Lower back 'locking up' at night

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Clcaj
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 12/17/2007 11:47 AM (GMT -7)   
Hello everyone!
 
For the past 2 nights, I've woken up around 3am with my lower back up to the middle of my back feeling like it's in one giant spasm.   Nothing I've done has relieved it (heating pad, muscle relaxer, darvocet, massaging the area, shifting around to different positions, etc.).   Once it starts, I can't lay down anymore.  If I get up and move around, it feels better, but as soon as I lay down again, it 'locks' up.
 
I'm tapering off Entocort but that is the only med change.  I've never had lower to middle back pain this extreme before.   I'm not even sure it's my back - it's like a very deep spasm. Has anyone else experienced this and have suggestions on how to stop it?   I'm tired!
 
Thanks!
DX: mild to moderate Crohn's for 34 years
Additional benefits: chronic anemia, B12 deficient, peripheral neuropathy, facial mylagsia, joint pain, underactive thyriod
Current meds: Colozal, Nexium, Entocort, Flagyl, steriod cream, monthly B12 injections, Neurontin, Synthroid, Effexor ER, pain meds as needed


Sway_79
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 12/17/2007 5:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Clcaj,

I'm going through the same thing right now, and I totally agree- nothing can touch it!! I have deep muscular spasms of my middle and lower back. I have had a lot of past trauma to my back & chest area, but I was able to get a script for Skelaxin after crying and breaking down to my MD about the pain. It has helped calm down the pain so I can at least sleep without waking up crying because I moved in my sleep.

I have also tried the chiropractor, massages, etc and those alleviate the pain for a while. I'm not sure what kind of bed you have, but my doctor is trying to convince me to get a really soft mattress pad to put on the bed...he's thinking I'm "hitting the wrong pressure points" when I sleep on my side with my current bed. I'm not sure about that though. But at this point, I'm willing to try it since I can't afford to run out and get an expensive bed.

Best of luck & hang in there,
~Sway

Clcaj
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 12/18/2007 6:22 AM (GMT -7)   

Thank you for the reply.  I had more back trouble until I got a better mattress, so your doctor may have a point. I still have back pain if we stay at a hotel or someone else's house.   Lately, this back pain is way more severe than before and I'm in my own comfy bed, so I don't know what's going on.

I don't know if this will work for you, but I'd recommend as thick of a memory foam pad as you can afford.   That works best for me.   You could go to a mattress store and try out memory foam versus pillow top covers and see which feels best to you.  You can buy either type of cover for an existing mattress.

Good luck!



DX: mild to moderate Crohn's for 34 years
Additional benefits: chronic anemia, B12 deficient, peripheral neuropathy, facial mylagsia, joint pain, underactive thyriod
Current meds: Colozal, Nexium, Entocort, Flagyl, steriod cream, monthly B12 injections, Neurontin, Synthroid, Effexor ER, pain meds as needed


HabsHockeyFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3130
   Posted 12/18/2007 7:19 AM (GMT -7)   
I have had some back issues and now get those spasms in my upper back/shoulders area. It tightens up so much it is hard to breathe. I found this happens when I am low on potassium and iron. Maybe have your nutritional levels checked
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....


ozonehole
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 559
   Posted 12/18/2007 9:30 AM (GMT -7)   
HabsHockeyFan said...
I have had some back issues and now get those spasms in my upper back/shoulders area. It tightens up so much it is hard to breathe. I found this happens when I am low on potassium and iron. Maybe have your nutritional levels checked


It's interesting that you mentioned potassium, as I just yesterday became convinced that I needed in increase potassium in my diet because of muscle cramps in my leg.

Potassium is an essential mineral for life, and a deficiency can cause numerous problems. The kinds of foods that contain a lot of potassium (fruits and vegetables) are exactly the sort of things the Crohnies tend to avoid because it has much fiber and increases diarrhea. Furthermore, diarrhea depletes the body's reserves of potassium.

Here is an excellent article about potassium:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=90

Although there is such a thing as potassium pills, they are not recommended. Not only expensive, but they tend to irritate the stomach and intestines, and even cause ulcers. Potassium is much better when dissolved in water, or mixed in with a food like rice or oatmeal.

