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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?
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  • 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.

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  • 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?
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