Low back pain

I've been in a lot of pain for a couple of months. Went to GP who suggested professional massage. I have to say I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia but I don't believe this is related. In doing research I've found something that describes my pain exactly! Low back pain that wraps around the sides of my pelvic bones, my hips, soft tissue in my sides and down my legs now. I can't turn over in bed and if I move a certain way just a little bit I get a sharp pain in my lower back. What I found is there's a muscle causing this called the quadratus lumborum and requires therapy. Has anyone heard of this?


21 Replies

  • wow that describes my back pain ,dr just passes it of as fibro

  • So did mine but I've had fibro for years and have been immobilized by it at times but this is different.

  • If you don't think you have fibro, check out the symptoms of spondyloarthritis, (including ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis). the nass.co.uk website has more information.

  • I do have fibro but i don't think that's what's causing it. Thank you.

  • Sounds like you got a trigger firing off and deep massage will release it.

    I've got triggers in my buttocks which fire off when it suits them. After the initial treatment, the physio showed me how to do accupressure on them to release them. I can just about manage myself, but it's easier if someone can do it for me.

    Sort of makes the pain easier to cope with knowing it's just a trigger firing off.

  • That's a term I've heard of when researching this. However, I thought trigger points were those to which pressure is applied. But as to them "firing off", I haven't heard of that. Could you explain that, if you don't mind?

  • Sorry if you know some of this but I need to start at the beginning.

    A trigger is a spasm in the muscle fibre strands. It can occur singly or in clumps. Large clumps can be felt as knots on the muscle. It is the result of injury. They can occur all over the body and are part of the pain mechanism. They do what they are designed to do.

    So for me, I have several deep in my buttocks which are dormant. Day to day I don't feel them.

    I know how far I can walk comfortably but there are times when I have to walk further. My body responds to the increased activity by firing off the triggers in my buttocks. This gives me pain in my pelvic area, a dull ache in my kidneys and upsets my digestive system. This type of pain is called reffered - it does not happen at the source. The actual triggers are not sore. To relieve the triggers (which releives the pains I feel in my pelvis and kidneys) I do accupressure, several times until they settle down. If I ignore these triggers, over time other triggers in my body, (usually my shoulders, then my neck) join in causing more pain. If left untreated, my whole body will lock up.

    It is the body's normal reaction to an injury designed to slow you down and rest. There is a fault in the message relay in my body because it interprets over activity as an injury and sets off the triggers. This Process is what is meant by triggers firing off.

    Another common one is getting headaches in the same place. This is due to a trigger and if you massage your neck, you will find the trigger because it causes the headache when it is pressed.

    Accupressure does cause extreme (no other word for it) pain when it is pressed. The relief comes when you release the pressure. The pressure should only be at a level you can tolerate and for 30 - 60 seconds at a time. If you can reach your triggers yourself, you can treat then yourself. It will take years for it to disappear, but every treatment reduces it. You can do as often as you can tolerate the bad pain, but I would suggest starting with one every few days and see how your body reacts. When your body understands what you are doing you can work up to one a day, then 3 a day. The idea is to tease the trigger to release. If you can reduce one trigger, it will be less likely to cause other ones to fire off As well.

    Another way to know if you have trigger pain is if pain killers don't work. They do not respind to pain killers.

    Hope this helps.

  • What a fantastic wealth of information you've shared. Thank you for taking so much time to inform me. I will definitely put this to work.

  • There's plenty more on the web and pintrest has great charts and explanations too.

  • Do you find it uncomfortable to sit for long gailrd ?

  • Yes, unless I'm in a recliner but when I try to get up I'm really stiff.. It's painful getting up after sitting but painful to continue sitting. Good after I walk a bit but then have to gingerly walk back to sit down. Extremely painful to roll over when sleeping and occasionally can't get out of bed without help.

  • Hi again gailrd,

    Your symptoms sound similar to mine, (though might not be, so here is my story I feel others need to know.)

    I too found I couldn't sit for too long, I would have to keep moving from cheek to cheek to get comfortable, my hips hurt, I thought I needed new hips, stiff when getting up out of the chair and worse when getting out of bed, lots of Ooo's and Arhs! till I straightened up. I too had Fibromyalgia type pains all over, bone and joint pain, tiredness, brain fog etc. Thought I was getting old quick. ;) :)

    Doctor said I had tailbone pain and there was nothing Doc could give me to make it better apart from some gel.

