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Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

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Unread 05-16-2011, 09:20 AM
Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

Hi, I had a complete hysterectomy 12/04/09 due to large fibroid tumor. I am on HRT Estradiol 1 mg daily. I started having lumbar back pain, SI joint area about a year ago. I went to PT which helped some, but pain quickly came back. I was in and out of my doctor's office with back pain and severe muscle cramps in my toes, feet, legs and even hands and sides. My doctor did blood work checking potassium, magnesium, Vit. D. My magnesium was on the low end of normal, so she started me on 400 mg. mag. daily, plus potassium, and Vit. D, and also changed my BP medication to remove the diuretic. My muscle cramps have improved, but my back and joint pain has not. She finally sent me to a Neurosurgeon. He said my pain was not nerve related, but seemed to be coming from my Sacroiliac Joint. I was then scheduled for a series of Steroid Epidural Injections in my SI joint. I had three injections at 2 weeks apart. My last injection was 4/12/11 and my pain is back full force. The injections only helped a little for a while, pain was never completely gone. I've had back x-rays, and recently a lumbar MRI, nothing showed up on my MRI. My joint pain has been moving, and now is covering the left side of my pelvis and tenderness into my hip. I have sharp pain running from lumbar area to my upper pelvis bone and deep into my butt cheek, and stiffness in my back. I've also had shoulder pain for about 3 weeks, but that has improved now. My pain is all on the left side of my body. I have a history of arthritis as a teenager, which appeared to be JRA, but the tests never came back positive. I have deformities in the middle joints of four of my fingers, same joints on both hands. I've had no finger joint pain since my early 20's, and I'm now 50 yr. old. My joint pain has gotten worse since my hysterectomy, so I started searching online to find answers. Thanks to this site I have found others with my same problem. I was in severe pain with my back and pelvis area last night to the point of tears. I called my doctor first thing this morning to get in to have blood work done to check for Arthritis. I've been taking Aleve to help with pain, Tylenol or Ibuprofen didn't touch the pain, and Aleve is not really helping either. I'm a photographer and a flower gardener, and the pain is keeping me from doing the things I love to do. I've noticed that my joint pain started after my hysterectomy, so have been searching the threads trying to find out if they are connected to each other. I don't even know what type of doctor I need to be seeing. I seem to be passed from one to the other.
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Unread 05-18-2011, 12:18 PM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps


I am sorry you are in one of those areas where we get tossed from one doctor to another!

Are you working with a GP at all? Our GP's can help us determine which type of specialist to see and can help co-ordinate all the doctors and testing that can be involved with finding a complex diagnosis.

Have you consulted with a neurologist or rheumatologist? Possibly the issue is an arthritis one or maybe fibromyalgia.

Did you ever get that blood work done to check for Arthritis? By any chance, did the doctor run a whole panel of stuff including Lupus? When I was having unexplained pain, my neuro had them check just about anything and everything that could be checked with blood work! They took a TON of blood to do so! When everything was negative, I was diagnosed with myofasical pain syndrome and fibromyalgia.

If you are not keeping a symptom diary, I would suggest you do so. The more details, the better. Also keep track of any meds and supplements you are taking. has an extensive online symptom diary you might find helpful.

If you feel your issues are related to your hysterectomy, look for a doctor who treats chronic pelvic pain and/or a doctor who has extensive menopause experience. The pain could be a pelvic floor concern or a hormonal issue. I would cover all the basis looking for an answer!

