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Can lesions of the spine cause pain?
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Can lesions of the spine cause pain?

In April of this year (2010) I developed optic neuritis in my left eye (which is still present today).  I have done a lot of research on optic neuritis to find it can be brought on by MS.  I had a brain MRI at the time of diagnosis that showed no lesions.  Since that outbreak of optic neuritis I have had HORRIBLE sciatic nerve/lower back and sacral pain.  I was told by the optic neurologist that she was 90% sure I didn't have MS after I had the brain MRI.  I have not had a lumbar puncture or spine MRI (they are so expensive).  I'm wondering if my pain could be related.  Could spinal lesions cause the pain and numbness in my back??  I work in an ER and am in nursing school.  I am so frustrated to be in so much pain and not know what is causing it.  I am usually a healthy person.  I'm not used to being in pain and suffering so much.  
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338416_tn?1260996698
I have spine lesions, and it causes a lot of back pain.  I can also tell I have spine lesions from the patterns of numbness on my back.  Usually the pain is from spasms around the lesions, either all the way around, or in my shoulder area.

What was the strength of your brain MRI?  Sometimes a low-tesla MRI won't show MS lesion activity.  Try a 3T if you can find it.

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1394601_tn?1328035908
I have one little lesion on my brain.  The others are on my spinal cord and brain stem.  My biggest complaint is lower back pain.  It is like a raw open nerve.  So yes, spinal lesions can cause back pain...big time back pain!  

I agree with jensequitur.  Make sure the strength of the machine is strong enough.  It is how that little bitty lesion on my brain was missed.  It is why the a@@ of a neuro looked no future.  It is why my body is in the condition it is today.

FIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!
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293157_tn?1285877039
Hi there. I think you need to Full spine MRI done if you can find the $$.. I know that's difficult to do at times like this.

let us know how things go..
take care
wobbly
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1207048_tn?1282177904
Before my latest MRI showed subtle lesions on my spine, my neuro suspected I had them due to many of my symptoms involving pain. His exact words in one of the reports from a visit were "I'm suspicious of lesions in the dorsal column which are notoriously hard to image. I'm concerned that this may progress to a pain syndrome."

I was diagnosed just this past August (symptoms started in Nov of last year). My MRI in the spring, and again just this month, are considered normal because my lesions are very subtle. My lumbar puncture was normal. I was diagnosed based on symptoms and neuro exams.

Good luck!
~Jess
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Thank you all so VERY much!! It is so frustrating to be in so much pain and not know what to do about it!! So next question, what did you all do about your pain??  I don't do well with narcotics.......they make me sick and I hate the feeling I have when I take them! :0(

@ jensequitur- i"ll find out what strength it was.....I'm suspicious now.....

@ Sumanadevii- if you were diagnosed sooner what could you have done to be in better shape now?? Meds?? How do you feel about taking medicine?? I'm kinda a big baby about taking anything.  But if it will help me then i'm ok with it. ;0)

@ Wobbly- i've been thinking the same thing too but I just would hate to spend the $$ when I might be over reacting........sounds like I'm not from the posts so far!! THX!! :0)

@ Lovemy6monkeys-  VERY interesting that you were diagnosed based on symptoms.  I have thought of having a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) done but, honestly, I'm kind of afraid.  I have had some neuro tests done, at my PCP and the Optic Neuro, they both say that my neuro function is good.  I wonder, does this mean I don't have MS??

I'm learning the more I work in the medical field that not everyone reacts the same to pain and medications as well as presenting with the same symptoms for illnesses.  We are ALL individual.  I am also learning how hard it is to diagnose certain diseases like MS.  Thank you all for your help!! I think I've come to the right place. ;0)

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338416_tn?1260996698
I take Baclofen for my pain - it's a spinal muscle relaxer.  If the Baclofen isn't cutting it, I take a Flexaril on top of that.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks jensequitur, I'll talk to my Dr about those meds.  BTW, I found out my MRI I had done was a 3T.  :0)
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1394601_tn?1328035908
If I had been diagnosed sooner, I would have been on a DMD (disease modifying drug) which would (maybe, perhaps) prevented new lesions in my spine.  I would have been given steroids to take the swelling down and not suffered so much pain.

Again, please keep searching.  Don't give in.  It is worth the battle.
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Avatar_f_tn
Good to know! I have already done a steroid treatment but it didn't take away all the inflamation (inflammation).  I'm wondering if I need another treatment.  :0(
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1394601_tn?1328035908
Mine was so out of control, I now take two treatments each month.  I am due on Thanksgiving morning and I can feel the swelling.  It definately helps me.
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Avatar_f_tn
WOW!! That's crazy!!! Do you have any side effects from the steriods??  I worry about that. :0(
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1394601_tn?1328035908
The side effects far outweigh the good I receive from the steroids.  It takes the swelling down lessening my pain.  I am able to move around better.  There are plus and minus in all MS treatment.  I just consider this another.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone. I am a 29 year old female. About 5 months ago I started having symptoms of bad headaches, dizzyiness, fatique, and seeing a squiggly line in my right eye. I had an MRI done with and without contrast, they found one small lesion in teh white matter of my brain. after that a series of tests. Later a spinal tap, which my nuerologist said showed over five bands that show up in a person with MS. Now since I only have the one lesion on my brain and those bands she is sending me for an MRI on my neck and spine to check for lesions there. I'm getting frustrated because this is so hard to diagnosis. Does anyone know at what point MS would cause lesions on the spine? She said if there are none I have to do follow ups every six months. Any info would be appreciated.
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