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pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse? pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

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Unread 05-17-2003, 04:51 AM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

Does anyone know if adhesions could make my back pain worse than it would be if I didn't have adhesions?

I had been feeling really good for several weeks ( 6 months post from the last surgery) and thought I would give DH a hand putting in the new wood floor in the LR . (remember I used to do this for a living!! )

Well at one point I felt the muscle pull in the lower back and thought oh boy...I'll pay for this later. I kept working and it didn't bother me for the rest of the day. Now it's been a week today and I'm in agnoy still. Granted I haven't had a chance to let it rest as my Dad has been in the hospital with CHF. But I have been to the doc and she gave me skelaxin. Now I'm taking the skelaxin along with ultram and toradol for my RA and Fibro and I'm STILL in continuous pain. I lay down with a heating pad as often as I can but I am at the hospital a lot so night time is about the only time I get to do this. There are times it feels like the bones are just grinding together in my back.

I had back surgery for the S3, s4, and L5 back in 98 for DDD and have not had problems since then till now. Could I have screwed something up from that surgery? Would the adhesions I know I have make this worse? There are times when it feels like my back is pulling on things in the pelvic area causing cramping like feelings. I'm also wondering if my Fibro could be making this pain worse than it should be. A week seems an awful long time to be in this much agony. I realise that being out of commission from all my surgeries these past two years has made my back really weak....but jimminy crickets this is nuts!!!

Any suggestions girls on what I can do to get me thru this? I have to go back to the hospital today but I'll check back as soon as I can...

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Unread 05-17-2003, 11:59 AM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

I'm sorry you have more pain to deal with. I don't have back problems so I can't shed any light or have any suggestions for that. If the pain is really bad and you're at the hospital maybe you could ask one of the docs there??? Just a thought.

I'm sending lots of s (gentle ones ) for you!
Unread 05-17-2003, 12:05 PM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?


I am so sorry that your back is bothering you so much. I live everyday with horriffic back pain with DDD and herniated discs so I can feel you pain sweetie...

I also am still having pelvic pain and my Gyn thinks some of it could be due to my back probs. We will see though. I know that endo can cause back pain as well as adhesions but you sound like you may have pulled something or torn something if your still in that much pain. I would definetly have it checked out if it does not go away or ease soon. I also know how NUTS this all can get and my goes out to you dear sister!! Please take it easy and rest and keep us posted. I also hope your dad is doing OK.

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Unread 05-17-2003, 03:05 PM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

You have so very much going on....it seems to always be something! I have DDD, 3 bulging Discs along w/ a few other painful back problems..I'm yet to find anything that helps that pain
I take Soma, a muscle relaxer, that was 1st prescribed for my back pain then later for my FMS.
When I 1st started experiencing worsening pain in my back I asked my Pain Dr about the possibility of Adhesions making it worse. He said Yes, depending on what they are attached to.
FMS is notorious for causing back pain..it's thot that it starts in the spine, most of the 18 Trigger Points used in DXing this are located along the spine.
Have you given any more thot on increasing the current Pain med type/dosage? I understand all the stigma attached to them but when you are left to suffer tho, finding relief, is what is first & foremost on my mind...I just hate to know you are in soo much pain

Here is some info on back problems & also some on Fibro & the spine:

A Patient's Guide to Degenerative Disc Disease:


information about epidural injections:

What's a herniated disc, pinched nerve, bulging disc…?

Where does it hurt? Categories of back pain: http://www.spine-health.com/topics/cd/hurt/h01.html

The myths and reality of back pain:

Treatments for Pain:

Low Back Pain -- When is Imaging Needed? http://www.wdxcyber.com/ngen08.htm

A Patient's Guide to Lumbar Herniated Disc: http://www.allaboutbackpain.com/html/spinesub.asp?id=87

Backache Pain -- Discovery Health -- pain, backache:

End Back pain:

All About Back & Neck Pain:



MMG - Patient Education Low Back Pain: http://www.medicalmultimediagroup.co...back/back.html

