Lower back muscle pain: Why does my rib hurt? I... - PMRGCAuk

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Lower back muscle pain

Berylholley
Berylholley

Why does my rib hurt? I have just had a second episode which has now affected my abdomen organs. It seems to move about and has affected my muscles higher up and around my waist and ribs. Also can't stand because my back is so weak.

55 Replies
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This condition can lead to muscle weakness. I get really severe low back pain if I have to stand for any length of time, but I can stand and walk quite well.

You couldn’t be low on Adrenaline could you? That is what I am putting my stomach pain down to, having had it confirmed in a recent Synacthen Test.

My physio is very good and has a number of PMR patients. You might try that, they have so much time for you.

I have a physio appointment on 11th October so I will ask about the Synacthen Test, what does it involve? I have had an MRI scan done in November, They didn't give me any specicic results, so I am worndering if they have studied it at all??? They said I had 3 spine fractures but not whether is would cause it or not.

Surely it would have been able to show whether I had got PMR/GCA, my rhumy says I have not got GCA despite haveing Jaw stiffness and Temporal sharp pains, like electricity. I was started on 40mg pred by my doctor and she told me to reduce to 30 on 12th day which gave me the back muscle problem. It happened again on 14th July and am now suffering with it.

You will not need a Synacthen test unless you are under around 7mg dose, as the steroids produce artificial cortisol for you above that amount.

Thank you for that info. I am hoping the physio can help. I am struggling to reduce and have got down to 11.5mg. My back is so weak and I think it maybe the prednisolone.

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Berylholley

There are no tests really that show PMR except PET scans which may show inflammation around the joints. Few tests show muscle problems - just good clinical skills.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to PMRpro

I haven't got any faith as I have had 2 MRI Scans and Rhumy and Doctor couldn't tell me much. Got my Rhumy to ring me back 3 times, as they say "Yea", keeps telling me I haven't got GCA. I asked him when he was going to see me. Said "it was in the post" still waiting.

The Synacthen test is a blood test taken after an Adrenal stimulating hormone has been given to see how efficient your Adrenal glands are. I had it done at 6 mgs of Pred ( although you don’t take it for 24 hours before the test). Your description of the wrap around abdomen pain reminded me of what I am experiencing now and putting down to my Adrenal glands struggling. ( confirmed).

I wasn’t aware that struggling adrenal glands could cause abdominal issues. Could you explain this a bit more please?

I have sluggish adrenals and also weird digestive issues.

Thanks

It is just one of the listed symptoms of Adrenaline deficiency. The glands are situated on top of the kidneys, I wonder if that explains the low back and abdomen pain. I am afraid that I don’t really know why. There is sickness, dizziness, fatigue of course and I have diahorrea as well that I imagine is connected.

Hmmm, hard to tell which are PMR and which could be adrenals! I have the fatigue but also my digestive system isn’t happy.....food seems to kind of rumble through my system. I’ve been trying digestive enzymes and they have helped but not solved these issues.

One thing I have found with this game is that the core muscles are badly weakened very easily. They are the unsung heroes of back strength and abdominal support.

What do you mean it’s affected your organs?

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to SnazzyD

Have had severe constipation as if nerves not working. When it was really bad about 2 weeks ago, on rising a.m. it felt as if all stuck together and dragging me down. After a little moving around gradually got better except around waist and very sore muscles. Could it be the fatty lumps as I have not got any fatter with the prednisolone. I was worried as it began to get higher up back.

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Berylholley

I think you need to get your GP to take this seriously and possibly not necessarily being part of the PMR.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to PMRpro

I am beginning to think it is related but she doesn't have a clue. So I am trying to cure myself. Just hope it isn't anything sinister. Don't want to go to hospital and it is improving every day. All I know have definitely got PMR.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to PMRpro

Still trying to find out if the GCA is connected and apparently abdominal aorta is. It was in a link today and I can't remember who posted it. It sounds just like what I was experiencing so hope the pred has done it's work. It is a lot better now.

