It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Back Problems Message Board

  • chronic back and neck pain

  • Post New Thread   Closed Thread
    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Old 07-02-2009, 07:40 PM   #1
    velivolus
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: United States
    Posts: 23
    velivolus HB User
    chronic back and neck pain

    I'm in my late 30s now and have had back and neck problems since my teenage years. I frequently get what I guess would be called "muscle spasms" in both my neck and back--basically extreme stiffness and sensitivity in one spot, to the degree that any movement I make with my body which engages those muscles in some way brings on excruciating pain. I've been to doctors who have told me they can't find anything wrong. Over the years I have tried using both heat and cold, but both of them only seem to increase my pain, not to relieve it. So now I generally shy away from using either hot or cold packs. I went to chiropractors for many years, but finally stopped because it just no longer seemed to help; in fact I felt it was just making matters worse. Then I switched to getting deep tissue massage, which seemed much more helpful. I never stopped getting the spasms, they just seemed a bit less severe. But I can no longer afford those massages and haven't had one for awhile. So I've tried to manage the problem myself, mainly through exercise, and thought I was doing pretty well, since although I kept getting at least one spasm every month or two, it usually cleared up within a week or so as opposed to lasting for a month or more (which has been the case in the past). But then about a month ago I got a spasm which refused to go away. And then more muscles began spasming all over my back. And that is where I'm at now. Searching the web for ideas I read about laying on tennis ball and also a foam roller and moving around on sore spots, to get rid of trigger points. So I've been trying this tennis ball and foam roller technique. The result is this: the severely stiff areas seem to be gone, so that now, for example, I can move my neck from side to side without feeling some kind of horrible pain in one of my back muscles, but now every single muscle in my back feels sore, and is painful to the touch! It's been like this for days. So I'm not sure if this is actually "progress" or a sign I should put away the tennis ball and foam roller.

    If anyone suffers from a similar problem and can offer any advice about what has helped them I'd appreciate it.

    Last edited by velivolus; 07-02-2009 at 07:54 PM.

     
    Sponsors Lightbulb
       
    Old 07-04-2009, 02:31 PM   #2
    Baybreeze
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Posts: 2,072
    Baybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB User
    Re: chronic back and neck pain

    Hi,

    Boy, can I sure sympathize with you on the spasms! I never had back problems until my early-to-mid 30's and that's when I began having what I now know are spasms. For me, it only got worse over time until I had severe spasms 24-7, every single day. Not only that, but my spasms had spread all over my body, it was totally insane, plus I also got a lot of cramping. The cramps would come & go, but the spasms never went away....until after my surgery; however, I still have spinal arthritis and who knows what else, so I am getting spasms on and off again. Right now, actually, I'm having awful ones in my neck again, which seems to be getting worse over time. It all started in my lower spine, but I've had several bouts of neck pain and spasms as well. It has gotten so bad for me that my throat and face were even in spasms. I have had my cheek & jaw areas spasm so that it appeared I had pulled my cheeks down, it was horrid. I had tried painkillers, which did not help the spasms (or even my pain, for that matter); I tried cold packs which made it worse; I tried MOIST heating pads, which do help me quite a bit when it's really hot - but once I take it away, the spasms are right there again. I've also tried the stick-on heat patches, absorbine jr. patches, lidoderm patches, flexeril patches, and the list goes on. I probably tried (and wasted my money on) every single over the counter possible remedy there was and nothing worked. I also tried 2 muscle relaxers: flexeril and skelaxin and they did nothing either. My spine was in real bad shape, though, I got to the point where I could hardly walk anymore..and finally had lumbar surgery. That did relieve a lot of my pain & spasms, well, I should say it relieved my stenosis pain. I still have spinal arthritis, facet arthritis, milder scoliosis, and constant disk herniations...so that causes me a lot of pain on and off, though I am always very stiff.

    Now my neck is getting worse & worse...sounds a bit like yours...When that happens to you, do you feel like your head is too heavy for your body? Or do you feel like you have to pull your head upwards? That is how I feel. Many times the spasms go up my neck, then I get terrible headaches that go up the back of my head, around the sides and into the backs of my eyes. I've had, in the past, such awful neck pain & spasms, it went into my shoulders...and my left shoulder was in constant spasms for several weeks. It was so bad, that it appeared to be out of place and pushed forward. I even had people pull my arm back, I tried wrapping straps around my arm and using my right hand to pull my left arm/shoulder back, LOL, but that didn't h elp either. Usually my neck problems would just come & go. Now it's come back but not going away, ugh. So I so feel for you!

    You might want to try any of the things I mentioned earlier...Ohhh, I forgot, I now take a combo of meds to help my pain & spasms a lot. I still have some pain & spasms, but it's not as excruciating as before I took these meds. I also finally found a muscle relaxer that works pretty good for me, most of the time..called Soma (generic - carisoprodol).

    I also want to ask you...did you ever have x-rays or an MRI done? If so, did you get a copy of the report..and what did it say? Did you have any other kind of testing done to find out why your in such pain? If not, then you really need to get one..an MRI would probably better, if possible, only because x-rays cannot see all the soft tissues. Have you only seen chiropractors for it? If so, you really should see maybe a GP first, who might be able to refer you to a specialist. Your spasms could be from many things...it could be simple such as a posture problem or over doing things..or you might have neck arthritis, or something else. If one doctor cannot find anything wrong, then you really need to see a different doctor. You need to find a doc that is willing to investigate and help you. It is your body and you are living with the pain, so you have to take charge and find out what is going on.