Keep us posted!
Unread 05-18-2011, 02:25 PM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

I too had joint pain and tenderness in my knees, feet, low back. I went to my chiropractor because of the positions you are put in for surgery make things all out of whack. Before having any surgery, please think about chiropractic as it is non invasive and usually helps alot. Some can also help with athritis. Bones being out of place can cause muscle cramps as well. "Weiser" is right though, test everything to be sure. Best wishes to you.
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Unread 05-18-2011, 09:45 PM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

I have been going through my medical doctor for guidance. Yesterday, she did blood work to check for Arthritis and I think one of the test was for Lupus. I have not had full blood work done yet. She has checked my Potassium, Magnesium, and my Vitamin D, when I went in a couple of weeks ago with severe toe, foot, and leg cramps. She changed my blood pressure medication that I had been taking for many years to remove the diuretic and also gave me prescription Magnesium. My foot, toe, and leg cramps have improved. I'm taking Vit. D and potassium daily. I also had my doctor check my hormone levels and she said that was okay.

I am scheduled for a complete physical on June 30. I'm in a lot of pain tonight, back, hip, shoulder and upper back/neck area is hurting. I have been taking Aleve twice daily, and added a Tylenol with it tonight. I have used heat patches, ice packs, and she gave me a prescription for Lidocaine pain patches which I will pick up from the pharmacy tomorrow. I have so many areas hurting, I joked with her and asked if she had a Lidocaine body wrap! I was joking, but serious at the same time.

I have only seen a Neurosurgeon so far, he was the one that scheduled me for the SI joint injections, which I had three, two weeks apart. He did an MRI on my lumbar area, and said everything looked normal. He dismissed me back to my medical doctor. He did not think my pain was nerve related since it was not affecting my leg. My medical doctor still thinks it could be mechanical and nerve related. I'm thinking more on the line of Osteoarthritis due to my childhood history of arthritis, and my pain in other locations of my body like my shoulder and now upper back/neck that has just started.

She is waiting on the blood test results to see where to send me next. She mentioned sending me to an Orthopedic doctor that works with a Neurologist if my blood test does not show Arthritis. If something shows on the blood work that looks like arthritis, then she will send me to a rheumatologist.

My hysterectomy was in Dec. 09, and before that I had been having pain in my tailbone for about a year. I had an MRI and that's how they found the large fibroid tumor I had. The doctor thought maybe the pain in my tailbone was due to the fibroid tumor, but the surgery did not take that pain away. I am now thinking it may have been the beginning of whatever is going on with my joints now. I still have some pain in my tailbone, but I sit on a Baby Boppy pillow in my computer chair and it has helped.

My hysterectomy was a difficult one. The fibroid was larger than my uterus, and was wedged in towards my back. I have some nerve damage from the surgery, still have some numbness from my incision scar about half way to my belly button. I also have a tender belly up to my belly button which feels like my stomach is bruised. I have to wear loose fitting pants or stretchy pants that is not tight, zippers or snaps on pants hurt. I've learned to live with it, it doesn't seem to be getting better. I know nerves can heal some over time.

I will look for the symptoms diary online, that sounds helpful. I keep a lot of records, and am very detailed with my symptoms and medications.

It's getting me down since I cannot do what I love to do. I'm a photographer and a flower gardener. It's difficult for me to plan an event when I don't know how much pain I'm going to be in at that time. Maybe I will have some answers soon.
Unread 07-01-2011, 11:55 PM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

Blessed Hope - it could be possible the ligaments in your SI-pelvis are lax. Estrogen could be making it worse. Estrogen degrades ligamentous tissue. Progesterone is pro-collagen. If you can, try back off the E and adding P to see if you cN tighten those ligaments. Good luck sister.
Unread 07-02-2011, 11:40 AM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

