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Old 11-06-2008, 08:42 AM   #1
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PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

can you help, I NOW HAVE PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) no swelling no rash no redness just severe pain in the joint on the top, (not on the inside of the elbow)this is after years of back problems and in chronic pain, taking much medication including morphine durogesic dtrans patches, fentanel lozenges, morphine sulphate etc
disc operated on in 1999, tail end of coccyx removed in 2007, under pain management clinic at hospital,

I had an operation because of discs bulging on L4/L5 L5/S1 and pressing in the sciatic nerve loss of bowel and bladder control lead to emergency discectomy. since than i have chronic pain in my back and bone spurs growing along the spine. last year i needed a op on my coccyx as i couldn't sit down. Most of my days i was bed ridden. i am on so many pain killers i rattle. Being doped up relieves my pain but my quality of life has gone. (I now have a Stomach ulcer caused by yrs of using declofenic, but no anti acid tablets we prescribed.)

To sleep i take muscle relaxing drugs and sleeping tablets, and quinine. I suffer with sciatica and have awful cramps. First thing in the morning i am pinned to my bed with my back seized and find it difficult to breath (with my chest raising up and down). Cant move without oral morphine, but now I am finding it unbearable to hold the bottle. The pain in my elbows and hands is always worse in the mornings along with my back as I have stiffened up over night. I have tried many treatments over the past 5 yrs on my back. Epidural injections, facet joint injections, gangleon block acupuncture physio etc all giving me little or no relief. Iím told surgery (fusion)is out of the question as my whole spine is affected I have degenitive disc disease, and bone spurs in my back, pressing on the nerve.(and scaring)
My new condition I did not relate to my thoracic spine but I was told that this might be the problem I have now. I have become very depressed ,mainly because I lost my job due to ill health after 16 happy years.does anyone know much about this problem (elbow pain), as i am going back to see the chronic pain specialist and it would be useful to go armed with some info.

thanks
jo

 
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

I had to look & see where you are from because I could have sworn this post was written by my mother. Most of the women in my family suffer from chronic back pain & fibromyalgia. My Mother seems to have gotten a bigger dose of the fibromyalgia & is or has been on all of the meds you are taking. She too, wakes up crying in the am because she has spasms & cramps in her feet legs hands back, etc. Mornings are the worst.
My first thought was your elbows may be taking alot of strain from trying to support your body when you are having back pain...I always hold myself up with my arms when my back flares up...but it really sounds like you may have a chronic pain condition such as fibromyalgia, or another form of arthritis. Have you seen a rheumotoligist?

 
Old 11-06-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

Just another thought it could be ulnar neuropathy where the nerve is entrapped in the elbow. I have this in both of my elbows and it causes severe pain even in the lower arm. I had surgery on my right one last year and they move the nerve from under the elbow to above but I have to admit I still have a lot of pain and sometimes it feels like a knife is being stuck in the middle of my arm and I will have bad spasms. I don't think I will have the left elbow done. Just a suggestion.

Linda

 
Old 03-05-2011, 04:44 AM   #4
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

It could be that as you've been on pain medication long term your body has adapted to the levels of medication and lowered your pain threshold, so that things that probably wouldn't even have registered before are now causing you discomfort.

Also you've mentioned how your spine is degenerating all over the place, if the nerves the provide sensory to your elbows are being impinged on by the deteriorating vertebra as they exit the spine, that may cause discomfort too. I know I'm beginning to sound like a marketing department for manipulative therapy if you follow my posts, but maybe a visit to an osteopath may help you. Also make enquiries about hyperbaric oxygen treatment.. I've heard that can benefit people with inflammatory conditions and degenerations as the supersaturation of your tissues with oxygen can help your body heal itself (think of the reverse happening when mountain climbers go very high without oxygen or proper training.. they get sick and can potentially die)

 
Old 03-05-2011, 05:54 AM   #5
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

pain in the elbows does suggest something affecting the ulnar nerves. Mine were damaged due to cervical myelopathy. There could be things going on in your thoracic and cervical areas which would affect the arms.
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Old 03-06-2011, 09:17 AM   #6
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

Hello,

I have a lot of spine problems and I also get pain in my elbows (it's usually on my right, though more recently on my left a little). I'd never had this before and for many months, my right elbow kept getting worse, it was hard to do anything with my right arm/hand (I'm right handed, too). I couldn't even lift my cup of coffee, it actually caused a lot of pain around my elbow. I had told my last pain management doc about it, he did some physical testing with my arm & hand, then told me it seemed like classic tennis elbow. My elbow pain is located not on the outside point of the joint on the outside elbow, but about maybe an inch and 1/2 or so from the point towards the top arm area (this area is so hard to describe). If you bend your arm at the elbow and bring your hand to your chest and look at the elbow. I'm calling that area the top of the arm/elbow. Putting any pressure on that area just before the point of the elbow causes pain. It feels almost like the tendons or ligaments, but it was hurting all the way into my right wrist and hand. It hurts real bad when you straighten the arm & hand in front of you, then lift just the hand up from the wrist area. That would cause even more pain in my elbow. That's when my doc said tennis elbow. I had this on the right for about 9 months or so (I cna't remember exactly anymore). My PM gave me Voltaren gel to rub on the elbow area, which did help quite a bit, but never really went away totally. Eventually it felt better, but keeps coming back. The last time, it started happening in my left elbow also. Strange thing is, tennis elbow is an overuse injury of the elbow area but I don't do anything to overuse it. So I have no idea why this happens to me. I do have rashes, though, I have no idea if it could be related. I get rashes from Lupus, but the rashes I get now don't look Lupus related.

 
Old 05-24-2012, 08:33 PM   #7
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

Low back surgery for one, will have nothing to do with pain in you elbows. If it hurts on top, right where the muscle joins the elbow, where there is a little bumpy rise in the bone, it could just be tendonitis. Some people call it tennis elbow. It's a common misconception that it only happens with repetitive stress. Simply using a mouse for any length of time can cause pain. I have it so bad in my left elbow I can't pick up a jug of milk, or a lot of other things. Get a tennis elbow brace and see if that helps, it helped for me when it wasn't as bad as it is for me now. Tennis elbow can, and usually takes up to a year or more to heal too, so be warned.
Physio may help, but if it doesn't, your doc can try a cortisone injection under ultrasound and get it right into the muscle and tendons. I suffer from RA, so i am running out of options now because cortisone doesn't help me at all. I hope you find some relief!



Kevin.

 
Old 05-25-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

Your elbow pain could certainly be stemming from any thoracic spine issues you are having. I have a pinched nerve in my neck, and my first two upper ribs won't stay in place, and my Dr. said all of this is causing my elbow pain. By the way, when I read your post, it was like I was reading about myself. Almost same exact problems, but I can't take pain pills because they make me sick. I take tequila for the pain

 
Old 05-27-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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Re: PAIN IN BOTH ELBOWS ( ANY IDEAS WHY?) have had chronic back pain for 9 years

[QUOTE=kyma3;3785301]Just another thought it could be ulnar neuropathy where the nerve is entrapped in the elbow. I have this in both of my elbows and it causes severe pain even in the lower arm. I had surgery on my right one last year and they move the nerve from under the elbow to above but I have to admit I still have a lot of pain and sometimes it feels like a knife is being stuck in the middle of my arm and I will have bad spasms. I don't think I will have the left elbow done. Just a suggestion.

Linda[/QUOTE]

I had this. Is your pinkie and possible the next finger on each hand somewhat numb and/or tingly? They operated on both of my elbows and it helped a lot.

 
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