Back Pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Aberlaine, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Aberlaine

    Aberlaine Member

    Question: One of the symptoms of FM is lower back pain. Is this different from the pain you feel if you have arthritis in your spine (degenerative disk disease)?

    I probably have compressed disks causing nerve pain. But I also experience stiffness when getting up in the morning or getting up from a sitting position after a long time.

    The protruding bone of my inner elbows (when your palm is facing upward) hurts like the dickens. But the tender point is on the opposite side, right? My doctor thinks this is tendonitis.

    It seems like most of my pain is caused by "something else". I'm so confused.
  2. Sheila1366

    Sheila1366 New Member

    Have you been dx. with fms?I have had tendonitis in my left shoulder.Now that I am dx. with fms when I get pain in my shoulders I wonder if it is fms or tendonitis.I havd had to cortisone shots in my left shoulder.

    I hope you get some answers soon.
    Sheila
  3. Yucca13

    Yucca13 Member

    I know what you mean about the elbow problem. Mine are strange. They kind of 'catch' at times and are always painful,inside and out. I've had DDD for many years and three discs are almost gone. There are also osteophytes (bone spurs) and impingement. For me, I think what is contributing to my right arm pain is nerve root compression.

    You are right, it is confusing as to what causes what. I haven't really had it explained very well to me. I've had lower back pain since I was 18 and at 28 had a lumbar laminectomy. Now, I don't think about my lower back much unless it goes into excruciating spasm. Orthos say just to stick with the pain doc. I take that to mean that they can't do anything for me. I think if you have DDD and osteoarthritis in the spine, it contributes to much of the stiffness in the morning and pain in general.

    I see by your bio, that we are about the same age, so I suppose we are expected to get stiffer. My 85 year old mother just tells me I should be more active because that is what they tell the "old folks". She walks and goes to exercise classes and has never had pain. Go figure? I must be a throwback to her mother who had rheumatism. I sure wish exercise was the answer and that the energy to do enough of it was there too! Oh well, we will keep on keepin on the best we can!
  4. Aberlaine

    Aberlaine Member

    I was diagnosed with DDD in January, 2004. In October, 2004 I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I read somewhere (might have been in this group) that the only thing you can be sure of with FM are the tender points. If you have other symptoms, check them out with your doctor. They're probably something else.

    I think much of my fatigue is caused by an underactive thyroid. I'm on thyroid meds, but I can't get my doctor to increase the dosage because my test results come back in the "normal" range. And, because I'm tired most of the time, I have very little quality concentration or short term memory (called "fibro fog").

    I might have Lyme Disease, but the test that was used (not very reliable) came back negative.

    My back pain is from arthritis; my knee pain is from arthritis and a botched knee replacement. My neck pain is probably from arthritis. And my elbow pain is from "golfer's elbow". So if it weren't for the palpable tender spots, I wouldn't have fibro at all? So very confusing.
  5. stinker56

    stinker56 New Member

    I was diagnosed with FMS several years ago and my lower back hurts so bad sometimes. I have scolosis which adds to the discomfort and sitting in one position too long can cause a lot of stiffness and pain. I say it feels like I "rust up" like the tin man on the Wizard of Oz when I stay in one position too long. My elbows also get so tender that it is almost like a toothache throbbing. Seems like pain is in a different place just about everyday. Right now it is my knees and I think that is worse than the back pain. It is a very confusing disease. Hope you are soon feeling better.
    Stinker56
  6. JLH

    JLH New Member

    I have a lot of back problems (see my bio--I think I have them all listed there) and I say that yes, there is a definite difference from the pain you feel from arthritis/degenerative disk disease in your low back.

    In fact, I don't think that the docs consider low back pain much of a symptom of fibro--even though fibro sufferors will tell you different.

    Have you had any CT scans or MRI's to see if you have any compressed disks, herniated disks, or pinched nerves?

    The stiffness that you experience when you first get up in the morning and after sitting for a long time is probably the osteoarthritis. When you get our age, I guess we have to expect that!!

    My rheumy and my PCP also told me that probably any person over 50 who had a back xray/CT/MRI would find that they have a little bid of DDD (degenerative disk disease) in their back -- that DDD and arthritis are the same thing!!!

