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Spinal Cord Disorders Message Board


Spinal Cord Disorders Board Index


The major cause of most spine pain is muscles. You have a lot of little things going wrong with your entire spine and what that does is put enormous stress on the muscles to try to take up the slack. Your spine is slightly deteriorating(as it does with age)and the muscles work to support it instead. but most of us never pay to much attention to our back and core muscles(abs, chest, upper and lower back and major muscles of the upper legs and arms)and so they start to spasm. Nothing hurts like muscle spasms. It squeezes the blood out of them so acid builds up in the tissue and it burns and aches and hurts like nothing else. I'll take nerve pain any day over muscle pain.

So I suspect your major pain is from muscle spasms in your neck and lower back that are probably setting off even more spasms elsewhere. Ask about getting some muscle relaxers. Heat helps so hot bathes or showers and hot packs and heating pads will help. I love those Therma Care wraps you can put on for 12 hours. PT would help too...they can massage out some of the spasms and help you strengthen the muscles that would support your spine and neck......I do my exercises 3 times a week minimum...faithfully. Keeps the pain down and movement going. Just feel the muscles between your neck and shoulders and if they feel like rock...that is muscle spasms at work! They even have a machine called E-Stim that can stimulate the muscles to contract rapidly over and over again until they get so tired, they finally relax....great on the neck!

As Web said, your spine doesn't look bad but you hurt badly. I'd recommend that you try to see a physical medicine doc(physiatrist)....most work with hospitals but treat out-patients too. They are rehab docs. You can see a pain management doc but rehab docs treat pain too and they also know every muscle and in your body and can help you find relief for those spasms rather than throwing pain meds at them. Mind got me into pool therapy and it's been wonderful. A certified pool therapy program must keep the water at 92* or slightly higher to qualify. The warm water keeps the muscles from cramping up while you move. Any colder than that and it defeats the purpose. I started in the pool stiff and weak and now I can move so easily and have gained a lot of strength. Never thought it was possible...something to consider...doing PT at a place that offers aquatic therapy in a pool.

I'm sorry you've had to join our little group here but I hope we can help you.

gentle hugs...............Jenny
Fibromyalgia is unfortunately a "garbage can" diagnosis...if we don't know what is causing the pain we'll tell you it's fibro. Fibro, as a disorder, affects muscles in symmetrical form(both sides of the body in the same place)and causes them to not relax. The result is trigger points in the muscles. Treatment is aimed at getting the muscles to relax.

You have a very real problem in your neck that would be causing the muscles to spasm. Valium is a good muscle relaxant. Ultram is not a good pain killer however. Do NOT take the Flexeril and Valium together...they are both muscle relaxers and taken together could be very bad. Neurontin may make you very dizzy....Lyrica would have been better.

But here is the good news....sort of. Pain means the nerves are alive and kicking. As long as they are hurting, you are somewhat okay. You may hate the pain but it means no permanent damage is going on.

The EMG/NCS will show if there is any nerve problems developing as MRI's have been known to be wrong...my lumbar one was but the EMG/NCS showed that I had a problem and when they went into my back, it turned out the MRI didn't show how bad things were at all.

One of the most frustrating things about bad spines is that the pain means things are not bad and as soon as you think you are finally healing up and the pain goes way down, you find out the lack of pain means you are in trouble. I had no pain in my neck...only to find out my cord was so compressed(nerves too) that I was losing all feeling from the neck down.

Pain management docs do a good job but personally, I prefer working with a physiatrist(rehab doc)...they don't treat you like an addict. I've been to 1 pain management place and after going through the locked door and saw all the locks and bars on everything, I knew I didn't want to be there. I saw the doc once and then got a letter that he was leaving the practice...so I did too. Switched to a physiatrist in a medical rehab practice...was treated like a person instead of an addict in training. Just my experience...hopefully yours will be much better(couldn't be much worse).

You probably know we have boards her for Pain Management and I encourage you to talk to them. And vent here anytime. We all understand the problem.

Keep us up to date on the EMG/NCS...please? We've walked in your shoes.

gentle hugs............Jenny





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