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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Can EXTREME back pain be from lyme?

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Author Topic: Can EXTREME back pain be from lyme?
Danser
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My husband has had low back pain for the last 3 weeks. It started within a week of stopping his IV rocephin and all other ABX due to the pulmonary embolism. It's been getting steadily worse.

But tonight it went over the top! He called me (I was out) on my cell to say he thought he might need to go to the ER - he can't walk without holding on to a chair and pushing it ahead of him.

I asked how bad the pain was on a scale of 1-10 and he said it was a 12!

He's been taking vicodin but it just barely takes the edge off.

When we called his LLMD, he said that the ER really couldn't do much and that he will have him go in for an X-ray tomorrow and then schedule an MRI.

I just was wondering . . . can this much pain REALLY be from the lyme (or his babesia)? Or is it likely he's got something else going on?

Posts: 160 | From Abington, PA, USA | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cantgiveupyet
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Hey,

I had severe lower right back pain that sent me to the ER two nites in a row, when i was first sick.

The one ER ran a CT of my kidneys(came back neg)....next nite the other hospital ran a catscan of my abdomin and pelvis, including kidneys again. This time it was with oral and IV contrast. They were looking for apendecitis.
Nothing came up.


Did the ER run a cat scan or give you any idea of what this could be?

MRI would be very helpful.

Im also in PA, delaware county here. Land of the ticks.

--------------------
"Say it straight simple and with a smile."

"Thus the task is, not so much to see what no one has seen yet,
But to think what nobody has thought yet, About what everybody sees."

-Schopenhauer

pos babs, bart, igenex WB igm/igg

Posts: 3156 | From Lyme limbo | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
timaca
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One of my first lyme symptoms was excruciating low back pain. My back muscles actually felt like they were spasming. It was awful.

I had thought I had maybe overdone some stretching exercises that I had been doing.

I ended up seeing a spine doctor and also getting an MRI of my lower back done. It did show a disc was mildly protruding....which may have been part of my problem.

But, the spine doctor had no idea why my nerves were burning all over my body, or why I had fatigue.....

I think it was all lyme....

Make sure your husband sees a doc and gets his back checked out. It's NO fun to have a hurting back.

Heating pads help (at least if it's muscle pain). So do things like Icy Hot. And there's patches you can buy that heat up and can be put on your back so you can have warmth and not be tied to a heating pad.

Good luck....Timaca

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bettyg
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I've had lower back pain since my mono/epstein barr virus 36 years ago, which was the beginning of my chronic lyme!

No one's ever found anything wrong either except for my tail bone jutting OUTWARD instead of inward.

The left side by my tailbone is the most excruciating pain, and I use frozen ice packs/heat on it to help me.

Best wishes on your husband's testings; hope they find something definite instead of our "unseen illnesses" we all have! Bettyg [group hug] [kiss]

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Carol in PA
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I've had alot of low back pain along with the other Lyme symptoms.
Some of it may have been muscle spasms, but it made walking or doing anything just impossible.

I finally found something that helped me, a far infrared heating pad.

Far infrared therapy uses red LED lights of specific wavelengths, and these penetrate the muscles and increase bloodflow.

You can get this therapy done at Physical Therapy offices, and some doctor's offices, but for me it was much easier to have my own unit, to use whenever I needed.

Thermotex TTS Platinum Infrared Heating Pad
http://www.biotechresearch.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=34&products_id=29

I googled this product before I purchased it, and found only good reviews.

Carol

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seibertneurolyme
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Could be either the Lyme or Babesia. Hubby is pretty much in the same shape. Had to stop babesia meds a couple of months ago due to G.I. problems (gastritis, duodentitis and gastric ulcers).

Had a sore shoulder and chiropractor has been working on it for about 3 weeks. Shoulder is a little better, but now lower back is really painful. Almost went to the ER yesterday. Will get a back x-ray on Wednesday hopefully. Shoulder x-ray was normal a few weeks ago, but chiro thinks shoulder was slightly dislocated.

IV Ativan helps a little with muscle spasms -- IV magnesium is not helping at all. Hot baths help for an hour or two. Have tried all sorts of creams and rubs -- some help a little. Got some DMSO gel at the health food store today -- think it may help with pain. Herbal anti-inflammatories aren't helping a lot, but can't take many things with G.I. problems.

