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Unexplained Back Pain and Knee Pain - Muscle Spasms

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:43 am
by Phil Liddell
Very Happy

I am a 38 year old male, and have had lower back and sciatica problems for almost 10 years. The symptoms first started with pain in my knees that persisted for at least 2 months, and then eventually moved to my lower back.

The actual cause of my pain was a complete mystery, as everything came on gradually, without any apparant reason. After seeing every kind of doctor there is, MRI's, bone scans, cat scans, and a lot of physical therapy, all I was told was that there was nothing apparantly wrong with my back, other than some very minor bulging in my L4 and L5 to S1, and that the pain levels I was reporting were not consistent with my films. Surgery was not an option.

For 10 years now I have been dealing with this on and off pain, sometimes going several years without any severe symptoms. It has been manageable, but always on my mind. Excercise and stretching have always been the best ways to deal with it. I have also been seeing an activator chiropractor at least twice a month which seemed to help.

This past May, my symptoms started reappearing in the same way they did in the very beginning. Knee pain, getting worse every day, then my lower back and eventually I was crippled and unable to walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. Again, the pain was unexplained. I started seeing the chiropractor everyday, and he assured me that the pain would start to subside. It never helped. In early July, I finally gave in and went to the emergency room for yet another round of testing, and an MRI. I got the same diagnosis, that other than some very minor disc bulging, my pain was not consisten with the films. They gave me Diazepam (valium), that I had never taken before, and it temporarily removed the symptoms altogether. Unfortunately, valium is not safe to take for long periods, and is very addictive, thus my doctor won't prescibe it to me. I also went in for two rounds of steroid injections.

Recently I found the Rebuild Your Back book online, and started doing the excercises. Just as the book said, the pain eventually landed in my center lower back, and my pain levels reduced considerably. However, I continued to experience pain spikes, and a lot of numbnes in my feet and tightness in my legs started a few weeks ago.

My doctor finally suggested that I see a Neurosurgeon, and I went last week. The doctor did all kinds of tests, looked at my films, and concurred that there was no structural problems. Quote "everyone should have a back as good as your's". His diagnosis was that I was having severe muscle spasms, resulting in pinched nerves.

He tried me on muscle relaxers, (I've tried several but they all caused weird side effects. I am trying Orthenadrine 100MG twice a day. So for no bad side effects. However, this is not the answer to my problem.

It has finally hit me that all the problems I have been having are due to stress, anxiety, and possible clinical depression. My body has been reacting by giving me muscle spasms. This would expalin why each time I would go to any doctor, the symptoms would go away while I was being examined. It also explains why there has never been a reason for the pain, and also explains why Valium made the biggest difference. Valium treats muscle spasms and relaxes your mind.

Since I made this personal discovery last week, my pain has almost completely dissappeared, and I am not taking any pain killers, just an occasional muscle relaxer. However, I intend on asking my doctor for an antidpressant, since I need to treat the problem, not just the symptoms. I won't go into the reason for my depression since it would take too long, but if you have had similar exeriences, I encourage you to continue doing the stretches from the book, as they have helped relieve the muscle spasms, and try to find a way to relax. I have been repeating to myself over and over that it is all in my head, and the difference it has made is changing my life for the better everyday. I no longer fear hurting my back doing everyday things, because as every expert has told me . "There is nothing wrong with your back". The muscle spasms are real, but my brain is the culprit.

I still have work to do, but I cannot tell you how much better I feel about the future knowing that I am physically ok. I also found this book, link below, that is teaching me how to get rid of my depression altogether. Prozac will likely treat the symptoms, but it is up to me to change the way I think. Hope this information helps somebody. See link below. ... h-Free.pdf


Posted: Sat Sep 02, 2006 6:03 am
by randolph
Thanks for the report, Phil, on your improved condition, especially on the subtle connections between mental depression and lower back pain.

It's my understanding that depression can have physical causes, thus the effectiveness of drugs like prozac... and mental causes, too. Over the years, I've had bouts with debilitating depressions that lasted for weeks, that seemed to come when I'd lost hope. It's such a familiar experience (though it hasn't happened big time in several years now) that the last few times, I was able to remember to go against the depression's "suggestions" to hide out, and force myself to get back into meaningful activities, even though I didn't "feel" like it would do any good. I guess that's part of what you mean when you write that "it's up to you to change the way you think." Looks like that worked for me.

Continued good luck on your back, and mental, rebuilding efforts.