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Thread: Lower back pain

  1. #1
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    Lower back pain

    I've been having lower back pain for about a year now.. It's progressively gotten worse.. At first I thought it was my kidneys because that's where the pain is.. A recent stay in the hospital has ruled that out and my kidneys are fine.. The pain is all over my back.. My paralysis starts around T4, the pain in my shoulders is awful but manageable with pain meds.. The pain in my lower back is different I suspect due to the paralysis, and pain meds only help a bit.. The best way to explain the pain is, it feels like a severe sprain.. I was wondering if anyone has experienced this before? If so did anything work to help with the pain? I have brought this up to my doctor and he has no idea what it could be..
    It is not how we fall that defines us..
    It is how we rise.

  2. #2
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Its not my intent to alarm you, and god knows I hope I don't know what I'm talking about...but...you might want to talk with an oncologist (sp?). Late wife had same feeling.

  3. #3
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    Did they figure out what was wrong? I'm sorry for your loss was this issue the reason for her passing? If it was a tumor or cancer would something show in my blood work? I recently had a TIA and they did a lot of different test would something of showed? Or is this something they have to be looking for? Did she have any other symptoms besides the back pain? I'll def talk to my doctor about it thank you..
    Last edited by Shana; 11-26-2012 at 08:59 PM.
    It is not how we fall that defines us..
    It is how we rise.

  4. #4
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Because I have MS, I have difficulty moving my legs on and off the bed. One morning, she did her normal routine pulling my legs to the side of the bed so I could stand up. She said "Ow, I just put a cramp in my back". The pain was just above her butt and ran to both sides.

    After a couple of weeks of the pain getting progressively worse (I figured out a way to deal with the bed myself), she finally went to see the local "pain" doctor. He dx'd a muscle strain, and gave her a steriod shot in the back, and rx'd some "take it if you need it" drugs. The pain subsided for a few days and then got worse again. Doctor gave her another steroid shot. Pain got worse to the extent we had a hospital bed put in the living room.

    Finally, she couldn't stand it any more, and actually asked to go to the hospital. Ambulance. ER did CT Scan and MRI. Turns out it was pancreatic cancer and had spread to other organs. She passed away about 3 weeks later.

    This whole scenario took about 9 weeks.

    I don't know why the pain doctor missed it...

  5. #5
    Several things should be ruled out for back pain in anyone who is having it. This would include ruptured or slipped disks, any type of bony abnormality of the spine (including loose or broken hardware in someone with a history of back surgery), Charcot joints in the back, osteomyelitis, etc. In addition, back pain can be experienced by someone who has a abdominal or lower thoracic aortic aneurysm, which can be ruled out with CT or ultrasound. In women, heart pain can be referred to the back as well, so an EKG and other heart studies may be needed. As above, many who have pancreatic cancer also have few symptoms except back pain.

    Once your provider has ruled out all other possible causes of this pain, then it most likely would be attributed to neuropathic pain. In this area, if the pain follows specific dermatomes, it might be considered radicular pain and can be sometimes caused by pinching of spinal roots. MRI may be needed to see this pinching. Pain below the level of injury in areas where you do not have sensation any more would be considered "below level of injury (LOI)" neuropathic pain.

    If it is determined to be neuropathic pain, and is radicular in character, a trial of TENS would be helpful. Accupuncture may also be helpful. Some people have had success with the DREZ procedure (surgery) for this type of pain as well. If it is not in that pattern, then other measures such as a the use of drugs for neuropathic pain (such as Neurontin or Lyrica, or tri-cyclic antidepressants) may be tried, although these are generally not going to completely eliminate the pain, and come with their own side effect issues.

    If you have worked with your physician to rule out all of the possible back or abdominal pathologies that could be contributing to this pain, and are fairly certain it is neuropathic, you may want to get a referral to a pain specialist to work with you on finding the best strategies for pain management.

    I am also moving this to the Pain forum.

    (KLD)

  6. #6
    Senior Member willingtocope's Avatar
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    Obviously, SCI-Nurse knows more about such things than I do...and again, I hope to god I'm full of bull.

  7. #7
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    willingtocope, I'm so sorry this moved so progressively.. My mother in law lost her husband two years ago to cancer.. It moved just as fast and I believe the same kind.. He lasted 9 wks after his dx.. as for my backpain I plan on going down the check list but this list will be short due to my hospital stay a couple weeks ago.. Thanks
    It is not how we fall that defines us..
    It is how we rise.

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