People with fibromyalgia are found to have multiple tender points in specific muscle areas. Most individuals complain of aching and stiffness in areas around the neck, shoulders, upper back, lower back and hip areas. Other factors that may contribute to the development of fibromyalgia or sustain symptoms are psychological stress, immune or endrocrine abnormalities, or biochemical abnormalities in the central nervous system, such as altered serotonin levels.
Spinal fluid levels four times normal of the main pain neurotransmitter substance P suggest that the pain is not imaginary. We still do not know exactly what causes fibromyalgia, but we know much more than we did a few years ago. Several good theories have been proposed and much scientific data gathered. One leading theory links fibromyalgia with an abnormality of deep sleep. Fibromyalgia patients often note that not getting enough sleep or even just staying up an hour late makes their fibromyalgia symptoms worse the next day. Abnormal brain waveforms have been found in deep sleep in many patients with fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia-like symptoms and tender points can be produced in normal volunteers by depriving them of deep sleep for a few days. Low levels of growth hormone, important in maintaining good muscle and other soft tissue health, have been found in patients with fibromyalgia. This hormone is produced almost exclusively in deep sleep, and its production is increased by exercise. Daily exercise has been found to be an important part of treatment of fibromyalgia along with steps taken to improve sleep. Fibromyalgia is also associated with certain immune system changes. These do not appear to be of the auto immune kind seen in some unrelated disorders like multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis, but rather the immune system appears as if fighting a virus. No virus has been convincingly demonstrated, and the fact that fibromyalgia does not appear to be contagious (for example, it is no more common in spouses of affected patients than in the general population) argues against an infectious cause. When these same cytokines are given to patients to treat other disorders, fibromyalgia-like side effects are common. Putting this all together, this suggests that fibromyalgia symptoms may be caused by elevated levels of certain cytokines produced by an immune system which is not functioning normally because of a chronic sleep disorder. This explanation is by no means proven, and several other good theories exist. Neurotransmitter and endocrine changes occur in fibromyalgia, particularly involving serotonin and the pituitary-adrenal axis, but as these same changes can also be produced by experimental deep sleep deprivation, they are probably secondary rather than primary. They may account for some fibromyalgia symptoms, however. Depression and migraine headaches are associated with low serotonin levels, for example, and often respond to medications that boost serotonin.

How is it treated?
1) Medication to improve deep sleep.
2) Regular sleep hours and an adequate amount of sleep.
3) Daily gentle aerobic exercise and stretching.
4) Avoidance of over exertion and stress.
5) Treatment of any coexisting sleep disorders.
6) Patient education. Medication by itself is of little value in treating fibromyalgia. Successful treatment demands the patient's active involvement in treatment as well as lifestyle changes. Each of the six parts of treatment above is important. If any one is omitted, the chance of significant improvement is considerably reduced.

Here are five recommended stretches, each done for 20 seconds a side. They should be gentle and painless. Hold onto a tree or post for support for #s 3-5:

1) Shrug your shoulders in a circular motion.

2) Reach your arm over your head and bend to the opposite side.

3) Bend forward with your legs straight.

4) Pull your foot toward your buttock with your hand while standing on the other leg.

5) With your feet flat on the ground and one foot ahead of the other, lean forward, bending just the front knee. Exercise is most effective if done in the late afternoon or early evening. If you absolutely can't do it then, exercising earlier in the day is better than not exercising at all, but you will probably need to exercise longer for the same effect. Don't exercise just before bed as this may interfere with sleep. Some patients find that exercise provides an immediate benefit, making them feel more alert and comfortable for several hours.

