Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

Notice
All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Chronic Muscle spasms and low back pain

CDW123CCDW123 Posts: 21
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello -

I introduced myself to this forum a few months back. I have, what are considered, minor herniations in my lumbar spine and cervical spine. (Info at end of this message)
I have been suffering non-stop for 9 months from chronic muscle spasms that run from my low back straight up to my neck, mostly on my right side. I also cannot sit for any length of time due to extreme pain in the my low back. (Bulge & herniation at L5/S1) This makes work a nightmare.
I tried 4.5 months with one PT, acupuncture, steroid shots, trigger point shots. I have started with a new PT and am trying an osteopath. No luck yet on that.
I have tried taking loads of magnesium & magnesium rich food to no avail, so please no magnesium advocates.
I can't get a surgeon to even see me based on my MRIs.
The only thing I haven't tried yet is chiropractic, though osteopathy is kind of close.
No one who works with me seems to really understand what is going on.
I'm seeing my PM Dr. on Friday and thinking of insisting on a sitting/standing MRI at least for my low back.
I have to take narcotic painkillers every day and am finding I have to take them earlier in the day than before and more of them just to cope with work. I think I'm actually getting worse. Depression is getting very bad.
Any suggestions out there? Why won't my muscles stop spasming? Why won't my discs heal?

Thank you so much.

MRI Results:
Lumbar:
L5-S1 broad disc bulge & central herniated disc. Herniated disc abuts the thecal sac & R S1 nerve root - w/o significant nerve root impingement

L3-4 small left lateral herniated disc abutting left L3 nerve root - w/o significant nerve root impingement.

Cervical:
C3/4 Mild broad disc ridging - does not significantly impress the CFS column or contact cord

C4/5 Mild broad disc ridging - asymmetric to R - impresses ventral aspect of CSF column - doesn't contact or deform cord

C5/6 Broad disc ridging - mildly asymmetric to R - effaces ventral aspect of CSF column - contacts cord w/o deformity

C6/7 R paracentral & R nerve foraminal disk protrusion/disk osteophyte complex - effaces ventral aspect of CSF column - contacts & mildly deforms cord. Mild central canal stenosis.
advertisement

Comments

  • HI,
    Sorry you're not feeling well.. As I read your post, I'm thinking maybe you have myofacial pain syndrome, which can cause spasms.. I know this seems out of whack, but maybe you should check in with a rhumetologist....that's who found mine, when I had severe burning from butt to foot following lumbar surgeries in "95". Surgeon insisted all was well, but it was the rhumey who figured out that chronic pain and burning that wouldn't stop..
    Anyway, hope you can find some relief soon as that pain thing really wears your body and your spirit.. Antidepressants also may help, not only with the depression, but with the chronic pain as well. Maybe your MRI, when done, will give you more info... SOmetimes it takes so long to find out what you're looking for...don't give up and keep us posted!
    Frannie
  • I will look into this possibility. Is this a syndrome that can come on suddenly? My muscle spasms started shortly after my low back injury 9 months ago,
  • Back pain is ranked second to headaches as the most frequent location of pain. Four out of five adults will experience at least one bout of back pain at some time in their lives. It is almost next to common colds in the list of common diseases.

    The most common site for pain is the lower back because it bears the brunt of our weight and hence is more prone to get affected.

    Back pain is a major ergonomic issue that is becoming increasingly common owing to changing work pattern.Back ache is more prevalent between the age of 35 and 55. The most frequently cause of our back pain are:



    Back pain, especially low back pain, is often associated with functional disability as well as economic and social consequences. It is one of the most expensive diseases in the age group of 25-50 years as it leads to serious loss of productivity. It is estimated that the loss of work resulting from backache costs 30 billion dollars annually in the US. Backache ranks second to cold and cough as a cause of loss of work. Individuals with chronic back pain usually suffer from physical impairment, behavioral changes, hopelessness, de-motivation and lethargy.

    Structurally backache is a condition that usually is caused when one or more structures of the back gets affected and these includes muscles, cartilage, bones or spinal cord.

