TMP — Spasms

Every Monday, Paula Light, with her The Monday Peeve prompt, gives us an opportunity to vent or rant about something that pisses us off.

Before you read further, I want to let you know that I’m feeling very sorry for myself, and this is going to be a long (for me), whiny post in which I complain about being in pain. So if you don’t want to continue to read about my trials and tribulations, I invite you to move on. I won’t hold it against you.

For those who choose to read on…

Yesterday I posted here about a freak accident of being lassoed around my feet by my dog’s leash, causing me to fall hard, and, as my wife, who witnessed the whole thing said, “comically,” on my back. I think she realized that it wasn’t so comical when I couldn’t get up without her help.

Anyway, it was painful, yes, but the pain was bearable until the muscle spasm started. With almost any movement — a twist, a turn, bending, reaching, or even taking a deep breath — I would experience agonizingly painful muscle spasms in my lower back. I mean excruciatingly painful, tear-inducing spasms. I’m usually pretty good at dealing with pain, but these spasms were seriously over-the-top on the pain barometer.

As I experimented with ways to stop the spasms, I discovered that, strangely, standing and slowly walking, or sitting upright on a hard-backed chair, like a kitchen chair, was about the only way to control the spasms. Taking Advil every four house and a CBD gummy every six hours seemed to help, too. At least a little bit.

By early evening I had experienced some success in keeping the spasms to a minimum. I was feeling better and was up for taking our dog out for her last walk of the night. In retrospect, that wasn’t such a grand idea.

When we got back from the walk, and it was time to go to bed, I took four more Advil liqui-gels and another CBD gummy, hoping that I could control or at least minimize the spasm so that I’d be able to get a decent sleep. But it was not to be.

As soon as I attempted to lie down on the bed, whether on my back, my stomach, or my side, my lower back muscles would seize up tight and I would literally groan in agony. After attempting, and failing, to get in bed without excruciating pain, I grabbed two pillows, left the bedroom (which I’m sure my wife was happy about as my groans were keeping her up), put the two pillows on our kitchen table, sat down on the chair I had been successfully sitting on most of the day, put my head down on the pillows, and tried to get some sleep.

As awkward and uncomfortable as it was, I was apparently able to dose, until, in my light sleep, I would move. And then the agonizing spasms in my back would hit me hard. Long story short, I got a total of about one-hour’s worth of sleep last night.

I called the doctor this morning, explained what had happened and what was happening with the spasms, and asked him what to do. The good news was that, based upon what I described, he was pretty sure it was not a slipped disk or a fracture, so he didn’t send me out for X-rays or an MRI. He did prescribe a strong pain medication, Tramadol, which he said could be taken in addition to Advil for pain control.

The bad news is that with a muscle injury like this, the first two or three days after the injury are the worst. While the Tramadol should help me deal with the pain, the spasms will likely continue for the next two days — and nights.

If I can’t get much more sleep tonight than I did last night, and if the spasms will be anywhere near as intense as they were last night, I’m going to be a basket case by this time tomorrow.

And that is my very whiny peeve for today.

40 thoughts on “TMP — Spasms

  1. SadiRose January 2, 2023 / 3:06 pm

    I’m so sorry Fandango! Back spasms are the worst. I hope with the Tramadol you are able to get some sleep.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango January 2, 2023 / 5:53 pm

      Thanks, I hope so, too.


  2. Paula Light January 2, 2023 / 3:10 pm

    Sounds horrible! Tramadol is a good pain med tho, so I hope it helps 😞

    Liked by 2 people

  3. cagedunn January 2, 2023 / 4:19 pm

    It sounds as if bringing your knees up eases the stretch/spasms in the muscles, so maybe try sleeping in a (reclining?) chair that lets your knees bend, or support under the knees in bed. I don’t recommend the kitchen table, however, as that will cause the neck to stiffen and you’ll want to move to ease the stiffness.
    I wish you well, and hope the drugs do their job for long enough that the swelling subsides.
    And don’t walk the dog! If walking helps, walk around the house/yard, and get someone else to walk the dog. Please.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango January 2, 2023 / 7:10 pm

      Thanks, Cage. My wife is taking over my dog walking duties this week. I’ll try putting a pillow under my knees if I can get to sleep in my bed tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. issababycreates January 2, 2023 / 4:40 pm

    I occasionally get these little nerve twitches in my back when I am at rest. They suck! It’s usually when I really overdo it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango January 2, 2023 / 7:32 pm

      I wish they were “little nerve twitches” in my case. But they’re not little and they’re not twitches. Maybe in a few days they will be, but not right now.


