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crooked back and muscle spasms...need help quickly please!

psywzrdppsywzrd Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:53 AM in Lower Back Pain
I have 3 herniated discs at L3-L4, L4-L5, and L5-S1. From time to time my lower back locks up and goes into spasms so that I'm all crooked and in pain. Of course it happened again this morning and I'm trying to do everything I can to stop the pain and spasms so that I can take my mother out to dinner for Mother's Day. I've been icing my back every hour or so for 20 minutes and I took an Aleve but it's not really helping much. Is there any exercise or stretch that I can do that will "unlock" my back so that I can stand up straight and take my mother out to dinner? I can deal with the pain but being hunched over like Quasimodo is killing me and I'm desperate at this point. In the past I've always just waiting it out until the spasms stopped but today is a special day. Please help!!!
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Comments

  • If you have time, please seek medical attention.

    I am not certain of any other advice to give, because I am a fellow spine patient, not a medical professional.

    So sorry to hear that this special day has been severely affected by spine issues.

    Jackie
  • Sorry to hear and don't know if you were able to make it out with your Mom. I left flowers and a gift for my Mother and she came over and picked it up as I was down for the count today. I will take her out for dinner on one of my good days. I hope your family can understand what you're going through and hope you can get some treatment for your pain issues. Maybe your family Dr. will send you to Physiotherapy or hook you up with an Orthopedic or Neurosurgeon consult. It's rough what you're going through and we'll support you through this. 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
  • Just wanted to post back and let you guys know that I ended up going out to dinner. I had a lot of trouble getting into my car and I was in a lot of pain but I'm glad I made it out for Mother's Day. My back is much better today (I'd say I'm at about 75-80%) and it keeps getting better every day. Unfortunately, I know this isn't the last time this will happen to me so I really need to start using my inversion table more often. Back problems suck!
  • You have many posts so I'll ask you this if you don't mind. Do you know what is the main cause of the spasm pain? Is it the muscle, the nerve, etc that causes the spasm pain? I'm not looking for why it happens but more the root of the pain. By spasm I mean the ones that you can feel creeping up on you and you can't do a damn thing about it except grind your teeth and hold on to something to squeeze until it climaxes and then releases. Hurts just thinking about it.
    Thanks.
  • I get the same sort of cramps in my low back and down my legs too. I've been stretching for over a year now but the muscle won't release because the disc are not in the right place. As long as there herniated those muscles will stay tight to protect your spine.
  • tammyc said:
    I get the same sort of cramps in my low back and down my legs too. I've been stretching for over a year now but the muscle won't release because the disc are not in the right place. As long as there herniated those muscles will stay tight to protect your spine.
    Pending my scan results, I'm starting to understand a bit more. So a displaced disc causes the muscle to alter it's normal shape to protect this disc and may pinch a nerve at the same time causing the spasms that some of us experience?
  • I agree with Tammy as long as there's nerve irritation there is usually back spasms as your muscles are working to protect your spine and inflammation flares up also in the tissues. Taking a muscle relaxant and anti-inflammatory is the treatment I get. I've also had Massage Therapy and trigger point injections to elongate and stretch the muscle out. Also when your muscle tenses up from the nerve something like Cymbalta and Lyrica which I take may be helpful but of course each Dr. has a treatment and only saying what has helped me. Walking and some exercise helps also as well as heat and ice.

    I get a lot of muscle spasms from overdoing it also with the walking so then waking up at night with the muscle cramps I can only stretch out the cramp and take it easier.

    psywzrd-I'm glad you're improving and you were able to see your Mom. 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
  • Spasms are caused by the muscles trying to compensate for some type of problem in the spine - they're carrying a load they're not meant to. It has nothing to do with nerves. Here's a very short article about the definition of muscle spasms, but if you go to the top of the page and do a muscle spasm search, you can narrow it down to what might be causing yours, such as DDD or a disc problem.

    http://www.spine-health.com/glossary/m/muscle-spasm

    Cathie
  • My muscle spasms were caused by a herniated disc with an annular tear that caused disc material to contact the L5 exiting nerve and my Dr. told me this is what was causing my muscle spasms that I had to have 100s of injections for especially trigger point injections for the muscle spasms caused by the irritation of the nerve.