    People who are in the desk job most of the day are prone to non-accidental back injury. Our working style has changed and it is more technology dependent now. Many of us end up working on computers for as much as 15 hours per day! Prolonged periods of sitting or other sedentary activity is not good for back health and may cause muscle fatigue since the back and abdominal muscles have to work really hard to maintain the body in a single position for prolonged periods. Added to this the joints involved - knees, hips and intervetebral joints – have to remain stationary or in a bad posture for long hours. Incorrect posture and muscle fatigue are partly responsible for initiating osteoporosis at a very early age and put such people at higher risk of developing osteoarthritis.
    Our Erect Posture and flexibility of our body-The erect human posture has made our back adapt to withstand the forces of gravity over our lifetime. It also has made this region more easily vulnerable to wear and tear, strains and fractures. To keep us mobile, the flexibility of our back is important. This is determined by various factors such as joint structure, muscle elasticity and connective tissue fiber material made up of collagen, elastin and titin. Disc that are interposed between the vertebra, acts as a shock absorber and gives joints their strength, stability and flexibility but limits movement. Vertebrae and discs provide a protective tunnel that allows the spinal cord and its spinal nerves to pass through. These nerves running down the center of the vertebrae, branch off to various parts of the body. The collagen fibers help the disc withstand the tension of the erect posture and our weight. Disc protects the spine and keeps it stable during strenuous activities that puts strong force on the spine, such as jumping, running, and lifting.
    Anatomy of our Back - The back region of our body is made of interconnecting structures like bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and tendons. The spine of the back itself is made up of 24 small bones (seven cervical, twelve thoracic and five lumbar) and is the major support structure of back. These small bones are called vertebrae and they are further attached to sacrum and coccyx as we go from top to down. The sacrum attaches itself in front to the bones of the pelvis


    Back pain at workplace results either from non-accidental injury, where pain arises as a result of poor body mechanics such as slouching in chair, prolonged sitting and fatigue; or it results from accidental injury or accidents such as slipping, falling from a height and even hitting one’s head against a cabinet door. Workers undertaking physically demanding jobs such as repetitive lifting of heavy objects are at greatest risk for both non-accidental and accidental back injury.
    Back pain may be sudden and sharp or it may be dull and if persistent for more than a week it might result in tension, soreness or stiffness of back muscles. Pain may aggravate with slightest of movement or even with coughing and sneezing. It may also be accompanied with numbness and tingling in the arms or legs.

    The pain if limited to the back can be treated by simple remedies at home but if radiating to the lower abdomen, groin, leg or foot, needs medical attention.

    Back pain is a common reason for seeking disability benefit from governments and insurance companies. However as pain is subjective and difficult to quantify, the process for such claims is tedious and not everyone who makes a claim gets the necessary benefit.



    One must remember that backache is only a symptom of innumerable other causes besides spine related problems. The back pain maybe related to cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, urological or gynecological problems. Besides injury and straining, the backache originating from the spine can also be due to tumor, infection, inflammation, metabolic disorders, degenerative disc conditions, spondylosis, and spondylitis.

    Link removed, solicitation not permitted
    Post Edited by Authority Member Liz
  • HI,
    Yes, it can be one of those things that you have had all your life, and a major event can trigger it into action... Mine started with the double disc surgeries in 94, along with the stress of a divorce after 23 years...then the surgery of 95. that was a very stressful time...mind and body under too much stress, and the rhuemy said that triggered it!
    My experience anyway... if you look up fibromyalgia, it's very similar, yet different...hope you feel better soon!
    Frannie
  • CDW123

    Hi I sympathise with you with these spasms,I use Baclofen to help I could not get by without them,and no side effects for me.I have been told to drink plenty of water also.

    Have you thought of getting a second opinion,I was told nothing can be done some years ago after seeing my MRI then after desperation and years of waiting I was refered to a spinal unit who viewed the MRI and agreed on surgery at L5/S1 also C5/6 for a later date.

