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    pain and stiffness of the spine
    mammas8 posted:
    I am new to this and am not sure what are all things to expect. I noticed, while I was browsing through the discussions that most of the pain and stiffness that others were dealing with seemed to be more in the extremities, rather than the spine itself. When I researched the topic of this discussion in the sites search area, nothing at all came up. So I guess I am wondering if there are others in the "community" who also suffer with the tightening, stiffness and painful spine itself in the lower back area? or anywhere I guess. I would really like to hear from you.I am wondering what happens from this onset. I do have a pain that is just to the side of my tailbone that radiates to the pelvic area and down my leg. It is located on the right side of my spine. The pain that I suffer from that area is so excruciating that if they cannot alleviate it I will buy a damn machine gun!! nj I refuse to live with that kind of pain. The quality of my life would be completely gone if that were the case. feel as though I have aged 20 years in the past two days and it just came on so fast that I didn't even get the gradual way of leading up to the Grand Finale, is this the way this disease works?...Heck, I just feel like going out and purchasing a machine gun and ending this nightmare finally--Once and For All!!!! There is so much that I haven't come to terms with and I wonder had I not gone to the doctor for that pain and just toughed it out as I did all the other pains, how long would it have taken to diagnose me. How does this disease progress or do you just have flare ups. I know, I know, I need to do all the footwork to get the research done and find out exactly what I am dealing with. I would, however, very much appreciate any kind of information that will prepare me for what comes next or down the road. A summary of your experience with the disease or something of that nature. Maybe something that you wished someone had told you in the beginning? I thank all of the people who take the time to read my ramblings and may have some information or
    hackwriter responded:
    Dear mammas,

    I developed lower back pain, pelvic pain, increased leg spasticity and shooting pains down one leg five years after my MS diagnosis.

    My problems are two-fold: A spine MRI revealed an arthritic lumbar spine, canal stenosis, bulging and desiccated discs, which had caused an initial case of sciatica. At the same time, MS-related spasticity and neuropathic pain had increased, causing hip, pelvic and thigh pain.

    I manage these symptoms with 60 mg of baclofen daily to control spasticity, Lyrica for neuropathic pain when needed, a full body massage when I can afford it, and aquatherapy did wonders to keep me moving without putting a strain on the weak areas.

    I hope you'll talk to your doctor about pain management, there are ways to get some relief. I understand the desperation that chronic pain can cause, the anxiety that an MS dx can cause as we learn more about our disease and how it affects us personally. The disease can cause flare-ups and remissions, but it also causes lingering symptoms between flares. Exercise and drug therapy are the two things we use to manage these.

    Please don't suffer in silence, reach out to your doctor for help.

    Herb Karpatkin, PT, DSc, NCS, MSCS responded:
    Your pain sounds less like MS and more like low back pain due either to a bulging disc (called a radiculopathy) or a narrowing of your spinal canal(stenosis) If you have spasticity or some other movement disorder this can certainly worsen the symptoms. The easiest way of figuring out if your back pain is due to orthopedic rather than neurologic issues is to ask the question what produces the pain. If the pain is brought on suddenly with position changes (ie going from sitting to standing or lying to sitting) it is probably orthopedic. If the pain is brought on by fatigue or stress but does not change due to position it is probably due to the MS. If it is orthopedic, a good physical therapist can probably treat it quite effectively

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