olly' doing? He's sooooooo cute!

    Thanks to you all
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • the movicol trick
    first take the powder and place in a coffee type cup then pour boiling hot water on it ..about an inch only the add orange cordial again about an inch then top off with cold tap water you want it just warm .if its too hot you wont be able to drink it too cold and it taste just as bad as it will if you take as as you are supposed to .but get it right and you cant taste it ..orange cordial is fantastic of killing nasty taste
    tony x
    1997 laminectomy
    2007 repeat laminectomy and discectomy L4/L5
    2011 ALIF {L4/L5/S1}
    2012 ? bowel problems .still under investigation
    2014 bladder operation may 19th 2014
  • I'll remember to do that. It's not too bad with Ribena either. Thanks for your PM - I've responded!
    2 x Microdiscectomy 2005 / PLIFusion 2-level 2010 / revision surgery 2011 / NEVRO Senza spinal cord stimulator implanted February 2013. I WILL NOT GIVE IN / UP !!
  • Hi both - sue I thought u "sounded" british - where r u ?? Does the "hot squash" thing work with macrogol (or wtf it is called?) Will give it a go !! Anything to improve taste ROFL!! Any tips on keeping down 15ml of lactulose (so thick and sickly I can't take full amount) x3 a day??? Please???? Lol desparate in both senses of the word!!! Lol Trying (again) to fix laptop as this phone keypad is small and keep pressing wrong buttons (not my inadequate typing honest lol)

    Sue, its mad going to gp with a "shopping list" of questions isn't it?? Lol but wot else can we do - I allways feel guilty as if I am taking too much time so never cover half of queries (again I am not a hyperchondriac lol just have to be explained things very slowly so they stay in head) ;-)

    Right guys take care and thanx for letting me poach that tip - anymore wld b gr8 - sarah
  • Not sure about Europe but in the US. You can go to any drug store. For $2.50 you can get a bottle of magnesium citrate. And it's flavored for those of you who can't handle medicine. You can get it in orange and grape. Tastes like soda, but not as good.

    Drink half the bottle, wait, nothing happens, drink the rest. If that doesn't break up your stool and flush you out. Then you are impacted and need help.

    You can take magnesium citrate at any time. You can get pill form and take it daily.

    I've found changing my diet to fruit with breakfast. Salad for lunch. Then pretty much anything for diner. It helps regulate me to the point of going daily. I'm not on a regular regiment of pain killers but I have never had good bowel movement until changing my diet. Also drinking more water and exercise of some sort.
  • Prescription drugs - Vicodin, Lortab, or Oxycodone - can be important for the treatment of pain. But it must not be abused them. My experience with vicodin taught me that I need only to take it properly and in moderation. There is information online which points out that this drug has side effects and they should not be purchased without a prescription. They also mention that this type of medication should be taken under medical supervision.
  • Can be mixed as sugar in your coffee or tea or oatmeal. My Dr. told me this was the best way of getting Lactulose down. It doesn't work for me though as well as Colace. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • >:D< Huge hug of gratitude for the lactulose tip charry u r a STAR!!!

    It seems quite perverse to me th@ the laxative powders (macrogol for me) and softeners like lactulose taste exactly like the substance they r trying to help u shift ie: Sh*t!!! Pmsl :-)

    I know we need them as diet and fluid intake alone is not allways enough after years on necessary meds ;-) and how many of us (maybe a few perhaps lol knowing how humans are ;-) ) wld take these if there was a viable alternative????????? RANT OVER lol ;-). I was reading an earlier post of ur regarding DLA (name of disability income in uk made up of 2 componants in 3 levels) Congrats for getting it hun - I do know how stressful it is and how degrading (as if u would actively choosethis?? Lol ) I have had highest level on both componants for almost 10 yrs and am waiting for renewal reply - I will get it - just the waiting !!!

    Thanx again hun - will give it a go ! X0x0x0-sarah(fenrys is my dog)
  • Hi,
    Reading ur above comment I would be interested to know exactly which medication you are implying that I or anyone else is abusing ! Nobody on this thread has stated or implied that they take any more than the prescribed medication at the prescribed amount!

    What is in fact I believe, being discussed here is a way to sort out constipation/impaction that is a well known side effect of taking prescribed opiates for Any length of time. As much as I like to "keep conversation light" by having a laugh at the sorry situation many of us find ourselves in, I would be unhappy to think that you felt any missuse was being partaken off :(

    I have kept my medical information to a very bare minimum for fear of boring people to death. However, rest assured that I have had many and varied procedures and just as many and varied medications.All of which I have taken in the proper way - any upping or lowering of doses have been with my GP's full understanding (in fact, I am usually the one to decide to lower! I am sure this is also the case for the other members on this particular thread!

    I have tried for days to ignore this remark/implication however, it keeps coming back to me and I am saddened to think that other CP sufferers would imply strongly that drug abuse is happening! We all have enough of this nonsense from the "outside world" and no, this is not "denial" either!

    I am sorry if you feel my remarks are unecesarily harsh it just really ticks me off when people assume things about people they hardly know.

    None of us chose this life and would gladly do without the medication if possible - hopefully one day who knoWs?? I can only speak for myself and I have been told that I will be on them for life (due to complications)! I have lowered them over the years (was on 2x75 mcg Fent patches with 10ml oralmorph 2 hrly plus tramadol, diazapam etc to what I am now!

    Because I am relatively young and dress in an alternative style plus have tattoos and piercings, I have had to battle against ignorant stereotyping gor many years with the "outside world" I/we are not junkies of any scale (sore subject as there are quite a few in my local area) and I passionately resent any implication that states otherwise!!! - thank you

    On a happier note to someone else:-
    Diet: I am glad that diet changes help for som e of us (it did for me to some extent) However, even 2 years on a vegan diet (I am not actually vegan) did not wholly "keep things moving in this case - maybe someday who knows!? :-)

    I will gladly receive any reply to this!
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