Thread: Lower Back Ache From Adderall / Amphetamine

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    Lower Back Ache From Adderall / Amphetamine 
    I've noticed that after 1 or 2 days of moderate adderall use (20-60mg daily) my lower back is sore. Anyone know what the cause of this is (I'm thinking kidneys perhaps?)

    I *know* its the adderall because if I stop, it goes away in a day. If I redose, it comes back. Couldn't be spine/bone, perhaps my muscles tighten from the amphetamine? But why only lower back? Or is it secretion of the drug through kidneys?

    And also, is it something I should worry about (as in I should not be taking adderall because my body responds this way).

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    Maybe you are keeping your back muscles really tight because of the stimulation from the adderall. This could make your back sore.

    Or, are you doing something like being in an uncomfortable position for hours? This is easy to do with adderall and may make your back sore, too
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    Yes, those are the first things I considered. But even when I am very cognizant of my posture, diet, vitamins, exercise, etc., I still have the same problem.

    Nothing seems to take away the pain either (other than oxy's obviously, but don't want to start mixing the two all the time).
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    Bluelighter sarsXdave's Avatar
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    Hmm, that's first thing I thought when I read the title, as when I started Adderall it seemed like I was always leaning forward trying to get more into a game or lecture.

    If posture and exercise aren't helping, I don't know what to tell you besides see if there's a compromise dose that helps you to a lesser degree but doesn't cause as much back pain. I know how a lot of small things can detract from the productivity of amps, like wondering if everyone's looking at your sweaty pits.

    I do think the issue is muscular, not kidneys, based on what you told us. Daily use of Adderall at a constant dose will see a very significant drop in that sort of dirty, adrenergic problem. The CNS effects don't develop a tolerance as fast as the PNS effects with moderate dosing. Of course, the PNS effects return more drastically after a drug holiday than CNS.

    If you're not prescribed and just enjoying them I wouldn't worry about it too much. 20-60mg for an occasional user will definitely have the back tight. A good magnesium supplement will reduce muscle tension. Clonidine is used off-label for taking away a good chunk of the PNS effects of stims while leaving you all of the positive mental aspects, but this is probably hard to find unless you get it from a doc (there was a recent thread on this you can search for). A low-dose of benzos or soma would help, too, but obviously Valium and Soma will do that job at a therapeutic dose with less change to your mental high (GABAergics can decrease your ability to remember shit you study, even if you don't black out).

    EDIT: P.S., would you mind telling us a little bit more about the back pain? Looking back over my and your posts, it seems I was putting my own experiences on this and you may have a more serious problem, depending on the severity of back pain. I'll basically feel like I need to keep leaning back and popping my back, but I'm usually back to normal after sleep. Is it just sore like the day after a good workout? Or worse?
    Last edited by sarsXdave; 09-03-2009 at 17:42.
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    When you're on stimulants, do you pay attention to your water intake? Sometimes I get low back pain from dehydration, and I know that I definitely used to get dehydrated when I did Adderall and stuff like that.
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    Thanks for the comments so far.

    When I was first prescribed Adderral (20mg XR) I took a steady dose of 20-30mg every day for around 2 months. At this point, my back was affecting nearly everything I was doing (an annoying pain, not incapacitating but certainly took the joy out of activities that didn't involve me sitting on a heating pad to relieve pain...which worked).

    For awhile I thought my back issue was physical - so I saw my PCP, chiropractor, orthepedic surgeon, even a neurologist. All XRays, MRIs, MRAs, etc. came back completely normal (I practice vinyasa yoga 4-5x per week so consider myself to be in good shape and very flexible). All also claimed Adderral was NOT causing the pain (although they could not identify what is was...just always prescribed a muscle relaxant and narcotic pain pills).

    I then got addicted to Vicodin (physically, not really mentally) and decided to go cold turkey on all drugs. I went through an extremely depressive episode for 4 days, then was completely back to normal by day 7.

    My backache also completely disappeared by day 4/5.

    One interesting tidbit about my body is that liquor appears to cause the same issue. I'm unable to drink much alcohol without experiencing ridiculous hangovers and the same sort of backache for the entire next day.