Avoid physical and emotional stress:

Too much physical activity of the wrong kind will make you feel worse. Rather than doing housecleaning, yard work, or other physical activity all on one day, break up the task so that you do a half hour or an hour every day until it is done. While it is difficult to learn to do this, it is essential that you be able to sense when you have reached your limit and stop. By pacing yourself, you will be more productive overall. You need to be able to say no to family and friends when you are not up to some outing or other activity. Don't take on extra responsibilities if you can avoid it. Stress also worsens fibromyalgia symptoms. If you have ongoing problems with depression or anxiety, consider seeking help for them from your family doctor or a psychiatrist. Anxiety and depression may arise as symptoms of fibromyalgia and in turn cause insomnia, leading to worsening of the underlying problem. Relaxation techniques or a chronic pain program can also help lower your stress level and are of proven benefit in treating fibromyalgia.
Pain serves as one of the primary litmus tests for fibromyalgia. In addition to widespread pain, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia requires that there be pain in at least 11 of 18 tender points - areas where pressure creates pain. People with fibromyalgia may also experience “flares,” periods of time in which pain suddenly occurs or increases in intensity. These flares can be triggered by emotional stress, fatigue and depression, all additional symptoms of fibromyalgia. Sometimes, according to the Oregon Fibromyalgia Foundation www.myalgia.com , which Bennett helped found, pain can be relieved by injecting local anesthetics into two or three tender points. However, much of the time, pain relief treatment may also include exercise, a change in daily regimen, or hot and cold treatments. Many refer to Bennett as the "godfather of fibromyalgia." A Founding Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology, he led many pioneer studies on chronic pain, and investigates treatments for FMS and related syndromes. Yet, says Bennett, research is scant on opiod treatments of chronic pain among persons with fibromyalgia. Nevertheless, Bennett said no treatment option should be discarded. Interviewed at a conference in November 2001, Bennett asserted the need for research to determine the correct guidelines to use opiods, even if prescribing opiods is frowned upon.
Managing A Chronic Illness:

Fibromyalgia: A Growth-Hormone Defect?

Taking Charge of Fibromyalgia:

Fibromyalgia: When It Hurts All Over:

Pain Central Library CFS/FMS Page:

Fibromyalgia symptoms treatment:

What in the World is Fibromyalgia?

WebMD Health-Back Pain:

Fibromyalgia Patients Feel More Pain:
Finding Suggests Pain Processing in Brain is Key to Disease

People who suffer from fibromyalgia appear to feel pain more acutely than others, suggesting that brain hypersensitivity plays a key role in the disease. Swiss researchers say findings from their new study support the use of antidepressants that target the brain's pain sensitivity center in the treatment of the disorder. The study, conducted at Geneva University Hospital, compared pain sensitivity among fibromyalgia patients and healthy "control" patients. Patients with fibromyalgia were found to be far less tolerant of different pain stimuli, including heat, cold, and electrical stimulation. Lead researcher Jules Desmeules, MD, says the findings could lead to better ways to diagnose and treat fibromyalgia. "This study supports prior evidence of central sensitization in these patients," Desmeules tells WebMD. "It further contributes to the understanding of this sensitization by showing that alterations of the pain system exist outside of the (areas associated with fibromyalgia pain), which suggests that the whole central nervous system is involved." It is believed that 3.7 million Americans over the age of 18 have fibromyalgia -- a confusing disease characterized by pervasive pain throughout the body that cannot be traced to a specific physical cause. Women are far more likely to be diagnosed with the condition than men. In addition to chronic pain, symptoms frequently include chronic fatigue, headaches, sleep disturbances, and depression. Several earlier studies confirmed an increased sensitivity to touch and temperature among patients with fibromyalgia, suggesting altered brain processing of pain stimuli. In this study, published in the May issue of the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, Desmeules and colleagues further examined pain response in people with the disease. Eighty-five fibromyalgia patients were included in the study, along with 40 people without the disease matched for age and sex. All of the participants were middle-aged, nine out of 10 were women, and the average duration of fibromyalgia among patients was eight years. Participants were subjected to a battery of sensory tests, including evaluations of sensitivity to heat and cold, mechanical pressure tests, and electrical stimuli. Fibromyalgia patients scored significantly higher in pain sensitivity and lower in pain tolerance than the controls. For example, patients were 66% less tolerant of cold pain than non-patients, and they scored an average of 50% lower in tests of pain reflex (the anguish they felt in response to physical contact.) "This is another study that suggests the primary problem in people with fibromyalgia is central sensitization," rheumatologist Don Goldenberg, MD, tells WebMD. "But the authors used a novel and very exciting approach, which could definitely simply the diagnosis of this disease." He says the finding of a potential central nervous system trigger may explain why fibromyalgia patients tend to respond better to antidepressants than to pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Most antidepressants target the brain's pain centers, while NSAIDs target pain at its source.
'No-Cause' Back Pain Really Hurts:

