View Full Version : BAck Spasms

09-30-2011, 09:27 AM
Hi guys.

My laptop died and I've been busy with grad school so I haven't been on in a while. New laptop and new problem. Well, old problem, new manifestation. Just need to vent really.

I was ahead with class work this Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon I got hit with severe upper back pain. It feels like someone is digging their fingers into my spine and under my left trapezius. This is where the major part of my curvature is so I'm used to some pain there. As I age it gets worse. I lost an inch in height in one year (last year) which is a significant amount from a biological POV. I've had spasms there for a year and I guess this is more of the same but slightly different focus (not pinching nerve down left arm this time).

Anyway - Now I'm behind on school work again because it's so hard to concentrate and sit here and get much done. It's not hard to just play and throw out silly stuff on fb or whatever. But it is hard to actually think. Does that make sense?

Not looking for sympathy. Just trying to figure out what the heck to do. I tried the standards - Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Hydrocodone. When these spasms come on they take about four or five ours to go away. What's up with that? I can't go to my rheumatologist because she makes appts. 6 months in advance.


I was supposed to go repeat my CRP and Thyroid panel (TSH is slightly high) this past week or so. I guess if my CRP is still high (it's been 6+) she'll want to talk to me on the phone and that will give me the opportunity to tell her that I think that's where the inflammation is that she's been concerned about. That's my only guess because I'm not having any other major problems. I really think the only thing to do for this is a strong muscle relaxant since anti-inflammatories are not on the menu. They've caused me problems in the past with gut and liver (other than Aspirin and Ibuprofen which also tear my gut up after a while).

Until then, I am boggled as to what to do.

Anyway - like I said, this is more of a vent. I have to *try* to get my class work done. I think I'll be considered late on some of it and won't get credit. But I don't know what else to do.

I guess I'll go take another hydrocodone/ibuprofen or aspirin cocktail for now. I'm at a loss as to what else to do. Mornings start out okay but as soon as I have to sit at the computer to work...

hope everyone is okay and sorry to have been absent for so long. Just been too busy. The two classes I'm in are very time consuming. Screenwriting is - um - different. :P


09-30-2011, 06:59 PM
Hi K,

I don't know, if this is the same thing, but I have a slight curveture(sp?) scoliosis,on my upper spine and have excrutiating pain in the upper spine, neck, shoulder and arm. For a week now, I have a nerve pain in my upper arm, which makes me sick to my stomach sometimes, because it is such a severe pain. My rheumy doesn't think it is not scoliosis related. He thinks it is either from the Lupus or the RA and I think he is right, when I was on MTX, there was no pain in that area. But until I find out what my liver is doing, I am not allowed to take any meds.
I have taken muscle relaxers and anti inflamatories ( he okay'd those when I am in alot of pain), but nothing hepls.
I am in so much pain, I don't know what else to so.
Sorry I couldn't be any help, but it sounds that we both have a simular pain, we have to deal with.


10-01-2011, 01:34 PM
Hi Debbie.

I suspect, for me and very possibly for you as well, that the two really can't be teased apart. That is, since Lupus attacks connective tissue and areas that get damaged by injury or illness attract inflammatory processes even in healthy people, then it's highly probably that the scoliosis has triggered the Lupus process to attack those parts of our bodies.
I have a 36-degree curvature in my spine at the where the trapezius connects (upper middle) and two smaller curves, one in the cervical spine, one in the lumbar that compensate for the large curve. I have had PT for the back and it helped and I'm trying to keep up with it. Plus I lost 18 lbs and am now at my ideal weight and a little less which takes some er, upper body weight off the problem. :) But I'm aging and as a female there's almost no way to avoid spinal compaction. Add in the scoliosis and that makes for some really bad pain there. Iknow the pain your talking about in the arm that makes you sick. There's a nerve that runs down through there that is tricky. A few times my husband has been rubbing my back for me to try to relax the muscles and he's hit that nerve just wrong and it immediately triggered a desire to vomit. Fortunately, I've not had anything in my gut to lose at those times. But what a disastrous set-up that is! So when I get the spasms that hit that area it is awful. The arm pain goes all the way down to my fingers and the first few times I had it I thought I was having a heart attack because it's on the left side and had classic heart attack features. But I could feel the muscle in the back actually knot up and my husband could see this lump in my back. This latest round is moved over a bit though and closer to the spine so the pain is more centered on my back and the pains are shooting into my gut but not causing nausea, just pain and lots of it.

Anyway - thanks for commiserating. I need to get back to school stuff now but I appreciate it very much. The cocktail I take takes the edge off of it but only after a while and it doesn't fix it. It just makes it so I can kind of ignore it enough to rest. But I also can't get much done that way because i have to sleep through the pain. I just know that Robaxin did nothing for me. I took Norgesic as a kid - maybe an old standby like that would help but who knows. Of course, it's got aspirin in it but there's a non-aspirin version. I'm losing four and five hours at a time to this and I have things to do.

and I need to get to those things now while I'm not in too much pain. Thanks again.