    On the water front, I drink over 200 ounces a day (because my yoga and awareness of amphetamine dehydration) - so don't think that is it. Also take a multivitamin + glucosamine with MSM daily.

    Should also note I am a weight male, mid-20's.

    So....theories? Obvious answer is "don't take adderall", but I enjoy the effects and while I won't go back to daily use would like to understand why I'm experiencing this side effect.
    Last edited by aspena; 09-03-2009 at 23:24.
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    Bluelighter Valium's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    most likely you are predisposed to lower back pain and amphetamine is bringing this pain out to the foreground - simple muscular tension.

    try Aleve around400-440mg if not, up the dose to max. aleve is very effective for lower back pain. but use caution with NSAIDs; the usual post cibum direction applies and is important.

    have fun.
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    I've been using other NSAIDs (ibuprofen) - 800mg dose - and that doesn't appear to effect it (besides some stomach discomfort).

    Is naproxin sodium more effective? Or if ibu doesn't work will naproxin not?

    Should also note I usually take a benzo (xanax) when dosing to relieve jittery or anxious side effects. Dosage there is 0.5mg per 20mg D-Amp.

    Any complications from adderall+xanax+naproxin sodium? Searched and didn't find any.
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    I'm bumping this because I'm on about 20mg's of XR adderall right now and my lower back is in pain.

    It's most defanitly from being leaned forward. Usually I don't get the pain because I'm laying back and chilling, but on this shit I do alot of work.
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    I get Focalin 10mg IR #90 a month and I also get Roxys/Dills/Methadone and I get bad aches also. I think its from your muscles being tense from the upper, Somas take it away.
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    bump for the masses... 
    Bluelight Crew NeighborhoodThreat's Avatar
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    bump for the masses...

    I found this thread on a google search for "back pain amphetamine"...I am having the same problem, 150 pound 20-something male in good physical shape, never had back problems before I started using amphetamines...I took 10mg IR dexedrine about three hours ago and went to class, my lower back muscles were so tight I could barely sit up straight for the lecture. My girlfriend has the same problem (with both dexedrine and adderall) but she has general back issues that have been around since before we both got into the 'uppers.

    In the past when I had back issues with amphetamines I would either take a benzo (I'm scripted 1mg lorazepam for anxiety) or some naproxen. I'm not too worried about the there is a wealth of info on this site and others about combining benzos and amps, I'm scripted the benzos and my body is used to them... Ibuprofen is worthless and makes my stomach hurt unless I eat it on a full stomach (not a common situation if ones also on amphetamines).

    My question to all you bluelighters out there is...could this cause a long-term issue or is it simply a passing thing? I know extended back pain is cause for alarm but this only happens when I take the amps...and its even worse when I come down off them.

    I'm also wondering if anybody knows anything about amphetamines interacting with NSAIDs (ibuprofen and naproxen specifically) and if so is this something I should be worried about?

    Thanks in advance...
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    Bluelighter b4rd's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
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    Drink Drink Drink Drink water! If it is your kidneys, water is the cure. But make sure to have a little bit of salt intake as well so your electrolyte balance doesn't get all out of wack.
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    Bluelight Crew purple_cloud's Avatar
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    I was wondering about this...I recently experimented with adderall for the first time (twice thus far) and had the same issue. However I have arthritis in my lower back and have sprained my back a few times so I figured that I was arching forward too much or maybe just pushed myself, since I did many cleaning tasks around my apartment as well as a good deal of reading. I'm guessing it's probably being tense plus sitting in a weird position for too long though.
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    I was reading this thread, and had to join to add my experiences. Sorry, I'm about to tell a long story.

    I used to be on Adderall IR, something like 10mg 4 times daily. It was a poor decision then, because I was losing a few lbs a week, and I finally took the step my doctor wouldn't do and dropped the drug cold turkey. This was when I was 19, because I had just started college, and I felt I needed an "edge" during my chemistry and math classes. I wanted to really pay attention and study these classes like a freak, something I initially thought the drug was going to basically make me do. It started this way and worked, then suddenly my attention opened towards so many things, that I was coming home and reading and writing things on the web that had nothing to do with those college classes.

