Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

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Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby desmalia » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:30 pm

Aside from MS I have a number of health issues, so it's really tough sometimes to tell if symptoms that flare up are actually due to MS or something else. For instance, I've got bone pain in my left lower leg, but it's most likely due to the heal spur. If I didn't know about the heal spur, I might assume it is related to MS.

But anyway, here's the major struggle. For years I've had periodic problems with the muscles going rock hard in my neck, upper back, and jaw. I've had a pretty good summer and spring where this particular problem didn't flare up at all, but this week it's back with a vengeance. My jaw muscles feel like they're always contracted and want to grind my teeth. But I don't actually grind them normally, and my bite does not feel like it's off. My neck, head and back are just as tense all the time. Yesterday my chiropractor tried to release some of the muscles, but wasn't able to accomplish anything other than very temporary relief. The tension feels like it's wrapped around my head and neck so tight that I almost can't see straight, and my fatigue is considerably worse. I usually attribute it to weather changes, but we've had nothing but sunshine and stable weather for weeks, and there's no change in the forecast any time soon. So I'm wondering if this is just another MS symptom to wade through or if it's likely to be something else, like TMJ, which I have had in the past and didn't feel anywhere near this bad. I hate going to the doctor every week for whatever comes up next, lest he think I'm a hypochondriac, lol. Plus, he's most likely going to tell me to take a pain killer and/or muscle relaxant and send me home. (My IBS means those are not options anyway). :confused:
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby Scott1 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:33 pm

Hi

I know the tight neck issue well. It feels like you have steel bands instead of muscles and tendons. I've assumed that this is related to the activity of EBV infected B cells in the lymphatic tissue in that region. My approach has been to use the conventional treatment of Avonex but add Valtrex twice daily. It did help as the acyclovir in the tablet lessens the EBV.
It's not the only thing to do. I also take a large glass of carrot juice each day to get a big dose of retinoic acid safely. This could cause you to develop a lot of excess mucus for around four weeks but it will settle down. I also take a level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda morning and night in a glass of water. This helps make me more alkaline. I also take Olive leaf extract (just a swig in the morning but its taste is awful). Doing all this has kept my MS well under control and lead to a significant lessening of tight muscles.
To fix the heel issue, try Pilates but push yourself. It will caused by tight calf muscles and hamstrings but you will need a full body workout and it will take time.

Regards
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby desmalia » Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:09 am

Wow, thanks for all the info, Scott! Yes, that is exactly how it feels. I will have to look into those suggestions. Not too excited about developing excess mucus as I have ongoing seasonal allergies as it is! lol. I have a juicer and a batch of fresh grape juice made up. I could add some carrot to it and see if that helps at all. I am trying my best to avoid prescription meds as I tend to get more side effects than most people do. But if it gets any worse I may need to look into it. I'm also considering asking for a cannabis prescription. I have a friend who juices it raw and it really helps with pain without getting him stoned. Sounds like an encouraging option.

At this point I'm leaning towards thinking this is related to MS, as I'm having all kinds of flare ups right now in my hands, back and leg (all sensory, thankfully, not motor). Even my acne is flared up. Perhaps if I can get the inflammation under control the neck, jaw, etc. will calm down too.

I've been taking magnesium, and it's helping a bit, but today I'm also going to try an epsom salt foot bath and see if that might help. I know people with fibro use this to help their muscles, so it's worth a shot.
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby jimmylegs » Sat Sep 22, 2012 8:57 am

hi desmalia, may i ask what form of magnesium you are using? how much per pill? how many pills per day? how are your dietary sources?
also you might like to try a full body epsom salts bath, not just the feet! :)

re the allergies and acne.. can you tell me what you do wrt optimizing zinc status? had any testing? (sorry if you've already told me this info - i don't keep files on everyone! :lol:)
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby desmalia » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:25 pm

No worries, I may have mentioned it in the past, but it's been a looooong time. :)

500 mg Magnesium Oxide - so far just one tablet/day. My stomach has been good on it, so that's encouraging.
50 mg Zinc Citrate with 2mg added Copper. Also just one pill/day.

Would you suggest ramping that up to higher doses?

The only testing I've had done was Vitamin D last summer, and it was quite low. I've started upping my D intake to 6000 IU/day in liquid form.
And I had my B12 done and it came back flagged as a bit higher than the standard lab levels suggest, but I take sublingual B Complex daily, so that's probably why.
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby Scott1 » Sat Sep 22, 2012 1:37 pm

Hi Again,

I can't comment at all on the Cannabis. If you have problems with prescription medications try Lysine instead of Valtrex. It's not as potent as Valtrex but it will work as an anti-EBV tablet that you can get from many outlets.
The other thing I neglected to mention for the fatigue is Co-enzyme Q10. I take 300mg per night. I found less than that wasn't enough and 450mg was just over the top. Take it just before going to bed and it will help rebuild ATP (the stuff that gives you energy) while you sleep.

Regards
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby desmalia » Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:22 pm

Interesting, thanks. I have been taking my COQ10 in the morning as it's the easiest time to remember to take my vitamins. I will try it at night though and see if that helps any.

