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Back crooked and major lower back spasms

ohhenryoohhenry Posts: 29
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:52 AM in Lower Back Pain
Hi everyone, just signed up today. Didn't know there was a site for back pain. Here's my story. Every 18 to 24 months my back gives out and ends up causing me major spasms for 2-3 days. Often the trigger is nothing more than stepping out of the shower. The other day I wast getting out my computer chair.
It starts by sharp pain in lower back. After a few minutes, my spine goes crooked, noticeable in the mirror and the way I walk. Then the spasms starts and I know I'm in for a few days of bed ridden hell :''( , that's what I call it because I have not had a more severe pain at anytime in my life. I just underwent open heart surgery 12 weeks ago and the pain was nothing compared to these spasms. You can feel the spasm coming and then it intensifies to the max and slowly subsides.

I've been to the doctor a few years ago and they did take ex-rays, don't remember what they said but I will be going
back to find out.

Do these symptoms compare to anyone else having them on the board, in other words, are they typical of a certain diagnostic?

Thanks in advance.

Oh yeah, my neck spams are from an old diving accident. At least I know why I'm getting those.


  • Sorry to hear this is happening to you but it's good you're seeing your Dr. about it soon. I've had my back go out on me 3 months before my back permanently did me in for 3 years now. But the first time I was confined to the couch for a few days and slowly got my strength back and was able to keep working taking platinum robaxacin but when I finally hurt my back I had to see a pain Management Dr. and get trigger point injections for muscle spasms that wouldn't leave and also had massage for muscle spasms and I also have minor scoliosis and kyphosis which causes one side of the spine to be off to one side.

    But what you have could be anything and not necessarily what happened to me. I hope you let us know what your Dr. has in mind for your exam and if he orders an MRi or Physiotherapy. Take care. 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
  • Thanks for replying. I used to take regular robaxecet then discovered the platinum robax which was more efficient for me. Now that I'm on coumadin for a heart valve, I can no longer use the platinum because it contains Ibuprofen which is a blood thinner. I have been using a conventional heating pad. What about that platinum infrared heating pad you list in your signature? How would that compare to a regular heating pad?
  • I have the same exact thing happen to me about once per year for the past 5 years. I have a herniation at L1-L2 and L2-L3. I agree with you that it is the worst pain I have ever experienced. I am only working part time right now after getting through an 8 week episode. Please let me know what the doctor says, mine can't seem to help me too much.
  • I've been doing some reading because I can't do much of anything else. The pain I have is pretty much located at the lumbar area and does not protrude to the legs except for when I start to walk again. Reading about herniated disc, the description sounds about right, the nerve being pinched by the disc but the pain doesn't run down my legs except maybe when I'm in spasm mode. By then, I just grind my teeth and wait for it to pass. My stomach muscles were even sore from tightening them to absorb some of the pain.
    Whenever these episodes happen and I start to walk again, I end up walking hunched over and it seems like the top portion (thighs) of my legs are taking all of my body weight and I can't walk very far before having to seat give my legs a rest.
  • Finally got enough courage and guts to drag my carcass to the hospital on good friday. My main goal was to have X-rays done. The results were negative. The doctor did say that my spine was somewhat not as curved as it should be, he explained that occurs when one has spasms. I didn't argue, I knew I had numerous spasms. Can anyone here attest to that statement?
    He guessed that it's probably a pinched nerve. Now all we have in my small is town sort of like a clinic so I didn't expect to much anyway. I will follow up now that I have my X-rays. Maybe another specialist will be able to diagnosed them better.

    One another thing that helped me in pain management though. I had read my Rx wrong for the Statex pain reliever.