Thank you for the advice. Several things have happened since I posted the above information. I've been on blood pressure medication for many years, Lisinopril HCTZ 10-12.5 mg. once a day. My doctor changed my medication to plain Lisinopril 10 mg. to take out the Diuretic. She also put me on prescription Magnesium 400 mg. daily, Potassium and Vit. D. My foot, and leg cramps have improved, but my blood pressure has now gone crazy. I started have deep leg pain and swollen ankles and legs. She increased my BP medication to 20mg. The swelling is down in my legs and ankles. My BP is still a little high.
I'm now trying to loose a few pounds to see if that will help before she increases the amount again.
I've also seen a Rheumatologist, which he said I did not have Arthritis. He says I have a very highly sensitive nervous system. I have muscle tenderness all over and still have nerve pain from where I had my Hysterectomy. He suggested trying the medication Lyrica.
A few days ago, I had my yearly physical with my doctor and she also thought that Lyrica might help me. Part of my issue seems to be Fibromyalgia. I've taken 50 mg. of Lyrica for two nights now. I can tell a slight change in sensitivity in the nerves where I had my surgery. So far, I still have muscle and joint tenderness. I may also be going back to Physical therapy for my lower back, SI joint, in the future. I'm just trying to take it a day at a time.
I agree about the ligaments in my SI-pelvis are lax. My doctor has never mentioned anything about the Estrogen causing any issues, but she is not a GYN. I had her check my hormone levels, and she said hormones were just fine. The GYN that did my surgery, I did not like. He was very rough with me and hurt me very badly during a 6 week post-op exam. I went in at 4 weeks and he wasn't as rough. I was having a discharge that started at 6 weeks so I went in to be checked. He was in a big hurry because he was running late. He was walking in the door and talking at the same time, never stopped to ask me anything just sat down to examine me in a hurry. He roughly inserted the speculum to check my incision area, with his finger poked my internal incision hard to check it. I lost my breath from the pain. I couldn't stop crying. He then slowed down, backed up, and apologized. He said, "Well, I guess you are not healed yet", but your incision looks okay. I told him how bad he hurt me and that he didn't have to be so rough. I imagine he was the same way during my surgery, so no wonder I have nerve damage. I will never go back to that doctor again! My general medical doctor has been treating me for everything since that time. My hysterectomy was Dec. 4, 2009.
Unread 07-19-2011, 06:32 AM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

Originally Posted by Wandm1993 View Post
Blessed Hope - it could be possible the ligaments in your SI-pelvis are lax. Estrogen could be making it worse. Estrogen degrades ligamentous tissue. Progesterone is pro-collagen. If you can, try back off the E and adding P to see if you cN tighten those ligaments. Good luck sister.
actually from what I understood in vliet's "screaming to be heard" book that progesterone is the one that causes lax ligaments. She gave a case history of a lady that she was treating and she was on alot of p. A member on here that I converse with occasionally said when her P got to high, her si joints went out and lower back hurt. When she backed off the P for a while, it got better. I get that too. so I'm not taking P tonight for a while and see what changes result.
Unread 07-19-2011, 06:50 AM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

I've conversed with 2 other sisters of like minds and I'm starting to come around to that way of thinking (must've had lots of estrogen when I was adding progesterone in the past). I believe E and P need to be in balance (Testosterone too). I know you don't know me, but if you could share what's helped you in terms of HRT and joint laxity, that'd be great. Thanks! Eppie
Unread 01-04-2012, 10:21 AM
Re: Joint Pain and Muscle Cramps

Wow, sorry to hear we are all going through something similar. I have hip and back stiffness/discomfort in the night and some days I just cry. I refuse to be on pain meds the rest of my life. I feel like I got rid of one problem and exchanged it for another. My doc lives in a tunnel (no offense, I really do love her) but she does not see the forest beyond the trees. Sometimes docs stick to the book and only what they learned in med school. Or, they just don't tell us what they know...Anyway, I'm still looking for answers to this, I am going to have my hormone levels checked again today. After my hyst, my progesterone level was almost non existent. I took the oral p. but it makes me a bit cranky. If it helps my hips and back, maybe it's worth another try. Or, maybe I need a lower dose. I will go see an orthopedic doc early Feb, hope he will have some answers. My Naturopath said after the hyst, we can develop arthritis and we NEED progesterone. My regular doc says; no uterus, no need for progesterone. That does not make sense as we need the proper balance of all of our hormones. Please, please, please keep posting your updates and I will do the same. Together we will figure this out.

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