People with long-lasting lower back pain often don't know why they hurt. Now it seems they suffer from a nerve problem that turns up the volume on their pain. The problem is similar to fibromyalgia. Like fibromyalgia patients, back pain sufferers have no apparent physical reason to hurt. But they do. A brain scan earlier this year proved that fibromyalgia patients are much more sensitive to pain than other people. Now the test shows this is true for people with chronic lower back pain, too. The report, by researchers led by Richard H. Gracely, PhD, and Daniel J. Clauw, MD, of the University of Michigan, comes at this week's meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. "These people really don't know what they have and what the future will bring," Gracely told WebMD earlier this year. "It is just a terrible situation to be in. The general lay public doesn't really realize that pain can be very severe and untreatable. People think you can just go get it fixed." The researchers used a test that applied increasing pressure to the thumbnail bed, eventually causing "slightly intense pain." At the same time, a sophisticated new brain scan called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) let the researchers see how and where the pain affected brain activity. When normal people felt the thumbnail pain, the pain centers in their brains lit up. This also happened to back-pain patients -- but at thumbnail pressures that had no effect on normal people. "Some pathologic process is making these patients more sensitive," Clauw says in a news release. "For some reason -- still unknown -- there's a neurobiological amplification of their pain signals." Interestingly, back-pain patients had different fMRI patterns than normal people and fibromyalgia patients. Clauw thinks this means that back-pain patients are more sensitive to pain sensations arriving in some areas of the brain, and less sensitive to pain sensations arriving in some other areas. http://my.webmd.com/content/article/53/50441.htm
These Brain Waves May Tame Fibromyalgia:
As many as six million Americans are living with fibromyalgia, and in most cases they are living with the constant, unrelenting symptoms of the condition: widespread pain in muscles and joints, sleep disturbances, irritable bowel syndrome, and anxiety, to name a few. But very positive results from a new study suggest that sending mini-currents of electricity through the brain -- a procedure called cranial electrotherapy stimulation --may provide relief from some of these symptoms. Alan S. Lichtbroun, MD, says he learned about the electrotherapy technique while searching for better treatments for his many fibromyalgia patients. "This technique is gaining wide acceptance at chronic pain treatment centers," says Lichtbroun, assistant professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, in East Brunswick, N.J. "At first I looked at this device very skeptically -- and even now I am beginning to see some patients who had a marked response at the beginning are gradually beginning to deteriorate -- so again I wondered if the machine had lost its power. But what I've found is that patients eventually lose their incentive to use the machine, and less frequent use appears to mean a return of symptoms."
Fibromyalgia Is Common, Painful Problem for Millions of Women:
Fibromyalgia is a chronic, painful condition that affects an estimated 3.7 million people in the U.S., most of whom are women. However, no single treatment has been established, leaving doctors and their patients with little choice but to mix and match a variety of drug and nondrug approaches. In an article in the December issue of the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, a Pennsylvania researcher concludes that physicians must empower patients to look to alternative treatments to achieve the best pain relief.Doctors do not know the exact causes of fibromyalgia. However, there is a common pattern of symptoms that occur in about 75% of all fibromyalgia sufferers. These symptoms include fatigue, disrupted sleep, stiffness on waking in the morning, and the presence of multiple tender spots in the neck, lower back, arms and legs. Many patients with fibromyalgia also have other medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Lyme disease, arthritis, and tension headaches. Muscle abnormalities also have been observed, but some research has concluded that rather than being a feature of fibromyalgia, these abnormalities may be the result of not using certain muscles because of chronic pain.
How do disc injuries cause back pain?
The intervertebral disc is a gelatinous-like filled structure, which acts as a cushion to separate the vertebrae of the spine. The intervertebral disc has a tough outer cover called the annulus. Sometimes the integrity of the annulus is disrupted allowing for the change in the shape or contour of the disc. The disc material can protrude away from the normal contour of the disc and cause pain.
Causes of back pain following disc injury are complex. A combination of nerve fibers within the disc and muscle spasm in the paraspinal area is the most common source of pain.

