Author Topic: Back pain and MS  (Read 79 times)

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Offline agate

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2019, 06:43:46 am »

Thank you for calling attention to this.

I've had lots of different types of back pain but never knew whether it was due to MS or just aging or possible effects of injuries from falls.


Sciatica is one of the back problems I have from time to time. It can be very crippling. Physical therapy--and just letting lots of time pass--seems to help.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 06:45:58 am by agate »
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.

Offline ewizabeth

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2019, 07:16:49 am »
Pain is my worst symptom lately, and has been for the last few years. I'm in pain most of my waking moments. I'm getting physical therapy now, and seeing a physiatrist for pain management. They x-rayed my back and hip and I have arthritis in my right hip that is likely from my awkward gait. I also have spinal stenosis in my lumbar and sciatica. I'm taking baclofen and gabapentin, and I have tramadol for bad days.


I think part of it is because I force myself to walk and exercise but I don't have good posture. When I sit I tend to slouch. I'm debating a gym membership at one of the places with a pool.


We went on vacation a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't relax because of the pain. I'm wondering if they'll do an MRI of my lower back. I see the physiatrist tomorrow. The physical therapy helps for a few days sometimes but the pain always returns.


The article mentioned occupational therapy. I wonder if she'll recommend that.

Offline agate

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2019, 08:14:28 am »
Posture has been an issue for me too. The physical therapists always give me core-strengthening exercises, and I  keep doing them.


I have arthritis and scoliosis too  and figure that some of the back pain is due to one of those.


Some of my back pain gets triggered by leaning in certain ways, and just avoiding those positions keeps the pain from coming on. It's much easier to deal with that kind of pain than the kind that is there constantly, making it impossible to sleep.


My experiences with physical therapy have been about half a dozen different courses of it over the years, each one for 8 sessions, usually once or twice a week.  Each time I noticed that the pain decreased only very slowly and gradually. I had the impression that ultrasound and "electro stim" worked on really acute pain rather well.


I did the at-home exercises exactly as the PT said to do them. It was time-consuming and boring but had to be done, as I saw it.


I was lucky in usually having very competent physical therapists, who weren't just running me through an assembly line.


The last PT I had mentioned to me once that some of her patients say that the PT doesn't help them. So maybe there are situations where it isn't the answer.

MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.

Offline ewizabeth

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2019, 08:30:49 am »
I've been doing the exercises faithfully, and I even request print-outs showing me the correct form. I think my therapist is a bit unfamiliar with MS. She's young and speaks with an accent so there's also a communication issue when I ask for an explanation.


She's very smart though because she can touch my back and know where the pain is without me telling her the exact spot. I suggested at the last appointment that when adding certain exercises the pain becomes more severe so she modified my routine.


They haven't done an MRI yet so maybe that will be the next step.


I'm really thankful that the pain isn't keeping me awake. I take Trazodone for sleep at night so that seems to calm it down so I can rest. I'm thinking about looking into medical cannabis in the future.

Offline agate

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2019, 08:50:31 am »
I don't recall that any PT I've had ever dealing with the MS though they were aware of it. There probably should be physical therapists who specialize in MS but if there are any, they must be rare. 
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.

Offline ewizabeth

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2019, 05:20:10 pm »
I saw my doctor yesterday and she thinks I have a herniated disk in my lower back. I go for an MRI on Monday. I had physical therapy today and it will be postponed until we know what the problem is. The therapist also said her last day is February 15th so if I go again Iíll have someone else. Iíll be relieved to know what it is. This is probably a result of my years of digging in the garden and lifting heavy objects.

Offline agate

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2019, 06:02:11 pm »
I hope it's the sort of thing that will have a noninvasive remedy.


I've heard often that most people as they get older will develop degenerative disk disease. It's just part of what happens to us as we gradually wear out, it seems.







MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.

Offline ewizabeth

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2019, 08:42:06 pm »
I had the MRI, then the physiatrist gave me steroid injections on both sides of my lumbar at L5 this morning. I'm more sore today but she said it shouldn't give me any relief until 2-3 days have passed. The physical therapist advised me to keep doing the exercises at home since they strengthened my back, even though the pain kept returning. I got a CD copy of the lumbar MRI and I'll share that with my neuro in March when I see him.
He wasn't really happy that I had stopped my Aubagio treatment without telling him first but I think he'll get over that. If it turns out that the MS is causing this, I'll likely go back on Copaxone unless he has a better idea that I can agree with.

Offline agate

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Re: Back pain and MS
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2019, 09:46:17 pm »
It sounds as if you're skilled in the fine art of managing neuros. Some do need a bit of training but eventually will grasp that you're running this show, after all.😉
MS Speaks--online for 13 years

SPMS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2007-2010.

 

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