    Anyways, I'm here to talk about side-effect experiences then, and now.

    When I started adderall then, I was right out of high school, and in decent shape at 5'6" 145lbs. I was still on my feet a lot and getting outdoors. I had no headaches, nor backaches, ever associated with the admittedly high adderall doses I was on. I had no painful side effects from beginning to the end.

    Basically, I was waking up, drinking orange juice and a pill, then hitting the laptop. I struggled to eat. I would chew on microwave meals trying to get myself to swallow, but it was usually the orange juice only that made it to my stomach most of the time, while the meals made it to the garbage. I was rapidly depleting my muscles and build.

    After I quit the prescription cold-turkey, nothing bad happened. Just like I lost the weight, I gained it all back within 60 days or so and was back to my normal physique again.

    That was 5 years ago.

    Over the last 5 years, I have primarily worked on a computer, not getting outdoors and exercising like I should be. Most of my life is spent in a chair. It shows. I have gradually developed a beer belly, and am 160lbs when I should still be ~145.

    OK, that's that, now today rolls around.

    Today my friend called to tell me he just got prescribed Adderall 10mg IR, but that he doesn't like the effect like he thought he would. He asked if I wanted 10 of them. Remembering the fun from 5 years back, I thought, "what's a quick revisit to old times going to hurt?".

    So, after picking them up, I went home to get a shower and take one. I took 1 of them (10mg) with, you guessed it, some orange juice. The weather was beautiful, so instead of immediately showering and getting back to town, I went out on the deck with the cat to watch the birds flying around. Pretty soon the Adderall was kicking in.

    Immediately, my mind springs to performing-a-task mode, taking some boxes out of my car full of stuff I had removed from storage just recently to bring them to my new home garage.

    As I bring in the first box, I take a look at the "workshop" area of the garage, and think of how unorganized it looks today. I start moving things, stacking them, mounting tools on the walls, and throwing crap away that is unneeded. This task turns into a 6 hour garage perfecting event. I took a total of 30mgs over the 6hrs, drinking a glass of orange juice once an hour or so, and even some 2% milk midway through.

    This is a dosage common to what I would have experienced 5 years back without any side effects.

    Towards the end of my venture, I notice that the back of my head was starting to throb. If I place my hand starting where my neck hairline begins, the pain seemed to cover the area my hand covered.

    I noticed that the entire time, I kept feeling like I was a hunchback. So to correct my posture, I was sticking my chest out, and a few times arching well back, and then trying to touch my elbows together in a stretch. Mentally I was unhappy with my feeling of posture.

    After the 6 hours of minor garage labor, mainly standing the entire time but doing no heavy lifting, I now notice that my lower back is killing me!

    I asked myself what could be causing it, as I didn't work my back in any hard manner. That was 4 hours ago, and my lower back still aches, which is why I got on the net searching "adderall back ache".

    This whole time sitting in the chair, I've been holding my chest high, and it seems to be alleviating the spinal pain. It is when I begin to slouch forward that I feel the pain begin to build once again.

    Maybe my back has begun to take on a form that it shouldn't, after all of this darned slouching computer work the past 5 years. I was trying to correct my posture, which seems to have caused this ache. But now retaining the straight posture is alleviating it. Weird.

    Well, it never happened when I was 19. The only differences between now and then are described in my story. I'll leave it to you all to decipher the mysterious Adderall Back Pain Bandit.
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    Bluelighter sully2010's Avatar
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    im on the stuff for the last 3 days straight,and i just came across this my lower back is killing me as i write this,but my mind soon wonders lol
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    When I was first Rx'd stims for ADHD, I had the most intolerable back pain (mid-upper-mid section). I attributed it to Adderall (ie; the L-AMPH peripheral nervous system activity)... so I had my doc Rx Dexedrine (only D-AMPH; the CNS only isomer of the Amphetamine family).