    7 weeks post op L5/S1 still getting spasms but they have improved a little and I'm told can take a year or more to recover,lower back is better regarding radiating pain.

    desb63
  • Thank you so much. You have no idea how good it is to hear that you found some relief. I am in the process of seeking at least 2 more opinions. Saw my PM Dr. today and he's trying to push thru a sitting MRI for at least my Lumbar with my ins. co.. I want cervical done as well since sitting is the position that causes my pain and triggers the spasms. Standing will do it too, but takes longer. (I have to stand to work most of the time at my desk. Still not great, but better than sitting. Got a hydraulic desk a few months back.) Lying down is the only position where I am comfortable and that's the position they put you in for standard MRI. I'm really hoping a sitting MRI will provide an accurate image of what is going on so I can finally get a surgeon and the doctors in general to wake up and take me seriously.
    Can you tell me the type of surgery you had?
    I take Baclofen. It does very little for me unfortunately. Drink lots of water too.
    Got some trigger shots today for some temporary relief and Dr. is also working on getting an approval for Botox which I'm going try and pray helps for a while.

    - Christy
  • I certainly have had loads of stress over the years.
  • I certainly have had loads of stress over the years.
  • HI

    I am in the same boat as you just mine muscle spasms are down my left side, I have had these since having a pro-lapsed disc last year, have had two discetomys on l5-s1 and unfortunately picked up an infection on the last operation which created a massice back abcess which i had to have two operations to remove this.

    I am now on 50mgph Fentaynol patches for the pain, and going to a spealised pain hospital in three months to see if they can help stop the muscle spasms as this is stopping everything from healing.

    My consultant believes this is all trigged by nerve root endings in and around the disc that was treated and if they cant stop the pain in six months will have no choice but to have a spinal fusion.

    So currently unable to work and life can be depressing but the way i have found help is through friends and yes some dont understand what is going on or what you are going through.

    I hope you find the answer to your problems

    best of luck
  • Hi cdw123,

    Yes my surgery was for spondylolisthesis at L5/S1 with decompression & fusion they inserted pedical screws and rods,they also had to remove bone around the nerves to free them up as they had been badly compressed.I was apparently born with a week lower spine,common apparently at this level.

    Both my MRI's were done laying down I have not heard of a sitting MRI.My spasms in my leg are worse when sitting still for periods of time and are just as bad laying down,including strong cramps.I feel more relief when moving about although foot drop makes things difficult.Had to press button during MRI as it was too painful laying still that long.

    Surgery couldn't have come soon enough,best thing I have done so far,I was originally told by a pain clinic nothing more could be done,lucky I went for a second opinion.still got a way to go but I do feel I will get there now.

    Where are you having the Botox injections ? neck/or back

    I had Botox once in my neck to relieve muscles that were so tight and in constant spasm I could not move my neck.I must say the Botox certainly worked relaxing the muscles to the point I could not hold my head up at all,I was looking directly at the floor all day every day,I would say it lasted around 3 months before I regained strength again,but the muscles tightened later on and pain remained in the neck,I think most of my pain is due to disc protrusion and osteophyte/bone spurs.The thing I did not like was I had extremely bad heads with this Botox and a feeling of not with it in my head,NEVER AGAIN for me.thankfully it's just a memory now as it was several years ago,perhaps I just had too much,also the bad heads I would say lasted well over a year,of course the pain clinic dismissed the Botox cause this.I still get bad headaches but this is different from what I experienced with bad heads straight after Botox was used.

    Also had nerve root blocks & nerve denervations for pain at pain clinic.

    Hope you get some relief soon best of luck,

    Des
    desb63
  • Piggy1977, You may have read my posts,I had fusion at the same level as you have,the spasms have decreased but for me have not stopped,much better than it was before operation.only affects my left leg and foot
    I wish you all the best with your treatment there is light at the end of the tunnel,we will all probably have some permanent problems but if we can improve this then it has to be done.

    Best of luck

    Des
    desb63
  • I have struggled with extreme muscle spasms and low back pain for months and years at a time, which has been extremely frustrating. What I have found, for the most part, is that when I have a lot of inflammation, every muscle from my neck to my low back goes into 'guard' mode and the nasty cycle starts. I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome, at least two types of arthritis and degenerative disc disease. The only 'surgeries' I have had (on my back) are four rhizotomies; eventually I will require a surgery for stenosis, but I will delay that as long as possible.

    One thing that has helped me in the past is adding malic acid to the magnesium; the malic acid is a very important part of the combination for some reason.

    I've had good results with IMS (intramuscular stimulation) treatments; they are similar to acupuncture, but the needles go directly into the muscles. The last time I had a treatment, my therapist (who is also a physio) managed to release at least six HUGE spasms. When they released, I felt as though someone had used paddles to restart my heart - I literally bounced on the table! After a treatment like that, I go to another physiotherapist who does myofascial work, and the two treatments together make a big difference for me. Sometimes massage is very helpful, but other times it sends me over the edge.

