Extreme Fatigue And Pain
I currently have stenosis in cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions of my back with a pinched nerve root at L2. I have had 4 surgeries at the lumbar level involving all disks. The last was last year. I understand disc degeneration but this seems fast.
For the past 20 years, I have had severe fatigue, weakness and chronic pain which seems to worsen daily. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia many years ago and have a positive ANA, rheumatoid factor and see rate of 47. There are lots of tiny lumps that can be felt in my arms and larger ones in my legs and stomach area. These hurt and cause bruising when palpitated.My children are exhibiting the same symptoms as I have at close to the same age of onset They complain of back pain as well. I have difficulty thinking often as if digging through a dense fog.
Is there any single illness that would exhibit these symptoms? Doctors run tests, determine nothing and say other symptoms are not in their area. I need help! Any suggestions are appreciated.
When Should I Seek Medical Help
Notify your doctor immediately if:
- your back pain and dizziness dont resolve with home care after three days
- you experience hearing loss or worsening symptoms
- you experience back pain and dizziness while youre receiving a blood transfusion
Seek medical attention or contact your doctor immediately if you experience back pain and dizziness after taking a new medication.
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When Should You See A Doctor For Your Lower Back Pain
Most back pain caused by sprains or overuse tends to get better without treatment within a few weeks. Over-the-counter pain relievers and/or heat or cold application to the painful area can help decrease your back pain. Bed rest is not suggested.
However, there may be other causes that require attention and treatment.
When to see your doctor
Call your doctor if your back pain doesn’t get better after treating it at home for a week. It can mean there’s a bigger problem that the doctor needs to evaluate. You’ll also want to call your doctor if your back pain:
Spreads down one or both of your legs, particularly if you have pain extending below your knee
Is intense or constant, particularly when you lie down or at night
Occurs with redness or swelling on your back
Causes numbness, tingling, or weakness in one or both of your legs
When is lower back pain an emergency?
While rushing to the emergency department is probably not something you want to do, you need to take back pain seriously left side, right side, or both.
When suffering from severe back pain, a visit to the ER is recommended. It could indicate a medical emergency. Some red-flag symptoms of back issues that may indicate an emergency are a combination of any of the following:
If you experience any of the above symptoms, visit the emergency room immediately or call 911 if you’re unable to get to the emergency room on your own.
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Changes To Physical Activity
Another way of managing the fatigue from spinal stenosis is by changing your physical routine. While a lot of this can be managed with consistent physical therapy, small lifestyle changes and exercise can help with chronic fatigue.
However, its important to keep in mind the activities for people to deal with chronic fatigue should not be confused with the usual exercise that most people go through. This is because most of these exercises arent designed for the specific needs of spinal stenosis patients, and neither are they effective in addressing fatigue. It can also be ineffective with cases that involve surgery.
What your doctor will most likely recommend is a personalized course of Graded Exercise Therapy . These exercises progress from low-intensity activities to moderately paced ones with the goal of conditioning the body to establish a threshold where it can conduct physical activity efficiently and without overexerting your muscles.
These exercises can be performed with physical therapy, but theyre most often performed by patients at home. However, its still crucial that they be accompanied by someone who can keep track of their progress or help them when things go wrong, especially if theyre much older. None of these exercises are supposed to be physically demanding, but its best to have someone nearby for safety precautions.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Low Back Pain
Low back pain is classified as acute and chronic. Acute low back pain lasts from a few days to a few weeks. Most acute low back pain will resolve on its own. Chronic low back pain lasts for more than 3 months and often gets worse. The cause of chronic low back pain can be hard to find. These are the most common symptoms of low back pain. Symptoms may include discomfort or pain in the lower back that is:
- Protruding or herniated disk
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Why Is Lower Back Pain Such A Common Problem
The bottom part of your back typically has just five vertebrae fewer than your neck and mid-back. And these vertebrae do a lot of heavy lifting! Your lower back is where your spine connects to your pelvis, bearing the weight of your upper body. This area experiences a lot of movement and stress, which may lead to wear, tear and injuries.
You’re Running A Fever
The flu can definitely make you run a fever and achiness, including in your back. However, if the fever is unresponsive to standard OTC medications, you could have a serious infection that needs treatment immediately. If you go to a doctor and they find an infection, they may prescribe antibiotics and a few days rest.
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Pain Medication Can Cause Side Effects
Drowsiness or fatigue may be a side effect of specific medications used to address pain. However, this problem can also be felt when taking medications for other conditions such as depression.
You should have a conversation with your doctor if this particular point is something you are worried about.
Lower Right Back Pain From Internal Organs
There are numerous possible sources of lower right back pain in the organs of the mid-back, abdominal, or pelvic regions. Pain may start following inflammation or irritation of an internal organ, or may be a sign of infection. These conditions will usually produce other symptoms with lower right back pain that more specifically narrow down the source.
