Horrible Back Pain

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by cloudspn, Feb 24, 2014.

  1. cloudspn

    cloudspn Member

    Hi. I have had chronic back pain for 15 years, I was taking Tramodol but thought it might be causing problems. So I weaned myself off of it, very difficult but now when I get out of bed my back feels like there is broken glass in there. I gave in and took 2 Tramodol and as the morning goes by it seems to get better, stiffness eases up. My question is, would this be my bed that is causing this? I do sleep long hours. Lots of getting up though and as morning comes back gets worse and worse. So hard.
  2. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    you don't say what's wrong with your back. I'm sure xrays have been taken, maybe an mri? Were you diagnosed with arthritis or FM? I have stenosis in my neck and back plus arthritis, FM and other things. I feel AWFUL when I first get up.....perhaps the first 2 hrs. or so until I limber up all my muscles, joints, etc. Lying in bed a lot isn't going to make you feel better. And yes, it could be your mattress contributing to it.

    By the way, pain in the mornings when I first get up are up around 8 until things loosen up, then they go to around 5.......I live with pain constantly but moving around is necessary.
  3. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    cloudspn, Hi,
    There are # of questions need answering as sunflower girl says:
    1. Where is the back pain, lower back, neck, mid back or several points up the back?
    2. does the pain go down your legs of even one leg?
    3. since, when you stand up it feels sharper, (broken glass) then you are likely to have radiculopathy ie the nerve root is compressed and this worsens on standing. Does walking around ease the pain somewhat or does it get worse on walking around.
    4. when you lie down and raise each leg in turn does the pain increase sharply when the leg is 45 degrees or less?
    5. do you get pins and needles in your feet? (not pain)
    6. does your back ache when sitting at a dining type chair?
    7. how far can you rotate your neck each way-left to right? More than 100 degrees?

    note: if it is low back then most physiotherapists will tell you that this is most often caused by a stiff mid back so causing overuse of low back. Exercise to imporve the mid back flexibility can help.

    Regarding the bed, some people with radiculopathies find that elevating the whole bed at the bed head by about 8 inches reduces pain a little. (do not raise the pillows). Pillow is probably more important than mattress unless you have low back pain and a sunken mattress and bum level, in which case get some big towels and fill in the hole to make the mattress level and firmer at that point.

    8. Do you sleep on your back mostly or on your side mostly? Side sleeping is more associated with back pain at night.

    An exercise to do during the day is to lie on your back and flatten your low back against the floor by pushing the low back onto the floor as if you were going to the toilet. Stomach muscles should be tightened.

    Reduce your sitting at upright seat during the day.

    Tramadol is notoriuos for making back pain worse over the long term. Our policy is Tramadol ONLY with exercise for a limited time, until the exercises take over.

    To wean yourself off the tramadol try high dose DHA/EPA 2grams twice daily and Vitamin D3 10,000iu for three months. (see other notes on vitamin D3 coactivators too)
  4. sunflowergirl

    sunflowergirl Active Member

    Ian, as usual you're such a treasure to this board. Good questions.

    The thing that hit me from the post is the amount of tramadol taken. I have tramadol but only use 25 mg. at night to take away the AWFUL pain, and really limit myself to using it. I'm also trying to cut the use of ibuprofen as I think I'm getting rebound pain from it. Trying to first grab an ice pack to numb the pain.
  5. cloudspn

    cloudspn Member

    I'm so thankful for all this advice. It's time for me to get ready for work now darn, I'll be back soon.
  6. cloudspn

    cloudspn Member

    It is low back pain which does not go down to my legs. Xrays & MRI say it is arthritis according to my Doctor but pain management people have mentioned bulging disk and spinal stenosis. Strange. Yes, I do have FB and CFS also chronic depression as my husband has Lewy Body disease with Parkinson's. I'm his sole provider and there is no money to speak of. Normally walking around makes it worse but this new pain (broken class) eases with the movement. I can lift my legs and turn my neck. I sleep on my side and turn a lot. Run to bathroom at least 6 times. Back is worse towards morning. It normally does not hurt sitting nor lying down. I do sit at computer a lot as housework hurts. I must confess I'm obese as I love to eat and then can't work it off. I'm 73 years old too.
  7. cloudspn

    cloudspn Member

    I want to try the gelatin can I get it at Walmart? (sort of joking) Also I must try the exercises, this is getting so ridiculous.
  8. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    A couple of other points I meant to mention re: low back pain.
    Since you do sit at a computer ensure it is not on a typist's wheely chair. These seats cause unconscious flexing of some low back muscles. Otherwise these seats are a good shape for most. Obviouslt better than an upright dining type chair. If it is a wheely seat then secure the wheels onto sliders so the seat does not move while you are sitting on it and you can sit back firmly without the seat moving.

    "Normally walking around makes it worse but this new pain (broken class) eases with the movement."
    OK this suggests that it is muscular and that you have muscles which are in spasm, creating very sharp pains which are eased on moving around. This is a fairly common problem in Fibromyalgia in the morning. The fact that when normally walking around makes it worse suggest that other muscles are stiffening up in your low back. Another problem in FM. Some people with FM respond well to walking but those with ME/CFS+FM often don't and their back muscles stiffen up.

    You definitely need flexion exercises for your back - gentle beginnings

    So is the budget preventing you from getting the DHA/EPA and vitamin D3, because they will make a difference for you. The fact you are carrying extra weight means your available vitamin D is low (because it gets trapped in your fat).
  9. cloudspn

    cloudspn Member

    As I sit here my back is hurting, this is all new. I only hurt when walking and working before. I'm so sad. I will order the DHA/EPA and vitamin D3 and try to exercise. Do you recommend ice packs or heat for stiff muscles? Thank you so much.
  10. IanH

    IanH Active Member

    Heat is generally used. The best known treatment for such pain is wading in hot thermal water. Some hospitals specialize in the this. However ice can be used before exercise and then heat afterwards but dont' use ice after exercising it will tighten the muscles.