    But that's what my Dr. told me. Muscle spasms can be caused for a lot of reasons though so it's best to see your Dr. about it. 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
  • I have a had a lot of this in the past but have at last been able to find a cure.
    The first breakthrough was remedial massage. instant relief, lasted 1-2 weeks, depending on how busy I was catching up.
    This is a treatment so will need to be repeated.
    Cure. Magnesium oil taken daily in water. You must try this. so simple yet so effective.
    Spasms are likely to be caused by a magnesium deficiency, which is very common. You can get the powder form from your chemist, or buy the oil (better) on line.
    I have been dramatically better for a year now since taking magnesium, have dropped all anti-inflammatories, strong pain meds, and neurontin.
    I can do more now with far less severe flare-ups when I over do it.
    if you do only one thing-this is it.
  • Peter B said:
    I have a had a lot of this in the past but have at last been able to find a cure.
    The first breakthrough was remedial massage. instant relief, lasted 1-2 weeks, depending on how busy I was catching up.
    This is a treatment so will need to be repeated.
    Cure. Magnesium oil taken daily in water. You must try this. so simple yet so effective.
    Spasms are likely to be caused by a magnesium deficiency, which is very common. You can get the powder form from your chemist, or buy the oil (better) on line.
    I have been dramatically better for a year now since taking magnesium, have dropped all anti-inflammatories, strong pain meds, and neurontin.I can do more now with far less severe flare-ups when I over do it.
    if you do only one thing-this is it.
    I'm taking coumadin for a mechanical heart valve, seems magnesium oil may slightly interfere with it but I will suggest it to my dr. Thanks.

  • I have muscular issues that no amount of magnesium oil or any other type of so called cure can prevent, though it may for some individuals. Some parts of my body are in constant state of spasm, though mild most times, and I only wish that all of my body were as firm as my back and legs but without the muscle issues. Well..that would be a little silly and quite impossible, but more like jelly w/o the muscles..but could do w/o the spasms.

    psywzrd, I'm glad you were able to take your mother out for Mothers Day, that is a blessing. I only wish that you didn't have to suffer in pain to do it.
  • Thank you for your suggestions and well wishes everyone. Unfortunately, I don't think the magnesium suggestion is going to work for me though as I am definitely not deficient in that area. I honestly think that this is just something that I'm going to have to deal with unless I get surgery or something, but I obviously don't want to go that route. I've been pretty lucky in that it had been a while (at least a year if not more) since I've had an episode like this.

    My herniated discs are generally not painful but I do get daily reminders that they are there. I guess it's partially my fault since I have an inversion table that I don't even use. I need to start getting more disciplined about using it though because my back definitely feels better when I do, and I really do believe that it can help prevent further injuries and episodes such as the one I had on Mother's Day.
  • I'm always feeling like my bones need oiled like the tin man because I'm so stiff, so that would make good sense now that I think about it further. Besides, it's worth trying if it's safe for me, so I'm going to give it a try as soon as I run it by my Dr. I have to run everything past her because of my autoimmune disorders and medications, but most things are ok. Wouldn't that be something if it actually works and I've been hurtin' all this time (lol). I might get a little irritated at all the yrs gone by when all I needed was some Mg.

    Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. Approximately 50% of total body magnesium is found in bone. The other half is found predominantly inside cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is found in blood, but the body works very hard to keep blood levels of magnesium constant.
    http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium/
  • psywzrd said:
    T. Unfortunately, I don't think the magnesium suggestion is going to work for me though as I am definitely not deficient in that area.