Several common internal causes of lower right back pain include:
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How Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Diagnosed
Right now, theres no test to tell if someone has chronic fatigue syndrome. Doctors ask a lot of questions . They also will do a thorough physical exam.
Doctors also usually order blood, urine , or other tests to check for conditions that cause similar symptoms. They may send a person to see other specialists to help with the diagnosis.
A doctor may suggest meeting with a psychologist or a therapist who can see whether mental health disorders might contribute to or mask CFS.
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Rhomboid Muscle Pain Symptoms
YouÃ¢ll usually feel rhomboid muscle pain as aches or tension in your upper back between your shoulder and your spine. Ã¢
Symptoms of rhomboid muscle pain may include:
- Working out your shoulders and back with weights
Some health conditions can also cause rhomboid muscle pain. If you have joint problems in your shoulder, the surrounding muscles might be affected.
Myositis. This condition can cause muscle weakness and inflammation. It usually shows up first in your shoulders and hips.
Polymyalgia rheumatica. This is a disorder that causes shoulder and hip pain and stiffness. It typically affects people over age 50. The pain and stiffness may be worse in the mornings and affect both sides of your body.Ã¢
Rheumatoid arthritis. This is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your joints. It usually causes a lot of pain and swelling and can lead to joint deformities. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect your shoulders, which might also impact your rhomboid muscles.Ã¢
Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative bone disease that causes loss of cartilage. This can cause pain and stiffness. You might not have much movement in your shoulder, which can cause discomfort in the surrounding muscles.
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Low Back Pain Symptoms And Signs
Pain in the lumbosacral area is the primary symptom of low back pain.
- The pain may radiate down the front, side, or back of your leg, or it may be confined to the low back.
- The pain may become worse with activity.
- Occasionally, the pain may be worse at night or with prolonged sitting such as on a long car trip.
- You may have numbness or weakness in the part of the leg that receives its nerve supply from a compressed nerve.
- This can cause an inability to plantar flex the foot. This means you would be unable to stand on your toes or bring your foot downward. This occurs when the first sacral nerve is compressed or injured.
- Another example would be the inability to raise your big toe upward. This results when the fifth lumbar nerve is compromised.
When Should I Contact My Healthcare Provider
See your healthcare provider soon if your lower right back pain is severe, constant or getting worse. You should see a provider quicker if you have lower right back pain plus:
- Urine that is bloody or cloudy, if it smells bad or if peeing is painful.
- You find blood or pus in your poop.
- Pain during or after sex.
Tips To Relieve The Pain
- Stay active and continue your daily routines. Resting is likely to make your pain worse.
- Apply heat or ice for about twenty minutes frequently throughout the day to ease your pain and any inflammation.
- Try exercises for back pain and activities including walking, swimming, yoga and Pilates.
- Take over-the-counter pain relief such as ibuprofen.
- Stretch tight muscles for a few minutes every day.
- Keep good posture as this will ease the pressure on your lower back.
- Maintain a healthy weight to ensure an optimal load on your lower back.
- Ensure you lift safely by bending with your knees to a squat position and holding the load close to your chest.
- Drink plenty of water every day and limit your intake of animal protein and salt to reduce your risk of kidney stones.
- Wipe from front to back when going to the toilet to prevent infection from bacteria in your colon passing to your urinary tract.
- Give up smoking as the nicotine in tobacco can weaken your spinal bones and remove nutrients from your discs that may lead to spine problems.
Can Arthritis Or Gout Cause Shooting Back Pain
Arthritis means there is a loss of protective cartilage within a joint, causing the bones to rub together. Gout is a form of arthritis caused by mineral crystal deposits in the joint. Both are very painful, especially when found within the spinal column, but do not cause radiating or âshootingâ back pain.
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Spinal Cysts And Tumors
Two potentially serious causes of back pain are spinal cysts and tumors. Cysts develop due to degenerative changes in the spine, while tumors can develop due to changes in cells.
A spinal cyst can press on a nerve root that goes to a different area of the body. This pressure can cause a type of nerve pain called radiculopathy.
Symptoms of radiculopathy include pain, weakness, numbness, or a pins-and-needles sensation that runs down one leg. There may also be cramping and discomfort while walking.
Spinal tumors, either cancerous or non-cancerous, can press on the spinal cord itself. Symptoms include back pain that radiates to other areas, known as referred pain. There may also be muscle weakness, difficulty walking, decreased sensitivity to pain, and bowel or bladder incontinence.
Is Lower Right Back Pain Serious
Lower right back pain can vary in severity. You will probably have the best idea of your pain level and when you should see a physician.
- Not serious: Mild pain may come on fairly suddenly after exercise and responds to rest and over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Moderately serious: In some cases, an injury that at first seems minor can become worse over time. Back injuries can easily become chronic if not treated quickly.