SnazzyD
SnazzyD
in reply to Berylholley

I echo PMRPro, a change in bowel habit for no obvious reason should be looked at and the fact it is associated with back pain too is even more reason to go back to the doc.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to SnazzyD

Doc always asks if any bleeding etc. I have got plenty of laxatives and tried to get some ex-lax but could only get it on-line and they sent me the coated pills.

SnazzyD
SnazzyD
in reply to Berylholley

It would be good to know that the doc has ruled out spinal compression for example especially with a history of spinal fracture. If any nerve compression is going on it shouldn’t be left.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to SnazzyD

Will bring this up next time I see her.

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Berylholley

Forcefully I hope. Visible bleeding would be more probably piles. But point out the change in bowel habit - use that term, it might make her wriggle a bit...

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to PMRpro

Good advice, thank you. Something that has cropped up, can you tell me what you think of taking potassium please. I have also started taking a magnesium supplement for my muscles.

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Berylholley

You should really get your potassium levels checked before considering it - and while you take it. Too much potassium is as bad as too little. Upping your intake of high potassium foods is one thing, taking supplements is another.

Are you on diuretics (water pills) at all?

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to PMRpro

Not on water pills. Is there any way of curing the weak back as the other pains have gone now.

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Berylholley

Insist you need appropriate physiotherapy advice. There are quite simple exercise syou could do to improve core strength but you need to be taught them properly.

SnazzyD
SnazzyD
in reply to Berylholley

You could ask for an occult blood stool test. It’s a bit nasty mud pies for you to do but checks for very slight bleeding from higher up that isn’t visible on the poo.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to SnazzyD

Thanks I will think about it.

I am experiencing the same thing. The fractures will definitely weaken your back. I have three and the last one in June has left my back very weak. I can only be on my feet for a tops of 10 minutes. It is an awful way to try and live a life.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to Linny3

Thank you Linny3 I think my fractures are old. The last one may have been when tried to pick my 15st+ brother up! Up until I was diagnosed with PMR and got the muscle problem I never had any back pain so do think it is something to do with it. The weakness is the same as yours. I am taking magnesium and potassium as advised by the ladies and also vitamin K2 MK7 and Raloxifene for my bones.

Linny3
Linny3
in reply to Berylholley

I decided to try one of the estrogens for bone formation. It scares me way less then all the other meds to build bone.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to Linny3

Hi Linny How can we get over the weakness? Is upping the prednisolone any use? I am on 11.5mg at the moment.

Linny3
Linny3
in reply to Berylholley

I am not sure we can overcome the weakness. I am always told to do physical therapy, but that always makes things worse and believe me I have given it countless tries. Rest is the only thing that keeps me on my feet. I just got stuck on the basement stairs. Had to call my husband to come and help. I was bringing up some wash and my back just went week. It always hurts, but this weakness comes on after about 5-10 minutes use. I am seeing a spine dr. on tues. I'll see what he has to say. Actually, I am seeing his assistant. I had to up my pred. by 1 mg. I was doing a slow taper and after a week on 11mg (from 11&1/2mg) my hip, groin and back started to really hurt. I went back to 12mg and the hip and groin are so much better, not so much my back.

Good Luck

Have the best PMR day possible

Lin

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to Linny3

Hope you get on alright on Tuesday, let me know if you can.

Linny3
Linny3
in reply to Berylholley

I think there is a definite connection between my back and PMR. I took 2mg more of prednisone the day before and day of my appointment. I went from thinking I would need a wheelchair to being able to walk further than I have walked in months. (AMAZING) Unfortunately, i didn't want to stay at that dose so I went back down to 11mg and have been hurting really bad. I am getting very confused with trying to figure this all out. Guess I will be back to 12mg for awhile

My app't. went well. I like the dr. assistant a lot. Spent quality time with me and it has been decided to do the steroid injections at levels L3 and L4 . Unfortunately have to wait for first available and that isn't until Nov.

