Can Lupus cause back pain? exp Disk problems?

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kattsme
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Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/3/2012 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,  I have been dealing with back problems for awhile now.  I am at my brakeing point.  I do what I am suppost to do...I get abit better then I hurt myself again.  I know Lupus can cause alot of different things but does anyone know if it causes problems with your disks and spine?  I know it cause problems with joints.  Would it do the same with your joints and disks in your back?  I have wondered that for quiet sometime but when I ask the doctors they can never give me a straight answer.
I am starting to get Anxiety big time.  Yesteday I started to cry had a hard time breathing and was feeling bad that I couldn't get to work and lost my shifts.  I really don't know what to do.
 
I hope someone can shed some light on this for me.
 
Thank you

Lynnwood
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7723
   Posted 7/3/2012 1:44 PM (GMT -6)   
There is no reason that Lupus would avoid the joints/disks of the spine -- they just look like any other joints from an inflammation standpoint. So of course Lupus could flare there just like anywhere else.

Have you been diagnosed with SLE by a rheumotologist? That is who should check your inflammation markers to see if they can figure out the precise issue.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator
DIAGNOSING-LUPUS & LUPUS-RESOURCES
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde

lucysgd
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Date Joined Jun 2008
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   Posted 7/3/2012 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kattsme -
I'm sorry you're having such a hard time!  I know well the pain and frustration of unrelenting back pain.  Mine also started with a herniated disc that was impinging on a nerve.  Prednisone relieved the pain for a bit, but it seemed nothing had a long term effect.  I think the constant and chronic pain sets up a whole host of other problems, that create other symptoms.  For example, lack of sleep (because of pain) ends up in anxiety, and constant guarding (because of pain) results in soreness and shortening in other muscles as well, which creates more pain and fatigue.
 
You don't say whether you have already been diagnosed with Lupus or not.  My own opinion is that connective tissue diseases can set up shop anywhere and however they want - there is no hard and fast rule.  My back pain continued for quite an extended period of time, into and beyond the onset of the lupus type symptoms (fatigue, joint/muscle pain, hair loss, mouth sores, rash, fever).  After 3 years on Plaquenil and almost as long on a Gluten Free diet with supplements for deficiencies like Vit. D - I am finally feeling very much better.  For the last month I have been able to walk 2 miles each day.  Makes my feet hurt - but as long as my back is handling it, I'm happy. 
 
My advice to you is to persist in finding the reason for your pain.  I heard everything from "it's all in your head" to "time to cauterize the nerve sheaths".  I had a very hard time tolerating pain medication, so didn't use it, and when I took Prednisone initially for the pain and inflammation, it worked so well, I re-injured my back because I felt so good!  When the doctors can't answer your question - ask if you should see an orthopedist, physical medicine specialist, neuromuscular massage therapist, etc.  Get a Vit D. level tested, and an xray or MRI of your spine.  If you haven't seen a rheumatologist - go there, too.  Ankylosing Spondylitis can set up in the SI joints.   Chronic back pain is awful - changes your life and your personality.  Don't let it go on too long without some direct medical attention.
 
Good luck and keep us posted - hope you feel better soon!
 
Lucy 
 
 
 
 
 

Bsime
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 1344
   Posted 7/3/2012 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Lupus can hit any part of your body and it is common to hit joints...any or all of them.  As far as I know this is not a common condition but I know several long time lupers who do have problems.  There are also a number of other arthritic and neurological conditions that could be causing your problems including mechanical (weak muscles, posture, overuse, etc) problems.  If lupus is the cause then getting your immune system under control is the first order of business.  You really need to talk to your doctor and/or a back specialist to determine what is causing your problem and determine a course of treatment.
 
Bill

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/3/2012 5:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, Yes, Yes!
I developed back issues one year before diagnosed with lupus. Was told it's degenerative disk disease. had to go to back specialist for PT.
Joy

oreo11
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 399
   Posted 7/3/2012 8:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kattsme,

Like Joy, I too, developed worsening disc issues, both in the cervical and lumbar areas. I had degenerative disc disease that my primary doctor said was worsening due to the inflammation caused by Lupus. I would definitely follow up with a specialist to find out what is going on.

Laura

kattsme
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/4/2012 9:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you alll sooo much for all your advice.
 
