What could severe back pain signify?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I am a 66 year old female diagnosed with dilated cardio-myopathy, fibromyalgia, IBS, migraines, GERD and arthritis. The only newer diagnosis is the heart failure. With my ICD implant and medication my EF is in the 60's which is excellent. My approach to the other "problems" has been to carry on and not let "them" keep me down. The last few months I find it very hard to keep up with my normal activities. My days are painful to the point that I can no longer ignore the pain and lack of energy. I can't empty my dishwasher without having to stop and sit down because I'm "pooped" or because I get a spasm in my lower back. This back pain is like someone has put a wide belt around me and is pulling tighter and tighter. I find I am always looking for the next chair so I can catch my breath or to relieve the back pain. I have always blamed the fibromyalgia for most of the pain but this is different and I have never felt such a lack of energy. Any ideas?

Expert Answer

Dan Tobin, M.D. is the author of books and articles focused on the practical and positive aspects of family caregiving.


Back pain and fatigue in your case is complex and it may be best to ask your treating doctors for their diagnosis and to possibly see a pain specialist. Be sure to take care of your emotional needs as well. Fibromyalgia is not easy to treat so keep looking for professional guidance in all areas .

All the best,

Dan Tobin