    I'm left wondering how you can be so sure, when it is estimated that at least 70% have a magnesium deficiency, and there is no simple test for it as magnesium resides in the cells, not the blood.
    I'd probably have rejected it years ago if it had been suggested to me-put it in the same basket as magnets, crystals and so on.
    It was my pain doctor who diagnosed my muscle problems, and it was my daughter who suggested magnesium which she had begun to take herself.
    Doctors are unaware of it, most physios are.
    All I can say is that after many years of awful headaches, anti-inflammatories, copious pain killers, neck injections, massage and so on, since taking magnesium oil my chronic pain has gone and I'm on only paracetamol for general aches and pains.
    What more can I say?
    Try to avoid drugs and surgery, and look at the simpler treatments instead.
    Doctors tend to be drug oriented, and avoid massage, physio, chiropractic, supplements, and anything to do with diet or lifestyle.
    You have to take charge, do your own research, and not rely solely on the medicos.
    You can still work together but you must realise the doctors' strict parameters.
  • Good for you! Give it a try.
    No kidney problems?
    I'd suggest you start with a powdered version that you can get from a chemist. Dissolved in water. Take a standard does for a few days to test for any reaction, then gradually increase the dose.
    If you take too much, you just get loose bowels!
    Ignore the capsules as they are very weak and if you increase the dosage you get bowel problems immediately.
    With the powder you should be able to gradually increase the dose without that problem.
    If you go to the oil, which is better again, take a teaspoonful in 600ml of water sipped during the day. Try to drink 2 per day.
    If you are really deficient it will take a while, that's why I suggest bigger doses.
    You should then notice the benefits starting in a week or so, and they will continually improve as long as you keep on it.
    You can find a lot of good advice on line on suggested daily intakes.
    You may need a calcium supplement also-find details on line.
  • Magnesium oil has also changed my life because I decided to give the oil a try after reading one of Peter's posts.....now I live pretty much pain free because of this precious mineral. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and is essential to good health. I did a lot of research on the oil and read many testimonials before I decided to give it a try. Life changing for sure. I've also converted a few co-workers who have had at least a 50% drop in pain after using the oil for approximately 2 months. It may not work for everyone, but I thank God it relieved me of 24/7 pain.
  • So after having another episode just like the one I experienced a few months ago, I have decided to give the magnesium oil a try; however, I went the Vitamin Shoppe and they only had magnesium liquid. I ended up getting something called Floradix Magnesium Liquid Mineral Supplement. It's 250mg/serving and each serving is 20ml. Is it acceptable to use this instead of the oil and, if so, is one serving a day enough?
  • Read a few reviews and it received excellent ones, so I'd say give it a good go.
    Generally an increased dosage rate will build up your depleted levels faster, and so faster relief, but may give a bit of loose bowels.
    So you have to find the level that is as high as you can go without that discomfort.
    Start with the suggested dose for a few days, then gradually increase it.
    You may need some other supplements to keep everything in balance,such as a good multi vitamin.
    Calcium levels are critical too. Lots on the web to read. Try to read a book by Dr Carolyn Dean called The Magnesium Miracle.
    Well done for taking this step. I hope you will be pleased.

  • Thanks for the reply. I'm already getting the loose bowels so I'm going to just stick with the recommended dose even if it means that it will take a bit longer to build up my levels. The stuff tastes awful though and it's kind of expensive. Is there another type maybe that tastes ok and isn't quite as expensive?
  • I use the magnesium oil, which is really just concentrated sea water, diluted in water. 1-2 tspn in 600ml. It is just a bit saline.
    In Australia there is Ultra Muscleze which has a mild taste, but it depends on where you are and if it's available. They are all a bit pricey, but what price pain elimination without drugs?
    I'd suggest that you dilute the dose much as I do. This should remove the taste and be kinder to the gut. The reaction you have is probably because it is not diluted enough.
    Taking it too neat will upset the gut.
    The pills are useless. Use either the oil or a quality powder.
  • There are new ways of inhibiting muscle spasm, and helping back pain, taping being one of them and especially effective when in the form of edit which also protects you from moving to a range where a herinated disc can be aggravated. I should know, as an osteopath for the last 13 years and seeing thousands of disc injuries i created the product for my patients who loved it , so i developed further to the point i launched last week. additionally there are no side effects or medication and allows you to move while trusting your back pain again

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    Post Edited by Authority Member Liz
  • I know you guys said to stick with liquid Magnesium (or oil) but is it ok to go with a softgel? It's not very practical to bring a bottle of liquid magnesium with me when I travel so I was thinking about something like Nature's Life SoftMag softgels or Carlson Laboratories Liquid Magnesium softgels. They both seem to offer a high dose of magnesium and it would be much more convenient to take the magnesium as a softgel rather than a liquid or oil.

    I was also thinking about looking for a combination Magnesium/Calcium softgel instead of plain magnesium (the liquid I'm taking right now has both). Would that be ok?
  • I was wondering how you were going.
    When I travel for more than one day, I put a calculated amount of the Mg oil in a 250ml bottle, which is very small, and then just add my daily dose to my water bottle.
    So you could do that.
    Or you could add it to a glass of water every few hours, but at a small dose each time.
    The only way with the gels is to try them. You may be able to find some personal reviews but probably unlikely.
    There are several types of magnesium on the market, some better than others, but I couldn't offer any advice-gets too hard for my old brain!
    Added calcium is usually recommended too, but not too much.
    Google is good for reading up on this..
    See if you can find out which Mg is in the gels and do a bit of research if you want. But I'd be inclined to just give them a go.
    Dr Carolyn Dean is worth looking up too.
  • Sorry to hear about your troubles and I really do want to help you out. If you're looking for specific exercises/stretches that can help, I'd recommend doing the cat stretch, back stretch, and side stretch. You can search for this in the internet for detailed instructions but I believe they can help your current condition. Another thing that I recommend is trying out Inversion Therapy with is known to be great for your back.

    Hope this helps!
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