Yes I do have Lupus.  I have had it now for over 16yrs...wow.
I found out I had it when I was 25.  After going through two blood clots in my left lung two different times and also having Pleurisy.  being in and out of the hospital alot they finally figured out I had lupus.  A clotting disorder, and raynauds disease.  I have been having back trouble for years.  (lower Disks)  Been to physio sooo many times.  I try so hard to be aware of my back pain.  I can be good for awhile.  still have pain but not bad then bang i do something sinmple like bend over to feed the dog and bang shooting pain my back is out again.!!!  I feel like i am losing it.  I am just getting tired of it all.  I have NEVEr been to a back specialist only my family doc.  Who should I ask him to go see??  I am at a lose.  I will ask him for an MRI today.  I wonder if he will say yes.
Thank you again for all your advise...hugs to all

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/4/2012 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to my doctor, got an MRI, Took the report to a back specialist who started PT on me right away. It took 3 months, twice a week to get me able to move without collapsing into a lot of pain.
Joy

lucysgd
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Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 7/4/2012 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My GP wouldn't go for an MRI initially - just referred me to physical therapy - which I was in no condition to deal with at that point.  A doctor friend told me he didn't understand how they could treat me with anything, until they knew what they were treating.  He said to call my doctor and tell her I wanted an MRI done.  I did, using my friends rationale, and I got my MRI, which showed the L4-5 bulging disc/nerve signal disruption.
 
I have always wondered if my back problems that followed and are with me still, were associated with the UCTD/Lupus.  You don't often hear about a connection - and it seems I've always been treated as though there isn't one. 
 
 Your GP or Rheumie should have some idea of who to send you to - especially after the MRI results.   They should make sure your inflammation is under control to begin with. With or without MRI.  Good Luck.

sweetpea1202
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/8/2012 4:04 PM (GMT -6)   
smilewinkgrin    I have degenerative disk diesease and have a spinal cord stimulator it works great, it is like having a tens unit permantly. have to go to a pain doc to do this.

Angelsway
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 7/8/2012 4:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I use four fish oil and four evening in primrose 1300. I also take 4 turmeric curcumin 500mg which helps to lower the inflammation while boosting your immune system against infection. It is working for me without meds. Remember that any aspirin product will lower your GLA and give your ANA free reign. It is a question of balance. I am dairy and gluten free and I avoid pork, fatty meat and alfalfa sprouts. Any one of which can cause a major flare. Good Luck and I hope this helps. I would start with two each and see if it works and check with your doctor to make sure that this is not going to conflict with any of your meds for other purposes.

lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 7/9/2012 12:39 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking fish oil for a couple years now - and it does seem to tame the arthritis type pain a bit.  Keep meaning to ask the doc about curcumin/turmeric - as I've read they can also be beneficial.   Aspirin lowering the GLA is interesting - I'd not heard that.  I take Advil, so will be checking into it. 
 
Sweetpea - is your spinal cord stimulator different than a TENS unit?  I've had E-stim with PT, and been offered a TENS unit, but so far haven't gone that route.  Is this something new?

sweetpea1202
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/9/2012 2:02 PM (GMT -6)   
differnt in the fact that it is internal does basically the same job, it's not that new just specalized. I have two tens units. Tens units work well I just find that putting them on the affected area trying to reach the back can be difficult.
with the stimulator I just turn it on. They put leads in your back and a controler. because it is metal you can never have a MRI and not go through security at the airport (exect for the new scanners out there) and the court hause things like that. the stimulator manages all the pain no more drugs in fact I am considering a new lead (outpaitent surgery) to control the other half of my body. I haven't taken drugs for the targeted pain area in three years, thats how well it works.

Angelsway
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2012
Total Posts : 54
   Posted 7/12/2012 10:28 AM (GMT -6)   
lucysgd, It takes 4000mg's a day to start to lower the pain. The side effect is that if you are taking that much it start to clear the plaque out of your arteries. Also, it is the Evening in Primrose or Borage oil at 2-4 1300mg a day that lower the arthritis pain and the inflammation. I was running at a 6-8 pain level and after a month I was a 4-6 and after 3months I am at a 2-4, with occasional bad days. The evening in primrose disolved the bakers cysts in back of my knees without surgery or steroid injections. Confirmed by MRI's. The both my rheumotologist and otho doc were amazed. I am gluten and dairy free, so that can effect the outcome. I know most people who are on dairy that have tried this do get substantial relief; but nothing like I have experienced. Good Luck!

lucysgd
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 7/13/2012 1:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, Sweetpea - I'm glad to know of that option.  I'm not having that level of constant pain these days, but you never know what might be good to know down the pike! 
 
Angelsway - I've been taking 1300 mg Fish oil 4 x a day for a couple years, and it has also lowered my cholesterol in addition to the pain benefit.  I learned I had celiac first and then started on the fish oil, cal/mag, cinnamon, and Vit B complex to combat the malabsorption/consequences caused by the celiac (as prescribed by my physician).  I still consume some dairy - cheese, butter - but milk seems to cause me problems.  I'm definitely interested in the Evening Primrose - is that dose something you build up to?   Thanks for the info.
 
Lucy
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