Lower Back Pain and Multiple Sclerosis

Man lying on bed with back pain
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The sensation that I had a couple of days ago wasn't "normal" back pain - it felt distinctly like a symptom of multiple sclerosis, but I haven't been able to find any info about such a symptom. The pain was in my lower back, at the base of my spine. Don't get me wrong - it did hurt, but more in a buzzy, "electrical" way than a dull, throbbing way. I knew that taking an Advil or Tylenol wouldn't relieve it, for instance.

I have suffered from sciatica in the past, and it wasn't like that, either.

The tingly pain did radiate down my legs like sciatica did, ending at my feet, which also felt like they were being bitten by ants. This made walking a challenge, but as long as I concentrated on where I placed my feet, I could overcome the interference with proprioception. This painful burning also affected my pelvic area, making me feel like I needed to urinate constantly, as if bladder dysfunction had woken up with a vengeance.

Although I spent an hour or so plagued by these sensations, it was late at night when this came upon me. I decided not to allow myself to go down the "this just has to be a relapse" path until I had the symptom for 24 hours. Sure enough, by morning, the back pain and burning was gone.

The medical literature doesn't really address the issue of back pain in MS per se. There is some mention of back pain being more prevalent in people with limited mobility, which makes sense - time in a wheelchair could cause pain.

An uneven gait that is caused by spasticity or weakness in one or both legs could also "tweak" the lower back. However, neither of these apply to me at the moment, so I guess I'll just chalk it up to being a paroxysmal symptom, that comes and goes without signaling a bigger problem.

What about you? Have you experienced lower back pain of this nature?

How long did it last? What did you do for it (and did anything help it)?

Read more about pain and MS: Overview of Pain as a Symptom of Multiple Sclerosis

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