    The pill container had the number 15 circled and then written 5 mg. I thought the 15 was the dose because it was circled and did not pay enough attention. So when I told the pharmacist on the telephone last saturday that I had these pain pills(leftover from my heart operation) and they were 15 mg, he told me definitely not more than 1 every 4 hours.
    That is when the doctor told me Statex doesn't come in 15 mg dosage!!! Turns out I was only taking 5mg every 4 hours. Needless to say that this was not cutting the mustard. When I left the hospital, I started alternating between 20 and 10 mg every 4 hours. Oh yeah, these puppies pack a good punch, and I'm 210 lbs. My spasms are starting to slowly subside, the pain is still there but only slightly. It's like the spasm starts but suddenly stops. Slept really good last night.

    Statex does make me sweat a bit and slightly nauseated. I have to be careful of what meds I take being on Coumadin for a mechanical aortic heart valve.

    Hope you don't find this post too long, felt good to vent.

  • Welcome to Spine-Health. There's a wealth of information around the site, including muscle spasms.

    Muscle spasms are usually a sign of a larger issue, and I wonder if you've got some stenosis. Generally, stenosis causes problems when standing or walking and sitting relieves the pain. With stenosis, you can bend forward, but backwards is extremely painful. With disc problems, it's generally the other way around, bending backward relieves the pain whereas bending forward is painful.

    This is just a generalization as I mentioned twice already, but if you've got a pinched nerve, I have to wonder if you've got a bit of stenosis going on in your lumbar spine. My stenosis was noticed by my doc on my MRI, but some MRIs don't show stenosis. In that case, I'm not sure how they diagnose it, maybe a certain type of test? I'm not sure...

    Just something to keep in mind.
  • Cath111, thanks for your valuable info. I started reading about stenosis. This word is becoming a household word for me. This is one of the diagnosed heart problems I had prior to heart surgery (aortic stenosis or narrowing of the aortic valve).
    Sounds like stenosis could be my problem. Sitting does relieve the pain a great deal until it gets to the point where my tailbone starts to hurt from sitting to long, that's when I have no choice but to lie down.
    What I don't understand yet is how a pinched nerve interacts with the so called "muscle spasm". If the direct cause of the pain is the nerve being pinched, is it the muscle that's pinching it or the build of of bone tissue which what stenosis is if I understand correctly. Forgive me for my ignorance but I am trying to understand my condition.
    Thanks again for your input. I'm on quite a few different types of forums and they're just great. Makes you wonder what we did before. Technology never ceases to amaze me.
  • Found out today that all x-rays taken at my clinic are sent out to a more thorough facility where a radiologist studies them. No news yet as this weekend was of course a long weekend. I'm still trying to understand exactly where the spasm pain is originating from. Are spasms pains from the nerve or the muscle. Is there such a thing as nerve spasms, muscle spasms,or any other kind of spasms?

    Thanks to any knowledgeable spasm connoisseur.
  • Recent news on Xrays. Apparently nothing major with perhaps a touch of arthritis. Going for some kind of scan next week. Will fill you in on details on completion.
    Moving around a lot more now with less pain. Still can't walk without a walker helper, you know, the kind you push with four legs. As soon as I apply pressure on my legs, I can feel the pain starting in the lower lumbar area. Seems like the more I stay off my feet, the better my back feels. I am spending the majority of my time on the living room sofa, have even slept there a few nights. I think it's because I don't toss and turn as much as in my bed.
    I sit at the pc for awhile and when my back starts to ache, I move to lie on the sofa.
  • Hi I'm 19 years old feeling like I'm going to turn 50 soon. I started experiencing back pain when I was 11 and didn't find out until I was 12 that I had scoliosis. I then found out that I had a herniated disck and had to have surgery for that. Then when I turned 13 I had surgery for my scoliosis where they put metal rods in your spine to straightened it. Now years later I'm having these pains that are brutal and my spine is curving and you can tell. My left side of my hip is sticking out and how is this possible with rods in my spine. Could these sharp lower back pains be caused by sitting at the computer desk for a while?
  • Spoke to my doctor today and the results from my scan is arthritis at L3-L4 with the L4 disc swollen and pinching a nerve. I asked her if I could get a copy of the scan (cd) and she told me yes.
    She is booking an appt with an orthopedist.
  • Found out that a copy of the scan is just a written document of the assessment. I thought I was getting a copy of the scan itself but probably wouldn't know what I was looking at anyway.
  • This report was translated from french to english by a non-medical person. I'm hoping someone on the board can pinpoint what may be causing me the pain on the right side of my lower back.
    Thanking you in advance.