  5. Lauren January 2, 2023 / 7:22 pm

    I know your pain. So sorry. I sometimes use the recliner and tons of pillows to find a bearable position. Good Luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Sadje January 2, 2023 / 8:48 pm

    This must be very tough. Hope it gets better today.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Maria Michaela January 2, 2023 / 9:26 pm

    My mom was prescribed Tramadol back then too. It helped her. I do hope you feel better soon, Fandango

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Destiny January 2, 2023 / 9:42 pm

    Hope you feel better soon…might I suggest you look up physio exercises to help ease. There a simple ones that provide pain relief. Have tried some when I had a similar incident. It did help.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango January 2, 2023 / 10:11 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion. I will do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Nope, Not Pam January 2, 2023 / 11:02 pm

    Ouch, I hope the medicine provides some relief

    Liked by 2 people

  10. jilldennison January 2, 2023 / 11:25 pm

    Hope you feel better SOON, and I’m glad the doc doesn’t think it’s anything too serious … hang in there, my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Terveen Gill January 3, 2023 / 12:16 am

    Hope you get better soon. A fall can be very dangerous…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jaye Marie and Anita Dawes January 3, 2023 / 1:28 am

    As a martyr to my own back, I can really relate. These days I am addicted to a hot water bottle, the heat does wonders!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. bushboy January 3, 2023 / 1:43 am

    Like your wife, I too have the ability to laugh at anothers misfortune.
    I do feel for you as I have been there, once standing as I got out of bed and couldn’t move. No warnings, nothing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango January 3, 2023 / 5:27 am

      Back injuries are tricky. I hope my back will be back to normal soon. My fear is that it won’t be.


      • bushboy January 3, 2023 / 4:07 pm

        It will take time physiotherapy will be beneficial

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Marilyn Armstrong January 3, 2023 / 11:29 am

    Tramadol (if you take enough) will help, but it’s pretty, um, binding. A HEATING pad works surprisingly well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango January 3, 2023 / 8:44 pm

      I have a heating pad that has helped. And yes, it is binding!


      • Marilyn Armstrong January 4, 2023 / 4:08 pm

        We have heating pads everywhere — on the backs of the reclining loveseat in the living room and a couple more in the bedroom, though we don’t seem to need them in bed. Whenever my back decides to spasm (of it’s just plain COLD), I turn mine one.

        I have to be really careful about how much tramadol I take. The “prescription” call for 300 mg/day, but if I took that much my digestion would leave home without me. A maximum of 400 mg and usually, no more than 200.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango January 4, 2023 / 8:36 pm

          I’ve been taking three 50 mg tablets a day (one every 6 hours), so 150 mg/day.


          • Marilyn Armstrong January 5, 2023 / 5:05 pm

            I hope it works. I had to take a lot in the beginning then tapered off. Now I take 100/day and that is usually enough to get me through the night, but occasionally I need another 100 mg if it’s a bad day. Wet cold winter days are hard on aging bones.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Fandango January 5, 2023 / 10:36 pm

              It really wipes me out. All I want to do is go to sleep.


            • Marilyn Armstrong January 6, 2023 / 2:31 pm

              The sleepiness passes after a while. But in any case, I usually take it at night because it has a long reach and literally helps get me through the night.

              Liked by 1 person

  15. pensitivity101 January 3, 2023 / 11:39 am

    I’m right there with you Fandango. Spoke to my GP today about chasing the MRI for my arthritis but no luck as the system is backlogged even more than it was. The pain is unbearable at times and I cannot put one foot in front of the other. Walking is good, in small doses so Maya has to behave and we don’t go far. Pain relief is dihydrocodeine with a top up of paracetamol if needed. Heat pads help, so does an ice pack actually but lying flat is painful after seconds, and lying on my side or my front just isn’t happening. The doc has prescribed amitriptyline which I shall collect from the pharmacy tomorrow. He has also prescribed a mild laxative to help with one of the potential side effects (great). I can also expect my appetite to change, no doubt the wrong way ( double great 😦 )
    Getting to sleep is key, so like you, I’ve been taking a painkiller, hoping for the best and at least a few hours. In the ’70s when I first had serious trouble with my back, I was told to lie flat, no pillows, for two weeks. It was an interesting exercise as it would take me half an hour to get up and answer the door (notice thereon to wait!) or go to the bathroom. At least when I was upright things were in a straight line and I could cook………. and eat standing up. Hope the pain eases soon for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango January 3, 2023 / 9:24 pm