- Serious: If your back pain interferes with your normal activities and is becoming severe, you should see a physician as soon as possible.
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What Is Radiating Pain
Radiating pain is pain that âradiatesâ from one area of the body to other areas of the body. When pain in one area of the body causes pain in other areas, this is known as âreferred pain.â In fact, radiating lower back and hip pain can cause pain in all kinds of places near these areas like
- Thigh muscle pain
- Sharp pain in the toes
- Lower calf pain
Note your symptoms from the list above and use these to learn your diagnosis with our helpful descriptions of symptoms, possible causes, and when you should get to a doctor or emergency room to know how to treat your injury.
Whats Causing Pain In My Lower Right Back
Experiencing lower back pain? Donât worry, a lot of people are. Lower back pain is extremely common due to the amount of stress and weight your lumbar spine holds. Your lower back functions as a support system when you walk, twist, turn, jump, and move around. Thatâs why the right lower back region is prone to numerous conditions and injuries causing pain and discomfort. To help further diagnose your lower right back pain, see if any of the statements below describe your symptoms!
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What Exactly Is The Lower Back Anyway
Your lower back is known as the lumbar region of the spine. It has a lot of heavy lifting to do: The lumbar spine carries the weight of your entire upper body, plus biomechanical stresses that occur with movement.
The lumbar spine has five vertebraebackbones. Each vertebra has a large disc cushiony gel wrapped in a tough membrane on its front side that acts as a shock absorber. Each vertebra also has two cartilage-lined facet joints on its back side. Working together, discs and facet joints allow the spine to safely bend and twist.
Your lower back also includes ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Ligaments are strong bands that hold the vertebrae and discs together. Tendons attach muscles to the vertebrae. These structures help limit excessive movement that could harm the spinal cord.
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Whats Causing The Shooting Pain In My Leg
Sciatica is a pain that originates from the back but shoots down the legs to the foot. Its often described as an electrical sensation accompanied by sharp pain. Sciatica can affect patients of all ages and often comes on suddenly with no apparent trauma. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ryan Spiker talks about sciatica, how to identify it, and when its time to go to a doctor for imaging.
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Which Lifestyle Factors Contribute To Lower Back Pain
There are three major lifestyle factors that may affect your chances of developing lower back pain:
- Multiple studies have established a link between smoking and lower back pain. Smoking raises inflammation inside the body and hinders the body from healing itself.
- Obesity is also associated with several types of chronic pain, including lower back pain. In people with high body mass index , the stress on the spine increases, contributing to even more wear and tear.
- Your level of physical activity can also play a role in your lower back health. While a sedentary lifestyle could increase your risk of developing lower back pain, so can excessive or strenuous physical activity. Check with your doctor if you are unsure about your ideal level of physical activity.
More Advanced Care Options
Surgery When other therapies fail, surgery may be considered to relieve pain caused by worsening nerve damage, serious musculoskeletal injuries, or nerve compression. Specific surgeries are selected for specific conditions/indications. However, surgery is not always successful. It may be months following surgery before the person is fully healed and there may be permanent loss of flexibility. Surgical options include:
Implanted nerve stimulators
- Spinal cord stimulation uses low-voltage electrical impulses from a small implanted device that is connected to a wire that runs along the spinal cord. The impulses are designed to block pain signals that are normally sent to the brain.
- Dorsal root ganglion stimulation also involves electrical signals sent along a wire connected to a small device that is implanted into the lower back. It specifically targets the nerve fibers that transmit pain signals. The impulses are designed to replace pain signals with a less painful numbing or tingling sensation.
- Peripheral nerve stimulation also uses a small implanted device and an electrode to generate and send electrical pulses that create a tingling sensation to provide pain relief.
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For The Avid Coffee Drinkers
Did you know your body actually produces cortisol after drinking coffee? Its a natural response to the caffeine within the coffee. What tends to happen with coffee drinkers is they dont allow their body to release the natural rise and shine morning hormones. Instead, they reach for the cup of coffee looking for that artificial energy boost caffeine gives us. Over time, the adrenal glands get burned out and are not able to function the way they were designed to. This leads to us drinking more coffee to replace these natural hormones. Avid coffee drinkers also are not able to enter into the deeper levels of sleep where the most rebuilding and repairs take place. So not only are you not sleeping as well, but youre not able to wake up refreshed which again leaves you reaching for the coffee pot. Its a cycle that just keeps repeating itself. The only way to break it is to stop drinking it long enough for your Adrenal Glands to heal and only drink minimal amounts of coffee.
If your one to challenge this and say that an addiction to coffee has no effect on your body I challenge you to give up coffee cold turkey for 30 days and report back to me how your body feels. I promise it will feel a world of difference.
Lets be honest. The goal here is not to boycott coffee for the sake of our poor Adrenals. Its about moderation. There is a difference between being a social drinker of coffee and being completely addicted!
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