    Luckily for me one of my blood tests done alongside my Thyroid bloods was vitamin D.

    I was found to be vitamin D deficient, so Doc prescribed me 1000iu and told me it was a very high dose. Another member on HU said 1000iu was a mere maintenance dose and take a look at www.vitamindcouncil for more up to date safe doses.

    (note, I read somewhere on a medical paper that Doctors all over were preparing to give all OAP's who don't go out much,1000iu of vitamin D (sunshine vitamin.) but that seems to have gone out the window. :(

    Whilst on the 1000iu I found my stiffness and tailbone pain eased straight away, but pains and stiffness came back within a few days, so I bought some higher dose 5000iu (5000 international units) of D3 on line and overnight all my pains fell away.

    No more stiffness getting up out of bed or chairs, I can sit with no problems for as long as I want and my hips feel normal. It has also stopped my sciatica and cramps down my legs and my nightly restless legs. All thanks and down to a small vitamin.

    I always know when I haven't taken my daily D3 as all my pains come straight back to tell me. :)

  • Get inflammatory markers done?

  • What does that entail?

  • What the GP suggested is worth trying. Trying to fix one muscle group which is problematic is often doomed to failure. This is because the body is an engineering system. Each muscle interacts with other muscles so there is a need to work on all muscle groups. This is what a professional masseur will do.

    As the GP has suggested the course of action can the GP find someone who can do it on the NHS.

  • Yes. We worked that for a long time and it's not the massage that you think it is if done by a physical therapy. They push in a spot and then they have you rest the leg in their arms and they use their legs and all parts of their body to help you to move while they push on one spot. It is very slow and hard on their body I am sure. You will never feel better than after that kind of workout. Your hardest job is to relax so they can move you like they need to. It helped with Range of motion a lot. At that point a prescription muscle relaxer was added.

    I would say to go for it. We stopped because I had a long stretch at Mayo

    about 5 hours away from home. It lasted 6 months so I'm thinking of going


  • I would love to try this but can't financially at this time. My insurance is just so that I can 'obey' the laws of the land. It'seems worthless. But I'll be able to do it in September.

  • Mine is just the same. We called it a physical therapy session. It's not a massage at all. It's releasing of that muscle in a specific way that is not considered massage.

    They wrote what it really entailed - it was a workout combined with them pushing in just one spot as we increased motion. I was going to stay forever in the position that I was in unless this was done. The muscle wouldn't contract and release anymore. It stayed contracted. I am sorry that you are going through this. It's a terrible pain. I do know. Releasing it is no problem for me but tough on my trainer. But keeping it

    un-tense is a problem. I still haven't learned to do it.

  • I have that in my right calf where it contracts. So what did they say this was from?

  • Hello all. Went to my chiropractor today. It is the quadratus lumborum muscle that's involved. He also said my pelvis was tipped either forward or backward, can't remember. He spent a good amount of time working on me and I'm so happy to say I've gotten some relief. However he said that since I've had degenerative disc disease in my neck, there's good reason to believe I've developed it in my back as well. The fibromyalgia is just exacerbating the effects of everything. So I guess I'll see within the next few days if it only gave me some temporary relief or if it fixed something even a little bit. Of course I still have pain, but it's like someone stepping really hard on your foot and when they let up, you feel relief.

  • I used to go to a chiropractor and he said that the treatment period is roughly the same length as the injury period (for want of a better word).

    So if you have had pain on and off for several years, it will take several years to fix it. It is not a quick solution when they are trying to break down muscles in spasm. they have to balance treatment with the amount of pain you will feel afterwards, and how much this will set back the recovery. it's more of a 3 steps forward, two back type of treatment.

    But at some point you will see the benefits. You will remain looser, as Yikes says, you have to learn to keep the muscle relaxed, the muscles own default is to return to tight tension because it thinks that is normal. and that is why it takes so long.

    The pain comes from the muscle being released and it thinks this is abnormal, and you may have an overwhelming sense of fatigue after a muscle release too.

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