Potassium Chloride (chemical formula KCl) is a salt. Not common table salt, which is Sodium Chloride (NaCl). Many supermarkets sell KCl as a "salt substitute:"

http://www.orau.org/PTP/collection/consumer%20products/lowsodiumsalt.htm

There is also "Low Salt" which is a mixture of NaCl and KCl. It does taste better than just KCl. However, most of us already get too much NaCl (table salt) in our diet (processed food is full of it). So you probably don't want to add even more.

How much KCl should you take daily? Dietary allowance is something like 2 to 3.5 grams per day. A teaspoon is about 2 grams, and that's a lot since it doesn't taste good. I'd suggesting starting out lower. Since yesterday, I'm taking a 1/4 teaspoon daily, mixed into dissolved water (tastes awful). This morning I mixed in into oatmeal, which was tolerable. I'm going to try some experiments, using it on pasta and rice like I would use table salt. Anyway, don't overdo it - the article I cited above does mention the dangers of overdose (can even be fatal). And here's another warning from Wikipedia:

People with kidney failure, heart failure or diabetes should not use salt substitutes without medical advice. A manufacturer, LoSalt, has issued an advisory statement. that people taking the following prescription drugs should not use a salt substitute: Amiloride, Triamterene, Dytac, Spironolactone, Aldactone, Eplerenone, and Inspra.

If you're suffering from muscle cramps and spasms, I'd give KCl a try. Please read the article about potassium - it gives some good tips.

best regards,
Robert
Crohn's since 1988
3 resections

Post Edited (ozonehole) : 12/18/2007 9:36:25 AM (GMT-7)


Clcaj
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 82
   Posted 12/18/2007 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the replies.  You could be right about the potassium and iron.  I'm always low on both of those, so I've been taking supplements lately, but taking them sporadically.   I didn't take any this weekend, and that's when it hit.  I need to start taking them every day and see if the spasms stop.    It's funny how quickly our bodies adapt to new nutritional supplements and as soon as those stop, it's like running into a brick wall.
 
Thanks again!
DX: mild to moderate Crohn's for 34 years
Additional benefits: chronic anemia, B12 deficient, peripheral neuropathy, facial mylagsia, joint pain, underactive thyriod
Current meds: Colozal, Nexium, Entocort, Flagyl, steriod cream, monthly B12 injections, Neurontin, Synthroid, Effexor ER, pain meds as needed


Sway_79
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 47
   Posted 12/18/2007 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Ozone,

Thank you for mentioning potassium. I just received my nutrient blood tests back, and indeed, I am deficient in potassium. I'm going to start adding a potassium supplement to my vitamin/probiotic schedule. Hopefully it helps! I don't like taking the Skelaxin on a regular basis.

Clcaj,

I've looked at those memory foam pads. I wasn't sure if they really work or not. They seem to "squish" an awful lot to be supportive. Plus, with a king size bed, I don't want to get something that isn't going to work that I can't return!

Thanks again,
~Sway

broomhilda
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 12/18/2007 10:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Clcaj- I bet it's the potassium as well, good post! My levels are fine, however, I wake up with stiff neck & shoulders. I purchased one of those buckwheat neck support pillows this weekend...what a difference! For some reason, I always sleep better in the recliner. However, since I am married and enjoy sharing my bed with my spouse, I have been shopping for a new matteras for months now. Still trying to make up my mind. As for the memory foam...I would sweat myself to death because of my low grade fevers & being peri-menopausal. I'm currently looking at the Craftmatic Adjustable Beds. Probably will have to take out a loan to purchase it but I figure If either my husband or myself have to have surgery again in the future, it sure would make it easier on us. I could always come up with something more creative for a headboard too.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Predinsone, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Acne, Fatigue, Joint Pain, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, fibroid cysts, peri-menopausal.


HabsHockeyFan
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 3130
   Posted 12/19/2007 6:28 AM (GMT -7)   
I am looking at the Sleep Number bed....I stayed in a hotel that had one and one night was enough to convince me. The foam things don't sell me--my hubby and I are big and I just don't belive they will spring back!
The Sleep Number is more expensive, but if we both can wake up less sore, it is worth it.

Clcaj...I just got back to taking my potassium (a banana a day works for me). It really has made a difference in the back spasms and in the nasty leg cramping
Dx'd '90 (emergency rupture), symptoms ignored long before that, '03 fistulas and bad flagyl reactions, B12 weekly, Pentasa [until I surrender to the bigger meds]
I'm riding on the escalator of life....

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