MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

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MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby Buela » Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:56 pm

The neurosurgeon I went to after finding out that I have two bulging cervical disks that are pressing onto my spinal cord thinks that I might have MS, because of the symptoms I have that aren't likely related to what they found in my neck (that have had me bouncing around doctors for the past year), and because of a lesion that showed up on my spine in one of my MRIs. It turns out that my primay also independently thought (but didn't say?!?) that it could be MS. So my next appointment is with a neurologist for yet another round of tests, which I already understand may not be conclusive, so I could be in this limbo of "I might have MS" for a while.

I'm not going to try and guess or presume the outcome, which quite honestly I'm praying turns out that I do not have MS, thought I'll deal with it if I do. But I do want to learn as much as I reasonably can about MS in general, and my body with it's collection of whacky symptoms in particular. I am NOT trying to diagnose myself or get an online diagnosis - that's why I'm seeking out the best doctors available to me. But I do have questions that I'm not finding clear answers to in my research, so I'm hoping that others who are on this journey might help.

My first question is, can MS be responsible for SI joint pain, sciatica, and low back pain? If so, are those treated any differently than they are for a person who does not have MS? Nothing has responded significantly to traditional therapies (PT, exercises, meds, adaptations) and in fact it's gotten worse' starting as what felt like tightness/discomfort in my SI joint, then pain in the SI joint area, then pain down my leg (sciatica), than low back pain on both sides. I totally don't want to presume that I have MS but if I can figure out a way to address this pain by taking the approach that is rooted in MS, that will dramatically improve my overall quality of life. FYI my leg on that side has been weak, "heavy,"' tingly, and in pain from very tight muscles/tendons since just before this all started, about a year ago.

If you made it this far reading, bless you and thank you! Brevity is not my strong point, especially at 2am and about something that is heavy on my mind.
Last edited by Buela on Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MS and back pain

Postby fee001 » Thu Sep 08, 2011 4:41 am

Hi!


Personally I would get a Chiropractors opinion, ask Uprightdoc on here he can point you in the right direction or give you advice.

Go with what you believe, your gut reaction. I am being treated for a misaligned Atlas which has caused further spine misalignments over a 10 year period. My current problem is sciatic nerve related.

Google Dr windman Atlas you will see some very familiar symptoms, sciatica being one of them.


Hope this helps

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Re: MS and back pain

Postby oreo » Thu Sep 08, 2011 6:06 am

Buela, yes MS can do all of that and no, the treatments are not the same. If I may illustrate with your sciatica symptoms.
Think of your body in terms of your household electrical system. The main circuit panel is the brain. The individual circuits are your nerves.
With 'real' sciatica, the problem is a pressure point on the wire where it leaves the trunk wiring conduit (spine). Relieve the pressure point and you solve the problem.
With 'MS' sciatica, the problem is in the breaker panel where the sciatic circuit wire connects to the panel. No amount of playing with the circuit wire anywhere along it's length will fix the problem.
Unlike a real circuit panel however, where the problem would be solved by replacing the circuit breaker, we cannot repair or replace the circuit connections in our brain.
The failure to react to traditional therapy is probably the leading reason your Dr.'s are suggesting the possibility of MS - they treat the wrong end of the circuit and so will not work if you do have MS.
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Re: MS and back pain

Postby dlynn » Thu Sep 08, 2011 7:43 am

Hi Buela, I too have back pain, a bulging disc (on MRI) and degenerative disc disease. That's what I've been told. I tried 5mos. of PT, IBU 600mg,
2 rounds of epidurals. I have'nt had any relief. I deal with the pain, it is chronic for the past 3 1/2 yrs. My neuro told me "ms doesn't cause pain".
I don't see him anymore. I take ASA 81mg. daily, maybe keeping ASA in my system takes a bit of the edge off. I hope you find relief. Please keep us posted.
God bless!!
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Re: MS and back pain

Postby civickiller » Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:40 pm

i agree with Fiona
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Re: MS and back pain - now with new questions

Postby Buela » Thu Sep 08, 2011 10:01 pm

Thank you all so much for your feedback and suggestions.

New questions:

Is it typical for the pain to be a lot worse at night?

And I'm finding that despite being exhausted all day on most days to the point of wanting to lay my head on my desk and take a nap, especially in the late afternoons which is usually when I'm normally at my best, and despite on most nights feeling the need to cave and take a pain pill (nucenta) and a muscle relaxant (flexaril) as soon as I get my 5yo granddaughter in bed (so by 8pm most nights), I am having terrible insomnia. I know that could be my anxiety level, or my discomfort being worse at nigh, on top of being menopausal and having a lifelong struggle with insomnia, but I'm just curious if it's a common characteristic of MS even with feeling so tired?
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Re: MS and back pain - now with new questions

Postby dlynn » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:43 am

Wow Buela, you sound a lot like me! I toss and turn alot lately at night. I'm sure that menopause symptoms could aggravate MS symptoms (that's what my Dr. told me).I notice my pain at night more. I'm not sure if it's worse at night or if it just seems worse because I'm trying to find a comfortable sleep position. When I researched ALL the menopause symptoms,( such as fatigue), it's no wonder I'm sometimes exhausted. I still don't take pain meds or any other meds other than ASA. But that is everyones' personal choice. hope this helps
God bless!!
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Re: MS and back pain - now with new questions

Postby Buela » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:36 am

Thanks, dLynn. Where I get most confused is that I stopped having any significant menopause symptoms about 3-4 years ago -- no more night sweats, no more wanting to tear my clothes off in the middle of teaching a class :wink:, no more 2-3 days each month where I morph into a psycho b*tch, and far less insomnia. Now in the past year since all of these other symptoms started, I'm constantly wanting to crank down the temperatures because being hot makes me feel totally miserable (though now it's seems like more of a sensitivity to even a moderate amount of heat instead of producing my own spontaneous combustion furnace like I did for a couple of highly miserable years), I get completely distracted and miserable in even moderately warm and/or humid environments, and my insomnia is raging again. So... different, but still very similar.