    Although this was 100% better, 3+ years later I found out I ACTUALLY HAVE scoliosis and now (AMPH or not) I am in pain 24/7 (4-7 scale)... but thanks medical science for opioids (hydrocodone 10mg's and oxycodone IR 5's or preferably Oxycontin 30mg 2x day - 40mg 2x day) I am living around the 2-4 marks of the scale.

    Moral of my story: get a MD to look @ you're back if you do have pain from the AMPH's - it may not be in your head 100%.
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    AMPH Pains 
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    Quote Originally Posted by gramantha View Post
    I get Focalin 10mg IR #90 a month and I also get Roxys/Dills/Methadone and I get bad aches also. I think its from your muscles being tense from the upper, Somas take it away.
    I take Dexedrine and : Yes, Soma's / Roxi's are A++ for my back. Methadone/Morphine just "smack me out" so I dunno how good they'd be for me, but what works for you sounds similar if not the same. Pain killers are funny like that thongh. took me trying 4 or 5 before I found Roxi/Oxy's/Norco's (depends on the severity for me).

    Note: I actually have a bad back on top of the stims (as it sounds like you know how that is.)
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    XR back pain 
    I had the same problem with back pain. I was taking the 30mg XR once daily. I now take the 20mg (not time released) and I no longer have this problem. My doc said it's a common side effect. I think it has something to do with the time released pills (XR).
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    You have the same physiology as i do. Sever hangovers (even from 1 beer on occasion) I as well am a white male, mid 20's. Im prescribed Adderall IR 20mg x2, as well as physically fit and healthy as all get out, yet my back always hurts towards the end of the day. Maybe limited blood flow? You tall as well? im 6ft 3in. My posture sucks in general, but never hurts my back. I'm constantly on the move all day for around 16 hours (damn college). Going to get a posture brace asap, and ill probably add cardio daily to improve bloodflow. Glad i found this forum, never would have thought about some of those supplements.
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    I get back and muscle pain any and every time I abuse stimulants.
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    Stopping the amps and taking 'dones helps my back out the most, vics dont help my back, norcos dont either..
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    Senior Moderator
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    My hopes are blighted, my heart is broken, my life a burden, everything around me is sad and mournful; earth has become distasteful to me, and human voices distract me. It is mercy to let me die, for if I live I shall lose my reason and become mad.
    Quote Originally Posted by aspena View Post
    Yes, those are the first things I considered. But even when I am very cognizant of my posture, diet, vitamins, exercise, etc., I still have the same problem.
    Have you tried stretching on a regular basis throughout the time you are on Adderall?
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    Bluelight Crew NeighborhoodThreat's Avatar
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    ^It does help a lot, I also find that taking magnesium supplements help with amphetamine-induced muscle tension.
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    Quote Originally Posted by philly_philly View Post
    When you're on stimulants, do you pay attention to your water intake? Sometimes I get low back pain from dehydration, and I know that I definitely used to get dehydrated when I did Adderall and stuff like that.
    dehydration makes the tension pains like 10X worse.
    and its easy to forget to about staying hydrated.
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    Bluelighter motiv311's Avatar
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    bump this thread up!! i've been dealing with lower back/ which progressed to shoulders, then neck. Tones of "Cracks and aches"

    try not to "crack" or pop your back. Do Yoga, or a good streching routine. Job 1 mile at least three times a week. sleep on a harder mattress (or none at all). EAT AND DRINK!

    I believe that adderall tenses your muscles up, but mostly if you don't eat your body starts "digesting" itself which is fine at first; then leads to horrible joint/back/muscle pain.

    your central nervous system is sending you a message "slow down, your pushing me to hard"

    I too became a massive pill popper to deal with the pain / comedown of adderall for many years. Most effective treatments are obviously opiates; but they only cover the pain.

    Clonazepam is perfect cause it shuts down a little of the stimulation; but you're still "high"

    also Gabapentin or lyrica are some of my favorites.

    Soma will do the job for awhile.

    And marijuana helps but I actually think it makes it worse in the long-run

    take less adderall, and work out a lot more often =- for most ppl this should be a good solution
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