The disc could be protruding and causing pain to radiate down either leg.
Injury to the disc can cause pain in three different ways. First, the injured disc can itself be painful. The damage results in development of pain coming directly from the disc. Second, the injured disc may be weakened to the point that it no longer functions as it should. Normally, the discs allow for normal movement of the spine by acting as "shock absorbers" between the blocks of bone of the spine (vertebra). When the disc fails to do its job, the other parts of the spine, such as the joints known as facet joints, may suffer. This can generate secondary pain arising from the other structures. Finally, an injured disc may be displaced from its normal position and pinch (compress) a nerve, causing pain. If the displaced disc compresses or inflames a nerve, there may be back pain, leg pain or a combination of both.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated discs can cause back pain, leg pain or a combination of both. The leg pain can affect one leg or both legs. The pain most often radiates, or "shoots" from the back down the leg, but other pain patterns can sometimes be seen. Buttock pain is also a common complaint. Also, changes in sensation can be experienced. This can include a sensation of numbness in the affected leg, or possibly a "pins and needles" sensation, which is referred to as paresthesias. Weakness of the muscles may occur. Placing weight on the involved side may increase pain, resulting in a limp. Infrequently, bowel or bladder problems may develop.

What is degenerative disc disease (DDD)?

Degenerative disc disease is the process of mechanical wear and tear on the disc itself. This is noted in most adults after about 30 years of age. The disc has a high content of water, which maintains it as a spongy, springy type of structure. The disc functions as a shock absorber, spacer and joint between vertebrae. This allows for controlled motion between vertebrae. When disc degeneration occurs, the disc begins to narrow and stiffen. The normal function as a shock absorber and spacer, as well as providing controlled motion between vertebrae, is lost. This directly causes inflammation and pain from that disc.
Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, and the Stress Response System:
In this study, researchers examined three groups of subjects—a set of 40 fibromyalgia (FM) patients, a set of 28 chronic low back pain (LBP) patients, and 14 healthy controls. All groups of subjects underwent a thorough laboratory examination.The researchers found that FM patients had the most dysfunction in the stress response system, but that LBP patients had same of the same characteristics.
“From a clinical point of view, it is our impression that in individual cases FM, over the years, often ensues from LBP or other localized pain disorders…In view of the notion that patients with FM and LBP both experience chronic pain, that FM can develop after LBP, and that both disorders display rather similar neuroendocrine abnormalities (albeit to a different degree), one might conclude that the pain in FM is the primary factor underlying its pathogenesis.”
What is clear from this study is that both FM and LBP patients exhibit disruption of the neuroendocrine system, especially in the system that controls how the body responds to stress. Similar dysregulation has been found in patients with PTSD, depression, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Fibromyalgia and CNS Dysfunction:

Research on fibromyalgia (FM) has recently focused on disturbances in the central nervous system (CNS). McDermid et al. 1 reported generalized hypervigilance in FM patients, and Wachter et al. 2 recently published a study that found evidence of overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system in patients with fibromyalgia and other pain syndromes. A current study examined 168 fibromyalgia patients to determine if there indeed was evidence of CNS dysfunction. All patients underwent an auditory brainstem response test (ABR), used to test the function of the cochlear nerve and auditory pathway in the brainstem; an oculomotor test, which monitors the neurological systems responsible for eye motor function; and a electronystagmography test (ENG), which measures vestibular function.