    Final Report

    No contrast agent was injected for the examination.

    There is a degenerative discopathy with disc collapse.
    Slight rotoscoliosis of the vertebral endplates
    There is a global disc bulge with no sign of discoradicular conflict
    There is no facet arthrosis.
    No spondylolisthesis

    There is a global disc bulge with slight postero-median protusion of the disc that enters into contact with the anterior face of the dural sheath with narrowing of the central vertebral canal; the antero-posterior diameter of the central vertebral canal is minimal for the passage of the dural sheath and measured at 6.8 mm.
    There is the possibility of irritation of the L-4 dural root-sheath while it passes inside the dural sheath.
    No spondylolisthesis
    No facet arthrosis

    L4-L5 :
    There is global disc bulge with disc collapse.
    No evidence of discoradicular conflict.
    No facet arthrosis.
    No spondylolisthesis

    L5-S1 :
    There is a slight postero-median disc protusion which comes into contact with the anterior face of the dural sheath.
    The central vertebral canal is considerably narrowed with a minimal antero-posterior diameter for the passage of the dural sheath that was measured at 9.5mm
    There is a narrowing of the foramens.
    No spondylolisthesis
    Slight bilateral facet arthrosis.
  • L2/l3: imagine yourself looking at someones back. Rotoscoliosis is where the vertebrae at the level is twisted slightly as well as not in line completely with the rest of vertebrae above and below . This i imagine isn't a obvious observation from our visual perspective but anything out of whack could cause spasms. You have slight bulging of the disc but not pressing on the nerve in this level on this view.
    L4/l5: global disc bulge with disc collapse means the disc is bulging past the vertebrae on all or most sides and it is not as thick. Thinkof an old decaying tire under heavy weight where it starts to break down and dry out . This could possibly create inflammation that causes pain . No discoradicular conflict means they don't see it pressing on a nerve at this level. No spondylitis means the vertebrae are lined up like supposed to.
    L5-s1: you have a slight bulge that may be touching the lining of the protective sac surrounding the spinal cord. You have slight arthritis in your facet joints . These help you twist . Narrowing of the foramens are the holes where nerves pass through and this could cause irritaion if not enough room.
    Hope this clears up some of the medical jargon for you
  • Can't thank you enough for your "translation" to english I can understand.
    Wondering how much more they could see with an MIR. In other words, can an MIR detect exacly where a person's pain is located?
  • Going for my MRI on friday august 12-2011. My back is really not bothering me right now. Wondering if the MRI will actually see anything now that I'm almost pain free. In other words, do you have to be in severy pain for the MRI to be able to detect something?
  • So no one on this board knows if an MRI can detect a problem if there is no pain at the tine of the scan? I guess I'll let you know when I get the results.
  • OgmAsterOOgmAster Posts: 1
    edited 10/24/2015 - 9:44 AM
    How's it goin I've been using a computer for work and entertainment for almost 20 years now I'm 26 and I'm [EDIT]! Need a natural remedy this thing is causing all my bodily functions to become chores, my rib cage is showing signs of collapsin ribs almost overlapping. I don't do drugs just stretching quite often so I can actually live life. Also hanging from a "pull-up" bar helps a lot but my circulation is horrific so my arms die out quick. I'm not overweight never really seriously injured my back this is just from growing in a sighting position apparently. No history of back pain in the family mom as dad have iron spines.
  • SavageSavage United StatesPosts: 6,265
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