    This last flare-up happened after I was taken off my anti-inflammatory, Flurbiprofen. I went back on it a week ago, and that seemed to be the real turning point for me; getting the last of the inflammation under control. This week I am literally a different person.

    I started back on Clonazepam/Klonopin at night as well, and am on 10 mg of Baclofen twice a day.

    I hope you find a regime that will help you; I have also done physio, massage, acupuncture, prolotherapy, Bowen therapy, many trigger point injections....you name it.

    All the best to you - I know your frustration well!!

    Tracy
  • CDW123 said:
    Hello -

    I introduced myself to this forum a few months back. I have, what are considered, minor herniations in my lumbar spine and cervical spine. (Info at end of this message)
    I have been suffering non-stop for 9 months from chronic muscle spasms that run from my low back straight up to my neck, mostly on my right side. I also cannot sit for any length of time due to extreme pain in the my low back. (Bulge & herniation at L5/S1) This makes work a nightmare.
    I tried 4.5 months with one PT, acupuncture, steroid shots, trigger point shots. I have started with a new PT and am trying an osteopath. No luck yet on that.
    I have tried taking loads of magnesium & magnesium rich food to no avail, so please no magnesium advocates.
    I can't get a surgeon to even see me based on my MRIs.
    The only thing I haven't tried yet is chiropractic, though osteopathy is kind of close.
    No one who works with me seems to really understand what is going on.
    I'm seeing my PM Dr. on Friday and thinking of insisting on a sitting/standing MRI at least for my low back.
    I have to take narcotic painkillers every day and am finding I have to take them earlier in the day than before and more of them just to cope with work. I think I'm actually getting worse. Depression is getting very bad.
    Any suggestions out there? Why won't my muscles stop spasming? Why won't my discs heal?

    Thank you so much.

    MRI Results:
    Lumbar:
    L5-S1 broad disc bulge & central herniated disc. Herniated disc abuts the thecal sac & R S1 nerve root - w/o significant nerve root impingement

    L3-4 small left lateral herniated disc abutting left L3 nerve root - w/o significant nerve root impingement.

    Cervical:
    C3/4 Mild broad disc ridging - does not significantly impress the CFS column or contact cord

    C4/5 Mild broad disc ridging - asymmetric to R - impresses ventral aspect of CSF column - doesn't contact or deform cord

    C5/6 Broad disc ridging - mildly asymmetric to R - effaces ventral aspect of CSF column - contacts cord w/o deformity

    C6/7 R paracentral & R nerve foraminal disk protrusion/disk osteophyte complex - effaces ventral aspect of CSF column - contacts & mildly deforms cord. Mild central canal stenosis.
  • edited 07/12/2015 - 11:17 AM
    Hi I have been dealing with the same issue as you, and had to quit figure skating because of my back. I have tried every single thing possible to help with my back pain and return to my sport. I did months of physical therapy, chiropractic, took magnesium, used moist/dry heat, and got professional massages and all of it made it worse. I kept having to go to the hospital because of the pain and they did x- rays and mris and found that nothing was wrong. But soon I went to an orthopedic doctor after many other visits and found that I needed Botox in my whole back, neck, and shoulders and might have fibromyalgia. I hope this helped you and best of luck.

    Welcome to Spine-Health
    Please click link for helpful information!
  • EnglishGirlEEnglishGirl Posts: 1,825
    edited 07/12/2015 - 12:57 PM
    I have severe degeneration in my spine & suffer from muscle spasms. I've found that the Botox trigger point injections really help too! For me they work best when combined with muscle relaxants, ice, PT stretches etc. I think it's still important to push for a proper diagnosis of what's causing the spasms. We can't be sure of what the long term effects of having Botox treatments are going to be. It makes more sense to identify the underlying cause & have that treated. In my experience the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia is handed out too easily when docs are stumped! It's worth having nerve conditions tested for & excluded. At the end of the day Botox is used to cover-up & symptom. We need to be careful that there's not a progressive disease that needs treatment.
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
advertisement
This discussion has been closed.
Sign In or Register to comment.