Thanks for listening

Lin

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to Linny3

Thanks for this it is most interesting to me as I have got the same problem. I am trying to reduce from 11.5mg to 10.5mg DSNS am sticking with it rather than increasing dose because of my lower back problem.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to Linny3

I have just been down the road to get a card for my daughter's birthday, I took my husband's wheely, 3 wheel push along, it was marvellous for my back.

Jamie345
Jamie345
in reply to Linny3

Hi linny3 I had a back operation nearly 2 years ago 3 months after which was a success I got PMA/GCA , I find I can only walk for approx 10 mins without getting lower back pain also my right hip, I have got fractures in pelvis I agree it's an awful way to live on a short walk to my library I sit on one bench after anouther to make it there and same back,

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Jamie345

Why not get a rollator? Not only do they help you walk but you ALWAYS have a seat to hand if you get the right sort.

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to PMRpro

Thanks I haven't heard of it. I will Google it.

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Berylholley

My reply was to Jamie - you have one according to your post, your husband's 3-wheely (unless you mean it was one of these walking sticks with wheels). Rollator is just the posh word...

Berylholley
Berylholley
in reply to PMRpro

It is a walker we had it from our social worker free. I found when I hold the handles it lifts my upper body and helps enormously. Am going to see if the physio can suggest anythi g next Thursday.

PMRpro
PMRproModerator
in reply to Berylholley

You need one of your own! They really do help you stand up better while walking.

There is some contraindication about Potassium that I can’t remember aargh!

According to my notes, if you have adrenal issues you should avoid potassium foods.

There can be other potassium issues but that is the one that affects me as I am getting to the low doses of prednisone and need my adrenals to kick in!😊

Jamie345
Jamie345
in reply to Mrs-CJ

How do you know issues?

Mrs-CJ
Mrs-CJ
in reply to Jamie345

I’m not sure what your question is?

Hi Beryl, I have rib pain also. On my left side, my doctor said it's inflammation of the cartilage that joins your rib cage to your bread bone . It's called costochondritis, you can look it up on the nhs website. I have osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthritis ( possibly rheumatoid) I get jaw pain on a daily basis . My rheumatologist isn't sure if it's gca or the rheumatoid affecting my jaw. I was on steroids earlier this year . They helped with the pain for a few hours, but then wore off. I was on a high dose so didn't want to take more . Hope this helps 😁

I had costochondritis not so long ago. It just suddenly appeared. It was really painful even trying to breath. It then went away again a few days later thank goodness.

Thanks I am glad I know what it is now, it feels like you've broken a rib!

I wanted to see what it was called and that is why I am late replying. Just wanted to say it can't be controlled by the pred then as mine didn't go straight away but I am glad it has gone now. Beryl.

I am glad yours has got better now. Thinking back it really was awful!

That rib pain is awful felt my ribs where being crushed this comes and goes but since I started tapering it's not around(at present) prob lurking around the corner.

Thank you Debbie I have had it before and often wondered what it is, have made a note of it. I think one thing sets another thing off, especially at my age.

What an interesting range of comments.. I got my lower back pin due to a Bi-pass operation in Feb this year. I was dosed up with very strong Codeine which had an adverse effect on me. Prednisolone??.. been on 15mg for 10years (never had a follow-up and use my own management(GP/Hospital allowed) I suffered from temporal arteritis(severe end GCA) the earlier I can take preds before food in the morning the better my body feels and manages. Like some have mentioned, it also has an effect on my Plumbing and have to rush to Toilet quickly when it kicks in. I have other conditions also due to BiPass (*sighs...) much love and respect to all... Molly

Thanks for your reply. I didn't think it would make a great deal of difference taking preds early in the morning. Recently been on a cruise and was taking them at 4.30 am. Am currently on 11.5mg but have had the above muscle problem when tapering down. All the very best. Beryl x

Hi Molly after reading your post I thought I would try the 2.5mg coated prednisolone tablet first thing to see if it would get my back going and the others with my breakfast as usual. So far so good.

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