      Thanks, Di. Back pain is the worst and like you, I’m hoping I can manage between 4-5 good hours of sleep at night. And when I’m ready to get up and get out of bed, I need my wife to grab my hands and pull me to my feet. Ugh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pensitivity101 January 4, 2023 / 12:21 pm

        The thing is, we get comfy and sleep, then move as we slumber and the pain wakes us up. Hope you got some rest last night Fandango

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango January 4, 2023 / 2:16 pm

          A little more than the night before, but yes, as I move in my sleep, the pain wakes me up.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marilyn Armstrong January 4, 2023 / 4:13 pm

            You know, I have been trying to explain to my shrink for years that anxiety is NOT keeping me awake. PAIN keeps me awake and occasionally, just for fun, itching which might be worse (or at least harder to manage) than pain.

            I have a movable bed which has helped more than anything else. A movable bed and a good (soft) mattress means at least four, maybe five hours of pretty sleep and a couple more of light sleep. I don’t know who says 8 hours, but I don’t know many people our age who can sleep that many hours without having to get up to walk around — just to keep from stiffening up.

            Liked by 1 person

  16. sweeterthannothing January 3, 2023 / 12:07 pm

    Back problems are the worst! I hope those new pain meds work and you’re able to get a few hours sleep tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Marleen January 6, 2023 / 12:46 pm

    June 14, 2019

    All medications come with a dose of risk. From minor side effects to life-threatening allergic reactions, every decision to take a medication should be made only after the expected benefits are weighed against the known risks. ~

    Tramadol is unique

    ~ In 2014, the FDA designated tramadol as a controlled substance. This means that although it may have accepted use in medical care, it also has potential for abuse or addiction and therefore is more tightly regulated. For example, a doctor can only prescribe a maximum of five refills, and a new prescription is required every 6 months.

    Compared with other controlled substances, tramadol is at the safer end of the spectrum. Heroin, for example, is a Schedule I drug (high abuse potential and no acceptable medical use). OxyContin is a Schedule II drug (it also has high abuse potential, but has an accepted medical use). Classified as a Schedule IV drug, tramadol is considered useful as a pain reliever with a low potential for abuse.


    New research on tramadol

    Researchers publishing in the medical journal JAMA examined the risk of death among nearly 90,000 people one year after filling a first prescription for tramadol or one of several other commonly recommended pain relievers, such as naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), or codeine. All participants were at least 50 years old and had osteoarthritis.

    Those prescribed tramadol had a higher risk of death than those prescribed anti-inflammatory medications. For example:

    naproxen: 2.2% of the tramadol group died vs. 1.3% of the naproxen group

    diclofenac: 3.5% of the tramadol group died vs. 1.8% of the diclofenac group

    etoricoxib: 2.5% of the tramadol group died vs. 1.2% of the etoricoxib group.


    Protect yourself from the damage of chronic inflammation.

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    Meanwhile, people treated with codeine had a similar risk of death to people treated with tramadol.

    However, because of the study’s design, the researchers could not determine whether tramadol treatment actually caused the higher rates of death. In fact, the patients for whom tramadol is prescribed could make it look riskier than it truly is.

    What is confounding?

    Medical research studies may draw faulty conclusions for a number of reasons. Perhaps there were too few participants to find meaningful differences. Maybe the dose of the treatment was too high or too low. But a major source of error in studies is called confounding.

    It means an unexpected or external factor — not the one actually being examined — has led to the observed results. For example, let’s say two groups are compared for the risk of heart attack and the group with the higher risk has a less healthy diet. One might conclude that dietary choices led to poorer heart health. But what if those with the unhealthy diet also smoked far more than the healthy eaters? The smoking could be the real culprit. It is a confounder that must be accounted for if the research is to have credibility.

    How could confounding affect the study results?

    With this new study of tramadol, confounding is a real concern. For example, for a person who has both kidney disease and arthritis, doctors may prescribe tramadol rather than naproxen because the latter may worsen kidney disease. Yet kidney disease could increase the risk of other health problems, including a higher rate of death, which could then be attributed to the tramadol. In other words, the very reason your doctor chose tramadol could make this medication appear riskier than it really is.

    Not “you” of course, fandango… just had to look this up because I hadn’t heard of Tramadol before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango January 6, 2023 / 4:14 pm

      I’ve stopped taking. It worked on the back spasms but made me feel loopy. Now just taking Advil.


  18. leigha66 January 26, 2023 / 11:15 pm

    I am surprised you didn’t get a muscle relaxer to take. Tramadol is one of the things I take for my fibro pain.

    Liked by 1 person

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