Chronic Muscle spasms and low back pain

Chronic Muscle spasms and low back pain

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CDW123
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Joined: 10/01/2011 - 4:21pm
Chronic Muscle spasms and low back 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.

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Frannie Page
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Joined: 06/01/2011 - 8:55am
spasms

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

CDW123
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Joined: 10/01/2011 - 4:21pm
Thanks you for your input

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,

john marsh
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Get breif knowledge for many health care products

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.

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Frannie Page
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myofacial

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

desb63
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Joined: 12/20/2011 - 2:17pm
muscle spasms

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

CDW123
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Joined: 10/01/2011 - 4:21pm
Thank you Des

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

CDW123
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Thanks Frannie

I certainly have had loads of stress over the years.

CDW123
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Thanks Frannie

I certainly have had loads of stress over the years.

piggy1977
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Joined: 01/14/2012 - 6:44am
HI I am in the same boat as

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

desb63
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Last seen: 10 months 3 weeks ago
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Joined: 12/20/2011 - 2:17pm
surgery/MRI/Botox

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

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