Hubby's pain is bad enough to trigger dry heaves and of course it aggravates his tremors and myoclonus. After about a week it seems to be easing up a little -- if he can sleep through the night tonight without one or two episodes of severe pain then I will know he is improving.

Hope your hubby can get some relief soon. Let us know how the xrays etc turn out.

Bea Seibert

P.S. Forgot to add that ultrasound in the chiropractor's office was very helpful. Hubby does have a script to get ultrasound done twice a week for the next 3 weeks.

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Danser
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Well, neither one of us is sleeping tonight. Any movement at all leads to such excrutiating pain that he moans and cries out.

He needed to pee and I didn't want him to even try and get out of the bed so he used a milk bottle as a urinal.

I will have to see about renting a walker tomorrow just so he can get to the doctors and hospital for the X-rays. Do medical supply places rent stuff like that?

If this pain is not resolved soon, the decision about working will be made for him. He cannot work if he cannot walk.

I am very upset right now.

Thanks all . . . can I confess that I was hoping for a different answer. IF it's lyme, it seems like it is so much harder to cure than if it was something else. We'll still have the x-rays and MRI to see what's up.

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TheCrimeOfLyme
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Yes it can.

But when you said pulmonary embolism, is that a blood clot>? is there a chance he has one in his spine too???

--------------------
You want your life back? Take it.

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Danser
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that thought crossed my mind as well. The pain began within days of being released from the hospital after the blood clot was discovered in his lungs.

But the doctor is aware of the pain and hasn't really been very concerned.

I'm sure that the MRI will help show us if there is anything like that causing the pain. Just not sure when he'll be able to get the MRI. He's getting an x-ray today.

He just wants some relief from the agony.

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Aniek
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Danser,

Where in the back is the pain? Excruciating back pain can be caused by organs or other problems with the GI tract.

Make sure you are telling the doctor it is a 12 on a pain scale. I've seen doctors/nurses suddently take me seriously when I say "It's a 9 on the pain scale."

In my experience, many doctors assume the pain is less than it is. You need to make them know.

And if it's that bad, the ER could have given him a stronger med. Remember that in the future.

--------------------
"When there is pain, there are no words." - Toni Morrison

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lou
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I had terrible back pain, could no longer sit for more than a few minutes. IV treatment for lyme and additional babs treatment, then it subsided. I think it was lyme rather than babs. Also, I knew someone who was scheduled for back surgery, but was not ready mentally, wanted to look into it further first, got some morphine, checked himself out of hospital, went to the net to research it, got treated for lyme. Didn't need surgery after all. This was someone with a Ph. D. in the sciences, and he was mad that he had to tell the docs the diagnosis. Sound familiar?

But it is good to look for other possible causes. Don't want to overlook anything.

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Foggy
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This is a tough one. My sympathies to him. MRI is a good call.

Vicodin wasn't strong enough for me. 1 Percocet 3-4 hrs was the only thing that helped keep me sane.

Hard to say if it was Lyme for me as my MRI showed bulging discs, which can be very painful. I was in tears the pain was so bad. bb can irritate the nerve roots but my pain was directly related to an injury.

PT, traction, time & TENS really helped. I looked into Vax-D & Prolotherapy but didn't do them.

Be VERY careful with Orthducks & pain ducks. They love steroids & throw them at Lymies often without knowlege of how they can adversely effect us.

Be sure to mention the pulmonary embolism to every MD he sees.

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bluesdoc
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Yes!!

I happen to have severe lumbar disc disease but I'm certain that my back pain is largely due to Lyme involvement of my sacroiliac joints, iliolumbar ligaments, and some degree of Lyme related fibromyalgia.

I'm just ending my 3rd month of treatment for late Lyme (17 yrs +/-) and it's helping.

It's also something that I refuse to give in to. There is so much stiffness involved that makes me feel that I shouldn't move. But if I do, and I really push it exercising, it helps. I push myself VERY, VERY hard. I refuse to give in to this alien invader. Don't mess with this warrior [Mad]

jon

--------------------
ret ER MD (25yrs), lyme 19yr DX 6/06, guitarslinger
www.LifePathGuide.com

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vachick
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I hope your hubby finds relief...back pain is horrible. Please have them consider other possibilities (GI tract, etc.). Lyme is a possible root cause, but you want to make sure you rule out other things, too. Challenge them to think outside the box.