     
    Old 07-09-2009, 02:45 AM   #3
    velivolus
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: United States
    Posts: 23
    velivolus HB User
    Re: chronic back and neck pain

    Thanks for your reply, Babybreeze, and for sharing your experiences with me. Your situation seems more severe than mine, since you are getting the spasms all over. I am still a little unclear about the meaning of "spasm." I had always called them "stiff muscles" before but then I read an article on the web which led me to believe they are spasms. But I've noticed many people call "spasms" those cramps which only last a few minutes and then go away. Whereas once one of my muscles gets knotted up it will stay like that for days or weeks.

    I have tried most of the things you have mentioned, except the muscle relaxant medications. One medication I know does help bring me relief from pain is Bextra, which will usually help me out for a day after I've taken it, but I try only to take it when the pain becomes excruciating--because otherwise I'd just be popping them every day, which I can't imagine will do my body good in the long run.

    I have had the feeling my neck is too heavy for my body, -- a feeling almost like there was a horizontal tear across my neck muscles -- and have also had terrible headaches in the past, which felt like a knife being stabbed into my head. Those receded during the period when I was getting regular deep tissue massages--unfortunately those massages are very expensive and not covered at all by insurance.

    I've had X-rays done a few different times, by both MDs and chiropractors, but they always told me the x-rays showed nothing. I would like to get an MRI done, actually, but my insurance is not so great, I have to pay %40 of all services, so I don't think I'm going to be able to afford an MRI any time soon.

    I have also seen a rheumatologist. Unfortunately everyone I see just tells me to exercise daily, and although I stress I've been having these problems since I was 17, and no on else I know has any such problems, they don't act as though it were unusual, though I have to imagine it is.

    Is there a particular type of medical specialist you'd recommend as being helpful for me to see? And do muscle relaxant medications really and actually have the effect of relaxing the muscles, so that after taking them your muscle spasms actually reduce, or do they just provide temporary pain relief, like bextra?

    Last edited by velivolus; 07-09-2009 at 02:50 AM.

     
    Old 07-09-2009, 06:08 AM   #4
    Baybreeze
    Senior Veteran
    (female)
     
    Join Date: Jun 2006
    Posts: 2,072
    Baybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB UserBaybreeze HB User
    Re: chronic back and neck pain

    Hi,

    I'm sorry you can't afford an MRI as that would probably be the best type of imaging to have. X-rays won't show much unless you have bone deformity or fracture, or something like that. MRI is much better. I actually fell recently and cannot afford x-ray or MRI, so I know how it is not to be able to afford it.

    Cramps are the short bouts of muscle contractions that are usually very painful, but they come and go quickly. Spasms are usually much longer lasting and have a different feeling. Have you ever suddenly had pain across your low back (or neck area), that spreads across, and you can't move? It's a deep, achy pain & feels like someone is kneading your insides. You might not be able to roll over in bed, or use your abs to get up from laying down, or not be able to twist or bend over. Spasms are a protective mechanism so that's why they hurt and get stiff...to try to prevent you from moving.

    How are you getting Bextra, though???? I loved Bextra..it had worked great for me several years ago, but then it was pulled from the market not long after I started taking it. It's not allowed to be sold in the US as far as I still know.The only cox-inhibitor that I know of still on the market is Celebrex.

     
    Old 07-09-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
    velivolus
    Junior Member
    (male)
     
    Join Date: Apr 2004
    Location: United States
    Posts: 23
    velivolus HB User
    Re: chronic back and neck pain

    Thanks for clarifying the way spasm is used. What you describe is exactly what I experience, so at least I know I'm using the right term! I have one left over bottle of Bextra, that's it. Then I'll be out. I try to only take it when things are at their worst, so it will probably last me awhile. I remember trying the others, Vioxx, Celebrex, etc. before, but Bextra was the only one that really relieved my pain for some reason.

    Last edited by velivolus; 07-09-2009 at 03:31 PM.

     
    Closed Thread

    Related Topics
    Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
    What meds help for your chronic neck pain?? blackdog38 Chronic Pain 64 07-31-2011 10:06 PM
    Chronic insomnia - reaching breaking point lotus1023 Sleep Disorders 7 06-09-2010 01:12 PM
    Mental and Emotional aspects of long term Chronic Pain.... Backinthesaddle Chronic Pain 5 12-16-2007 07:53 PM
    Undiagnosed chronic condition-constant spasms in head, neck, mouth, spine. AngelMomFL Rare Disorders 2 12-01-2007 06:02 PM
    Undiagnosed chronic pain-constant spasms in head, neck, mouth, spine. AngelMomFL Chronic Pain 1 12-01-2007 02:31 PM
    TMJ specialist for Chronic Myofascial pain?? wonderingtoo TMJ Disorder -TemporoMandibular Joint 1 04-16-2007 03:17 PM
    Chronic Neck Popping with Chronic Neck Pain... Vitagen Fibromyalgia 6 03-04-2006 07:56 PM
    Treatment for acute pain to prevent it from turning into chronic pain? sealover Pain Management 3 06-25-2005 12:02 AM
    To those diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue ticker Chronic Fatigue 4 08-03-2004 07:03 PM
    To those with Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue ticker Fibromyalgia 6 03-24-2002 07:38 PM




    Thread Tools Search this Thread
    Search this Thread:

    Advanced Search

    Posting Rules
    You may not post new threads
    You may not post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is Off
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is Off
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are Off
    Pingbacks are Off
    Refbacks are Off




    Sign Up Today!

    Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

    I want my free account

    All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:09 PM.





    2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
    Do not copy or redistribute in any form!