Back pain?: After 5 years of drinking... - British Liver Trust

British Liver Trust

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Back pain?

MrsN1976 profile image

After 5 years of drinking too much, I decided it had to stop. That was 10 days ago. I’m now having back pain (bra level, right side, not severe, not constant, mostly when sitting, no other noticeable “liver related” symptoms, not always in the same spot). My health anxiety is getting the best of me so at this point I could be making it worse with worry. I’m going in for a physical in two weeks but wondering if anyone can share experiences with back/rib pain related to liver/alcohol/recovery. Thank you!

18 Replies

Hi there Mrs when you stop drinking you start noticing all kinds of things as alcohol is a depressant. It takes a while for things to start settling down- stick with it.

MrsN1976 profile image
MrsN1976 in reply to briccolone

Thank you! Did you experience this?

Ironman1125 profile image
Ironman1125 in reply to MrsN1976

I think the removal of alcohol has an impact in terms of anxiety. For me that was always associated with and still is...guilt about what I have I been doing! I have read loads of peoples experiences of recovery stories...some say things settled down after a month overs say 6 or 12 months. Bloodtest to start? Make sure you ask the doc for full liver jobber...suppose they'd go this route anyway!

MrsN1976 profile image
MrsN1976 in reply to Ironman1125

Yes, agreed that the guilt is real. I have actually wondered if the body/brain can manifest guilt as pain in the area one is worried about. How are you doing?

Ironman1125 profile image
Ironman1125 in reply to MrsN1976

TBH I'm sure thats what the health professionals I have seen so far.....but yes good thanks apart from that 😆

briccolone profile image
briccolone in reply to MrsN1976

Many times Mrs

The first few weeks of alcohol withdraw are the worst. The anxiety is absolutely debilitating. Stay away from coffee/caffeine. Makes it worse tenfold. Sounds like your average muscles aches to me, but never a bad idea to get a LFT test done with your GP. They draw some blood and the next day you get a little relief. :)

MrsN1976 profile image
MrsN1976 in reply to Yarkis

Thank you! I get confused about the pain descriptions “under” the ribs. I don’t feel a pressing from inside. I appreciate your response and will try to keep my anxiety in check overall the coming weeks. It’s hard!

Ironman1125 profile image
Ironman1125 in reply to MrsN1976

Me again....I know the feeling

Your anxiety will be higher as you recently stopped drinking, and your body’s after its daily dose of alcohol. That feeling will go away within a few weeks providing you don’t drink at all. The aches and pains should take a while longer, but they will go.

I had awful aches and pains. It constantly felt like I’d pulled a muscle in my back. The aches continued at a lower level for six months or so after I stopped drinking, but they went.

Sounds like a dry January or New Years idea? If your drinking’s got out of control, you need to think about stopping for good. People who’ve become dependent on alcohol, and I certainly was, can’t have “just the one” as it reignites all cravings, and the whole cycle kicks off again. But I couldn’t go back to the hassle of drinking again. Life’s too good now. Good luck with the physical and hopefully an alcohol free future.

MrsN1976 profile image
MrsN1976 in reply to CocoChannel

Thank you! I am done, The fact that I even have to wonder about liver problems because of the choices I’ve made is horrifying. It wasn’t necessarily related to New Years and I haven’t been a daily drinker but quantity on the several days a week were not within reason.

CocoChannel profile image
CocoChannel in reply to MrsN1976

A few beers or glasses of wine a day is the norm for many unfortunately, including me up until 2018. You’ve seen the light and dodged a bullet before any problems began I reckon. My pains were “only” fatty liver and general poor health. Definitely go for the physical to confirm all is OK, but from what you’ve said, it’s nothing serious so huge well done on quitting 🙂

MrsN1976 profile image
MrsN1976 in reply to CocoChannel

Thanks! I read a bit about your story in your old posts. Congrats on your sobriety! Would you be willing to share about the types of pains you had upon quitting in the first weeks? I’ve experienced anxiety making pain worse in the past.... it’s so hard not to let it consume one’s thoughts.

You’re welcome 🙂

The pains upon first quitting were either in the abdomen area to the right of the belly button, sometimes like a stabbing pain, and other times around the lower right ribs. If I’d been drinking a bit more, the pains went up to the right shoulder.

I don’t have anxiety in general, but I definitely had in the first few weeks of quitting, and that probably explains a lot about how you feel now. What I will say to anyone who quits is to find a new hobby/interest to replace the drinking. That’ll also take your mind off the anxiety, although I’ll admit finding a new interest right now is tricky 🙂

I also mentioned my pains lasting up to 8 months after I quit but vanishing as soon as I had a (normal) fibroscan. Spooky!

You can’t do any more so take it easy, stay clear of booze, in fact chuck it all out and I reckon you’ll be fine. Thanks for the kind words by the way, I have a few detractors on here, but they’ve had their last response from me. Too many positive people on here to worry about it.

This is interesting

Have you used this with helpful results? Some reviews seem like it might be hard to read. Thank you for the suggestion.

I’m feeling like anxiety is definitely playing a role . My pain isn’t even staying in one place! Various locations in my right back. Managing without alcohol just fine...13 days.

briccolone profile image
briccolone in reply to MrsN1976

Keep it up Mrs. Make it a dry January and take it from there. Besr

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