Back pain is one of the symptoms I can't get rid of. It is only on my right side. My LLMD said it may be an inflamed nerve that runs to the front under the rib cage which may explain the constant burning I have there. Funny...one of my GI docs did say he thought my upper abdominal pain may be muscular/nerve related, and I thought he was brushing me off!

You never know where pain originates because of a phenomenon called "referred pain." You may feel the pain in your back, but the root cause is elsewhere. Don't have them look just at the back!

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Lymetoo
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Keep us posted, OK?? I've had severe back pain too. I sure hope they give him some pain relief very soon!!!

I also have sciatic nerve pain from time to time that makes me want to jump off a cliff!

HUGS for hubby!! [ [group hug] Gentle ones!]

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Danser
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Yes, I will mention the embolism and also the pain level to the doctors.

When he was in the hospital with the embolism, he almost didn't mention the chest pain because he didn't consider it significant. And upon being asked, he rated it a 3.

Now he is crying and moaning in pain over this back thing! He is NOT someone who complains - he has worked every day with the back pain, but this has him unable to move!

I was worried it might be his kidneys or some other organ, but the pain is only at about a 5 or 6 until he moves at all (coughs, laughs, shifts his weight in bed) and then it goes to the 12.

But to me that sounds like a muscle spasm.

I'm not sure what can show up on an X-ray or MRI, but we gotta start there I guess.

Does anyone know if you can take percoset while on coumadin?

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bluesdoc
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quote:
Originally posted by Danser:


Does anyone know if you can take percoset while on coumadin?

Yes.

jon

--------------------
ret ER MD (25yrs), lyme 19yr DX 6/06, guitarslinger
www.LifePathGuide.com

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5dana8
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hi Danser

I am so sorry this had to happen on top of everything [Frown]

A ruptured dics or a bulging disc will show up on a MRI.

I ruptured a disc apox 4 years ago. It was God aweful pain.

Valium and pain meds barely touched it. Those frozen blue packs hepled alot.

I have had muscle spams before but with muscle relaxents/heat/ice- it usually cleared up in a week. Moist heat seems to work best for me when I have a muscle spasm.

A bulging disc can cause sciatic very bad pain too.

I hope he can find relief soon

hang in there. [group hug]

--------------------
5dana8

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Danser
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Thanks Dana, that gives me a lot of hope. He should be going for the MRI tomorrow. He is using a walker today but with all the time spent in the hospital for the x-ray and then the doctor's office - he is totally exhausted.

The doctor gave him a prescription for percoset so I'm hoping he gets more rest tonight.

He also is not waiting to get off the coumadin to start the babesia treatment. He's prescribed 700 mg. of zith per day along with Mepron (I forget the dose but it's twice a day) I forgot to ask him about artemisan (sp?)

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Lymetoo
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any sign that it's kidney stones or something like that??

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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Danser
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He'd just had a bunch of blood tests done and the doctor checked the results again and the labs look good for his kidneys. He is having no trouble urinating either so its not likely the kidneys.

Tonight on two percosets, he moved a little bit in the bed and moaned and cried out just like he had last night.

Good grief! Isn't there anything he can take for the pain! [Frown]

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5dana8
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Is it possible to get him into a pain clinic?

I have heard here it has helped some people.

--------------------
5dana8

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groovy2
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Hi ALL

For me Babs caused the Most (worst)
joint - back - neck pain-

Much worse than from Lyme in my case-

Lyme makes my joints ache like with the flue-

Babs makes my joints HURT like Hello-
Much Much worse- I would rate a 12--

My wrists felt like I was smashing
them with a big Hammer-

So Look into babs as cause--

After extended babs treatment I am
95% pain free--AAhhhhhhhh--Jay--

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hardynaka
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I've been pain free for certainly more than 6 months. I decided to stop andrographis last week and after 4-5 days, arthritic pain and lower back pain started to come back.

Back to andrographis 2 days ago, back pain is zero again, but still got some arthritic pains.

It IS lyme for sure, in my case!

Selma

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treepatrol
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Yes I have had it several times.

--------------------
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Remember Iam not a Doctor Just someone struggling like you with Tick Borne Diseases.

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liz28
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This sounds like one for a doctor, but IV does kill off all the flora in your system. Your husband could be experiencing problems with his gall bladder, kidneys, and liver, or with yeast overgrowth. If it isn't too expensive, you could start small by adding in Actigall, Nystatin or Diflucan, probiotics, and milk thistle.
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