A Dialysis patient emailed KidneyBuzz.com and said, "For the past 2 months I have been miserable. My lower back is killing me! What can I do to about it? I am thinking of skipping a few treatments, should I?"
For many, the answer to the second part of this question is very straight forward, right? Whether you are a Hemodialysis or Peritoneal Dialysis patient, you should never skip your scheduled treatments if you can at all avoid it. However, the first part of the question is far less straightforward.
Recommended Reading: Causes and Treatment for Extreme Headaches in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients
Back pain, is a common complication among those with Chronic Kidney Disease who conduct Dialysis; affecting as many as 1 out of 3 Hemodialysis patients. A study on this subject was titled, "Beware Backache In Chronic Dialysis Patients." You may ask yourself, "Why would I need to beware of back pain, it seems like it's fairly common among Dialysis patients? Can it become serious?" Well, according to this study, persistent back pain may in fact be a sign of Osteomyelitis which is an infection in a bone. Infections of this type can reach a bone by traveling through the bloodstream or spreading from nearby tissue.
Similarly pain in the lower back is a common complaint among Chronic Kidney Disease patients who choose the Peritoneal Dialysis option. Fresenius Medical Care (North America) suggested that it should be "no surprise" that low back pain is a common complaint among Peritoneal Patients since regular side effects of their treatment are (1) enhanced abdominal pressure and (2) poor muscle tone. These two complications alone may result in paraspinal muscle spasm (muscle tightens up and will not relax), sciatica (pain caused by general compression or irritation of spinal nerve roots) and posterior facet disease (a degenerative spine Arthritis).
Treatment for severe back pain in those with Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes include repetitive flexion (bending) and extension exercises (as recommended by your Nephrologists), prescribed muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory agents, and reduction in Dialysate volume to reduce intra-abdominal pressure. If after working with your Nephrologists your back problems persist, consider an MRI which will be able to detect a bone infection such as Osteomyelitis.
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"Beware Backache in Chronic Dialysis Patients."Http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org. Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.
"Peritoneal Dialysis." Http://www.webmd.com. WebMD.
"Low Back Pain." Http://www.advancedrenaleducation.com. Fresenius Medical Care North America.