Oh, and as for the epsom salts, I don't like taking baths, and now with heat intolerance even less so. But if it really helps with magnesium absorption I may suffer through one now and then, lol.
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby jimmylegs » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:34 pm

500 mg Magnesium Oxide - so far just one tablet/day. My stomach has been good on it, so that's encouraging.
50 mg Zinc Citrate with 2mg added Copper. Also just one pill/day.


ok mag ox is an insoluble form, difficult for your body to absorb. i am pretty sure 500mg per day would give me the runs, so that's good you're not having side effects. if you can, search around for a soluble, absorbable form such as magnesium glycinate. interestingly, the old klenner protocol even includes supplementation with glycine, so perfect combo, i figure :)

also, if you take magnesium at the same time as d3, the vit d3 sucks it all up leaving none for the other 300 jobs the magnesium's supposed to be doing in your body. it's best to split it up and take half the daily mag with d3, and half on its own. i tend to take d3 and some mag glycinate in the day, and then a mag citrate before bed (mag citrate is less soluble/absorbable but i can tolerate taking it before bed. if i take mag glycinate at bed time it sits in my stomach, relaxes my LES, and then i get terrible coughing - an odd symptom of heartburn).

the zinc/copper looks good! sounds like the same as what i take.
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby desmalia » Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:42 am

OK, thanks. I'll keep an eye out for some glycinate or citrate. The oxide was all I could find at the time when I was looking for it. I do tend to take the magnesium later in the day and apart from other vitamins, and I take d3 drops in my food throughout the day. I suspect between the magnesium and vitamin C it's a perfect balance for my system since I've been able to add some organic raw cheese into my diet (after being dairy free for most of my life!). With that combination my IBS has been almost completely reversed thus far. It's been months, and no adverse reactions at all. Even my seasonal allergies are less dramatic than they usually are.

I've also recently had to accept the real possibility that some of my ongoing joint problems are probably pseudogout as it runs quite rampant in my family. So I'm in a spot where I need to figure out if I'm making it worse with my supplementing. I don't take calcium supplements, but do eat a lot of calcium rich foods as I've been eating paleo for about a year now. I never thought I'd say this but I can't go without my leafy greens! lol
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:30 am

cool :) the zinc's great for ibs too. i used to have bad reactions to foods, but that was before i knew i was zinc deficient. so much better now! i have long suspected a connection between nutrition and seasonal allergy - thanks for that comment! i keep hunting for more studies. so far, they seem to be thin on the ground.

so pseudogout - i hadn't heard of that. can you get a test to determine if there are crystals forming and if so, what kind?

i don't take calcium supps either - i tried, and it makes my muscles go spastic. puts the cal-mag ratio out. i wuvs my leafy greens too :D
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby desmalia » Mon Sep 24, 2012 2:21 pm

Pseudogout is tricky to catch with tests. If it's extremely bad there is a blood test that will detect it, but mine's not that severe at this point. X-rays can sometimes show the calcium deposits, but again not always. My X-ray was completely clear, but then my mother's always were too and she ended up needing a full knee replacement at 56 it was so bad. An MRI might show more evidence, but IF I can convince my doctor to send me for one, it will be about at two year waiting list before that happens (yeah... don't ever let anyone tell you the Canadian medical system is good. It's not!). Beyond that, the only other thing that can be tried is to wait for a flare up and then insert a needle into the fluid and try to draw some out for testing. That may be my only option at this point. Not looking forward to it.

Anyway, thanks for the tips. Glad to know I'm at least somewhat on the right track. My head and jaw are still in pretty bad shape, but I've managed to loosen up my neck and back a bit.
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 24, 2012 4:54 pm

haha yeah i'm in the canadian medical system - the good thing is low cost to the individual. but i've learned a lot about its flaws since 2006. when i got dx'd i was a rush job, but got a taste of the wait times when it came time for follow-up mris. anyway, glad to hear your neck and back are a little better. you'll likely have to try a specialty store to get magnesium glycinate. where in bc are you?
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby desmalia » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:23 pm

Ah, I'm sorry to hear that. (lol). I'm finding that it's even worse to have an MS diagnosis here. Suddenly your medical options drop quite a bit. Grr.

I'm on the west coast. Where are you located?
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:29 pm

like gibson's west coast, or ucluelet west coast? i'm in on-scario :)
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Re: Head/Neck/Jaw/Back Pain - Have you had this?

Postby jimmylegs » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:35 pm

you might be able to find an AOR supplier near you... their magnesium product is mag malate (as opposed to mag glycinate). found this comparison:

Glycinate Benefits
This form of magnesium is less disruptive on the bowels than magnesium chloride, citrate and sulfate, which can cause diarrhea. Aside from these considerations, magnesium glycinate is five times easier for the body to absorb than magnesium oxide.
Individuals suffering from malabsorption conditions like celiac and Crohn's disease will benefit from this form of magnesium. Older people, who are usually prone to magnesium deficiency, also benefit.

Malate Benefits
The malate form of magnesium is derived from malic acid, which plays a key role in energy production. Not surprisingly, magnesium malate will benefit individuals such as athletes, who would like to maximize their energy production, as well as those with musculoskeletal problems like fibromyalgia. People suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome or other circulatory and respiratory problems may benefit as well.

my mag glycinate product is by kirkman labs. don't know if they sell in BC though.
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