Friday, October 24, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2008 sam, Community Member, asks

Q: when I walk to long my lower back hurts bad,is this a symptom of MS

IN the morning I can walk longer without the pain. If I walk or stand too long I am in alot of pain. The pain is in my lower back. If I lay down for 10 or so minutes it feels better but does not go away. When I do walk I look like a drunk. Have to walk with a grocery cart in the store or use a walker.
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Answers (4)
Merely Me, Health Guide
10/28/08 5:41pm

Hiyah Sam!

 

Back pain is very difficult to deal with.  I have experienced it periodically and for me..it seemed like every movement with walking would creating shooting pain up my spine. 

 

Just wanted to ask first off...have you already been diagnosed with MS or are you asking if this individual symptom can be a sign of MS?

 

Lower back pain can definitely be part of the experience of having Multiple Sclerosis.

 

If you look at the site for Rebif, one of the MS medications, they will tell you the following about the relationship between back pain and Multiple Sclerosis:

 

"Back and other musculoskeletal pain,

especially lower back pain, can have many causes. They include:

  • Spasticity
  • Pressure on the body caused by immobility
  • Incorrect use of mobility aids
  • Poor walking posture, unusual walking pattern, and balance problems"

For me...I tend to feel back pain when I have had problems with my gait all day.  When you are not able to walk in the usual way it can put undue pressure on your back. 

 

In a 2004 study entitled, The Prevalence of Pain in Multiple Sclerosis, the researchers looked at what type of pain is associated with having MS and they show the following statistics:  "Pain and frequencies included trigeminal neuralgia 2%, Lhermitte's sign 9%, dysesthetic pain 18.1%, back pain 16.4%, and painful tonic spasms 11%."

 

As you can see, back pain is definitely listed.

 

What does your doctor say about your back pain?  Don't let it get too bad before you go in and get it checked out.

 

Sorry you are going through this.  Let us know how you are doing.  And thank you for your question.  

 

 

 

 

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Lisa Emrich, Health Guide
10/30/08 2:23pm

Hi Sam,

You've got some great information from Merely Me.  So I'll just give you some of my experience with back pain and MS.

For quite a while I experienced lower back pain when I had been on my feet, ie. walking any distance or even standing at the sink to clean dishes.  Sometimes resting would help the back muscles to let loose and relax, other times stretching helped.

It wasn't until after my doctor and I determined that spasticity in my legs needed help through pharmaceuticals did I realize that my back pain was connected to the spasticity in my legs.  For me, the muscles on the back of my legs (calves and hamstrings) would become so tight that I had difficulty even straightening my legs or bending my ankles.

After starting to use Baclofen did I find that my lower back didn't hurt nearly as much. As my muscles began to relax, I was able to do much more effective stretching exercises to lengthen the muscles.  I highly recommend routine stretching, of the legs and hips especially.

Spasticity is not the only cause of lower back pain, but it was for me.  And the spasticity was caused by having MS.  Now - go talk to your doctor and see what he/she thinks.  Be prepared with detailed notes describing your current concerns.

Good luck and let us know how you're doing.

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Kathy, Community Member
11/12/08 2:02pm

I have found out that this is a part of MS but you need to call your doctor. and the reason I tell you this is because I called the Dr. office yesterday about my disablety forms and I mention to the nurse about my right leg the pain andjust different things, the nurse called me this morning and stated that the DR. wants me his office right away so my husband and I went he did some test and stated that the ms is know in my spinal cord so I have to take a IV of some med for 5 days to try and stop it. He also got on me and told me that when ever a new system or anything comes up to call him.

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Rob, Community Member
12/ 3/09 4:55am

Hi Sam, this is my first time visiting this site because I was looking up back pain associated with MS.  I have been diagnosed with MS since 2003 and my course has been a steady decline in my gait and other lower body issues.  I have a poor gait, foot drop and a lot of tightness with my hamstrings and adductor muscles.  I have had back pain for about the past 4 years.  I have always believed that it is caused by my gait and mine does seem to get worse when I move a lot during the day, my nights are the worst.  I take baclofin and it seems to help but doesnt nearly relieve the pain in my back.  I am doing daily stretching and on an exercise program with a trainer.  I seem to have an easier time relieving the pain in my back with the exercise but I also have pain that goes down into my hip that is very hard to contol and exercise does not seem to help. 

I am still working and drive a car regularly but the back pain is causing more issues than the "MS" symptoms do.  My pain is never a 10 on the pain scale, but it is a steady pain that is very annoying and never really lets up.  This is becoming a major problem for me as I am having a lot of trouble sleeping and I can't concentrate when the pain is bad.  I find myself grinding my teeth and my eyes water sometimes.  I am going to a pain doctor to see if I can get relief from the hip pain portion with a steroid injection directly into the nerve so we will see if that helps. 

Sorry that this post isn't more helpfull but you are not alone with back pain associated with MS.  I guess the best thing is to keep going to every doctor you can and let them know that the back pain is a real issue and see if they can help with relief.  That and regular exercise of course.  Let us know how you are doing. 

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By sam, Community Member— Last Modified: 09/09/13, First Published: 10/28/08