Of course, my spouse and a few of my students might claim that I still have moments of being a psycho b*tch, but I'm confident that it's only when they really deserve it and not because of the hormone-induced crazies. :twisted:
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Re: MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby Buela » Fri Sep 09, 2011 11:49 am

Yet another question to add to this list: Is pushing yourself to exercise, even if it seems to make you even more tired or more in pain in the short run, generally going to help more than it hurts in the long run? If not, how do you know when to push yourself, and when to force yourself to chill and take it easy?

The reason I ask is that I desperately miss exercising regularly -- the kind where after an hour I'm a stinky sweatball with nothing else to give, but my stress is down and I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I haven't pushed myself to that place for quite a while, and I'm also bummed to know that it will require far less to get myself to that "can't do any more" spot than it ever has before. But I just don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing to do that. Any thoughts? Even better, any studies?

(fyi, I'm a total science geek and while I absolutely cherish hearing people's opinions and personal experiences about what worked for them personally, I also really like scientifically sound studies when they're available.)
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Re: MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby jimmylegs » Fri Sep 09, 2011 12:48 pm

i have a bulging disc and a 'ratty neck' per my neuro. dehydration and diet choices are why my spinal nutrition was sucky. i'm left with chronic neck pain and have yet to get a traction device to help get things sorted out. tried chiropractic and it wasn't the best experience (student clinic, it just put me off the whole thing).

enough about me - for you i'm seeing magnesium issues buela, re pain (possibly also vit D3), fatigue, muscle relaxants, history of vigorous exercise, PMS bitchiness and insomnia. ever taken supplemental magnesium? and/or had the bloodwork done to get a level?

ms-ers are known for having a common constellation of nutrient insufficiencies. they might fall in the 'normal' range (you're a science geek so i won't do my usual rant on that one) but usually at the low end compared to healthy controls.

whether you do have ms or not, a proactive approach could be to optimize your nutritional status.

if you want science, i gots it :) read my regimen thread and signature links if you want, to get you started :)

and welcome!

oooh ooh here's something that touches on the multifacted awesomeness of Mg
http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/story/2002092 ... ium020923/ (yes, by that favaro!)
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Re: MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby dlynn » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:21 pm

Hi Buela, re exercise, my neuro once told me, many years ago," exercise won't make my ms worse, just don't overdo it to exhaustion". I now know what my body is capable of, far less these days, than 4or5 years ago. I am no longer able to jog (or walk any distance). I still lift weights every other night, night being the best time for me (most energy at night). Over the years I learned how far to push myself, and what things I shouldn't do. I'm not the "scientific" type, but years of having ms taught me how to do the best I can for my health without complete exhaustion. God bless!!
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Re: MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby NHE » Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:48 pm

Buela wrote:Yet another question to add to this list: Is pushing yourself to exercise, even if it seems to make you even more tired or more in pain in the short run, generally going to help more than it hurts in the long run? If not, how do you know when to push yourself, and when to force yourself to chill and take it easy?

The reason I ask is that I desperately miss exercising regularly -- the kind where after an hour I'm a stinky sweatball with nothing else to give, but my stress is down and I feel a great sense of accomplishment. I haven't pushed myself to that place for quite a while, and I'm also bummed to know that it will require far less to get myself to that "can't do any more" spot than it ever has before. But I just don't know if it's a good thing or a bad thing to do that. Any thoughts? Even better, any studies?


MS is often a vicious cycle. It makes it harder to do things, therefore you do less, as a result, it's even more difficult to do things. With MS, we have to fight for the privilege of standing still. Take a break from the struggle and we risk getting caught up in the rip tide that is MS and getting washed out to sea. For myself, all I can say is that the water is noticeably deeper now.

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Re: MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby fee001 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:56 am

NHE,

Its made up of several catch 22s, the physical affects the psychological, the psychological affects the physical, as in physical excercise.

In my opinion it is futile to excercise a wonky body, the reasons for that have to be addressed first, independant of ms. chuck that one out look for alternative reasons. (thats my opinion anyway)

Also psychological stress also causes another catch 22, that includes anxiety issues, the psychological affects the physical vice versa.

I am lucky I have managed to elliminate all stress, but it hasnt been an easy ride. I have totally changed my life, dont drink dont smoke now, got divorced and the best thing is I moved counties to be near my family, I depend on no-one only my family for little things here and there.

So telling someone to pull themselves together and calm and stop stressing, is a silly thing to say, as NOT as easy as that.

Just my take on it

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Re: MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby NHE » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:05 am

fee001 wrote:So telling someone to pull themselves together and calm and stop stressing, is a silly thing to say, as NOT as easy as that.


I didn't say that. It appears that you may have misinterpreted what I wrote. My point was that I believe that some amount of exercise is needed to help maintain physical function and that it's better for an MS patient to start and maintain a routine early on in the disease process while they still can.

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Re: MS and back pain - yet another question 9/9

Postby fee001 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 4:54 am

Hi!



No,no,no,I didnt mean you at all. Just people in general yeah! I feel bad now, I would not do that, honest, if I was able, as it dont work 4 me I would do a sad, sad smilie face. Believe me my face 'aint happy. I'm so sorry


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