Researchers found:
78% of the FM patients complained of dizziness or vertigo. Most of these cases were mild, but 4% complained of constant, severe dizziness.
Sensorineural hearing loss was found in 15% of the FM patients.
51 of the subjects (30%) had abnormal ABR test findings.
58% of the FM subjects had abnormal eye movement tests, and 45% had abnormal findings on the ENG test.Similar findings have been found in whiplash injuries (see Soft-Tissue Review, Volume 1, Nos. 4,9,10.) What has not been determined is the root cause of this disturbance. Some speculate that the vestibular dysfunction arises from injury to the brainstem; others believe that proprioceptive disturbance in the cervical spine is responsible. The issue is complex. On one had, the authors report that the nature of the abnormal ABR tests “strongly indicate that dysfunction involving the pons is common in patients with fibromyalgia.” Then, in another paragraph, they state, “The interpretation of the findings of abnormal saccades and smooth pursuits as well as abnormal ENG registrations is that of CNS dysfunction, most likely in the posterior fossa. However, disturbances of smooth pursuits and also, to some extent, of saccades, can be seen in patients with tension headache without neurological signs and symptoms. The explanation of this observation is that proprioceptive dysfunction in the neck might cause erroneous signals which could disturb the oculomotor regulation.” In short, fibromyalgia shows some similarities to whiplash. It is not know whether these objective findings are due to problems in the brainstem or to disturbance of neck proprioception. As more studies are conducted, hopefully we can discover the answer to this problem.
Pls know my thots & prayers are with you ((Dawn))..hopefully you can find some relief soon
Unread 05-18-2003, 05:42 AM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

just me....checking in.

Thank you Pam and Kim for the support...it means a lot to me right now. And (((((sheri))))) thanks for the info.

It really helps having this info...I've read it and it helps to know I'm not imagaineing this at all. I am starting to find some relief but it's sketchy. I find If I take my skelaxin, ultram and toradol all at the same time I can at least function. I just can't sit for any length of time as when I stand up I about hit the floor.

Stress can trigger the fibro and I have been under a lot of stress with my dad this week so I'm sure that's not helping. In the past few days I' ve learned to stay on top of my meds. I'm a little more dopey than usual now due to the increase but it's better than the pain. Now if I could just get the family to understand without them thinking "oh boy mom's complaining again"

My Dad is still on the iffy side to....they are trying to figure out why his kidney's don't want to process the lasix and will be doing a heart catherization on Monday....I'm worried and stressed and know that this won't help the fibro at all in the coming days....

Thanks again sisters Sometimes we don't realise how much we need support till we actually ask for and recieve some...

tons of 's

Unread 05-18-2003, 03:58 PM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

Glad to hear that you are feeling at least a teensy bit better. Like (((Sheri))), I have FMS and DDD. It is hard to get relief especially in times of stress. Skelaxin never did a bit of good for me. I do take Ultram and Soma and tend to get some relief from those. We are all different though. Hang in there sweetie. I'm sure your family understands.
Unread 05-19-2003, 12:04 PM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

(((((Dawn)))))) I'm sooooo sorry you've got so much to deal with, sweetie Can't be easy with you worrying about your dad on top of contending with your own health

I do not have the issues you're dealing with but I wanted to send s your way and tell you that I hope you feel better real soon.
Unread 05-19-2003, 12:25 PM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

You're welcome! That is what sisters are for. I'm sorry your dad isn't doing well. He will be in my ers. Keep us posted on him and you!
Unread 05-19-2003, 01:54 PM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

Just a quick update.....

My Dad had a heart cath this am....it didn't show good news at all girls

surgery is not an option anymore and it's just a matter of "he could go at anytime". IF he takes his meds and IF he doesn't smoke and IF he doesn't exert himself he could go a few more months....BUT his kidneys are failing on top of that.

MY pain is in the backround hidden by a haze of meds and heartbreak...

Unread 05-19-2003, 02:47 PM
pulled my back, adhesions/fibro making it worse?

I'm so very sorry sweetie. I know it's not easy, I faced a similiar situation with my father, not kidney problems but knowing his time with us was limited. Be sure and let him know how much you love him.

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