    However, when you start adding other back problems to the DDD, which is painful enough, then you really start experiencing some back pain! Especially when you get into the nerve area!!

    I currently have a pinched nerve between L4-L5 and S-1 and the pain is horrific. It takes 5-6 hours after I get up for the pain to start easing up, and it also causes my leg and toes to be numb. My doc told me to make sure that I get up and move a little bit every 30 min. in order for it not to get too stiff.

    I was already taking Cymbalta and Neurotin for the fibro and both of them benefit nerve pain. However, I might have to increase my Neurotin. I might also have to go to a Neurologist about getting shots of cortisone in my back or to an anteseologist (? sp) to get a pain nerve block done.

    My rheumy also told me that I need to be taking my arthritis anti-inflammatory daily in order to keep the inflammation down in my back. So I take that, too.

    I also take Placquenil for Lupus which should also help on my arthritic condition. I also have arthritis in my hands, wrists, hips, ankles, and feet.

    I don't know about your protruding bone of your inner elbows. Does your rheumy agree with your other doc that it is tendonitis? Would tendonitis make your bone protrude? Have you seen an ortho doc about your elbow? Or, maybe it could be Rheumatoid Arthritis--it will cause bone deformity.

    What are you currently doing to control your pain?

    My fibro pain feels more like muscle/skin pain and not bone pain like arthritis. But then, I have so many conditions that cause pain, sometimes you can't tell where it is coming from!!!

    (((Hugs)))
    Janet




  7. Aberlaine

    Aberlaine Member

    Janet & Stinker - thanks for your replies. I haven't yet gone to any rheumy, ortho, or even my PCP because I don't think they can help. Arthritis, is arthritis - no cure. Fibro, is fibro - no cure. I take diclofenac (Voltaren) for the arthritis (does hardly anything for the pain).

    I've had a ruptured disk in my lower back in the past, but it's resolved itself. So the only thing left to blame is the DDD. Maybe I do have a disk sitting on a nerve.

    As for my elbows, the bone isn't protruding. It just hurts when I press on them. That's not a tender point, so it's probably more arthritis.

    This is so frustrating. There's nothing I can do to lessen the pain I have other than take medications - which I hate to do because of the side effects.

    I've decided to go back to my warm water class: gentle stretches in the YWCA pool. I haven't been there all summer and it's probably time to go back. I've also scheduled a massage. Probably have a few trigger points that need to be worked out, too.

    Gentle hugs - Nancy
  8. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Have you tried meds like Cymbalta and Neurotin? They both help on nerve pain - which might help your fibro and back.

    I take both of them, have had no side effects*, and they definitely made a difference on my fibro pain.


    * on the Cymbalta, I have to take 30 mg in the morning and 30 mg in the evening, instead of all 60 mg at once in the morning because it did make me too sleepy, but now that I split the dose in half, I have no problem!

    Hugs,
    Janet
  9. Aberlaine

    Aberlaine Member

    My doctor gave me a sample several months ago. Worked great. Unfortunately, my health provider doesn't cover it yet because it's so new, and so expensive. And I can't afford to pay the whole shot by myself.

    As for Neurontin, I'm studying up on that. I'm not sure I want to take it yet, but I'll ask my doctor her opinion when I see her in November.

    My back feels much better today. Because I switched from Diclofenac to Arthrotec? Because I walked my dog (do that every day)? Because I lifted something yesterday that I don't remember? For no reason I can think of? So very, very frustrating?

    I started a pain diary this morning: the level of my pain at particular times of the day along with the meds I take, exercise I do, and how well I slept last night. I'm not giving up!! I'm going to fight this to the end!!
  10. tejanya

    tejanya New Member

    i know this sound silly but, had it been a few days since a BM? that makes my back hurt worse, it even goes straight thru tu the abdomen. after the lactolase hits, all is better. well, the back still aches but not even close to as bad.
  11. Aberlaine

    Aberlaine Member

    You know, you're right, I haven't. I'll have to keep that in mind. I have a terrible problem moving my bowels because several of the medications I take cause constipation - but that's another story.