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Statins related to back pain ???

Started by Phil on 01/21/2011 2:48am

Although i have bulging discs due to many years of physical abuse, I also have a lot of arthritis, hyperthropy and endplate osteophyte in my lumbar area which are bone related and seems odd since I'm only 53 and these are symptoms of degeneration and old age. I also have bone spurs growing on a few joints. I've always had bulging disks but the arthritis and bone spurs were recently found with a MRI about 60 days ago.

During this time, I also notice joint pain in my thumb and it "locks up" occasionally and I have to twist it until it goes click and it can move again. I can feel a bone spur on that thumb that was not there 2 months ago.

In the last 30 days I feel crunching noises, sort of like crumpling newspaper up, every time I turn my head left and right.

Within the last 2 weeks ago I get real bad pain in the back of both knees, feels mostly muscular and joint pain.

My history with statins are:
Physician prescribed Simvistatin 90 days ago, 2 weeks later elbow and lower calf pain started along with the bone spur on my thumb. He then changed me to Crestor.

4-6 weeks later my neck is crunching and my knees hurt, I also feel a clunk in lumbar area when I bend over and straighten up.

Can all these bone related problems, back, neck, knees, thumb, etc... be related to statin use?. The disclamers state this side effect is very rare, yet the internet seems to be loaded with people complaining of similar side affects.

Can this whole mess, aside from the bulging disks, be caused by statin use?
Has anyone here notice change in back problems after being prescribed statins?


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8 Responses


I have been dealing with back problem since 1999 I have had 3 back surgerys and lots of injections spinal cord stimulator etc.Back in 2008 I had a flair up with my left leg and I thought it was my back again my left leg was killing me big knots would form and my leg would get so tight I could not move it or bend it it was like I was having muscle spasms all down my leg and the pain would bring tears to my eyes it was the worst pain ever.So I get in touch with my neurosurgeon and had to wait a month to see him so I was at the ER 3 times before seeing him so I get there finally he did a MRI and he said that nothing has really changed since the last one I had in 2007 so he began looking at my meds and he said I see you are taking Crestor I think it was 10mg not sure and he said how long have you been taking this and I said about 3 years and he said stop taking this med because he said if I was a betting man this is your problem so he gave me some pain med and muscle relaxer and sent me my way so I stopped taking them on Tues now I was dealing with this pain everyday it was a nightmare by Thursday my pain had decreased to 3 on a pain scale 1 being a little pain and 10 being very high pain level and by the following Monday I had no pain at all so I was to see the Dr on that Tuesday so I go in no pain what so ever in my leg at all so I asked him why this had happen and he said that meds like these can attack the muscle's and over time they would have deteriorated and can cause nerve damage so I had to have a test done to see if any damaged had happened I was so blessed because there were no damage at all and yes these types of meds can do a lot damage go to goggle and punch the info in about side affects of the meds and look at the testimonials of all the people these drugs has effected so I go back to my family Dr and he put me on Welchol this is a cholesterol med I think thats how you spell it but its a statins and I have not had no problems since I come off crestor well I hope you check into this on the internet and talked to your Dr about changing your meds I pray you can get some relief soon and I jope this has been some help to you


Thanks very much. I have a dr appt. on Friday and will talk to him about the stuff they put you on. I posted my problem 2 days ago and stopped the crestor 2 days before that and tonight I'm feeling hardly no pain in the back of my knees...after 4-5 day total. I think something is up with these statins and would bet that you will start seeing lawyer advertisements on TV in a few years to settle class action suits on statins causing permanent damage. (not that I would participate), too many sue happy people out there driving up costs already.

I'm aware of possible muscular pain but more curious on bone issues, spurs, degeration, etc... It may be just bad timing but the bone growth in my thumb appeared about 2 months after taking the 1st medication which was Simvistatin. (Lipitor generic I think). I was trying to find a connection to the spurs and bone related problems in my lumbar area and guess I'm not accepting that I'm simply getting older and paying the price for not asking for help moving furniture, fridges, hot water heaters, etc.... The other new clue is the crunch in my upper neck, as high as possible in the spine, but I have to schedule a MRI to see what's going on there. This too may be old age, but the back of my head gets numb and I can feel a strong heartbeat in my head where my brain connects to my spine if by BP goes above 140. Just want to make sure my head doesn't explode or snap off my spine and then I trip over it and mess my back up more.

I know the doctors take statin affects very seriously because my dr never, ever calls back when I leave a message for an appt. and appt. usually take 2-3 weeks to schedule in. But when I called about my prior lower leg pain (muscular) when taking the simvistatin, he called me back the very next day and said "stop taking it immediately" and set me up with an appt. the very next day.

Thanks again..


Drug companies make billions setting statin drugs to individuals with high cholesterol. Proof exists that statins lower cholesterol levels. Now statins are branded as a medication that reduces the potential for cardiac arrest. A research group reviewing statin trials doesn't agree and suggests that data on statins produced by drug companies cannot be trusted. It's no surprise that companies which take out personal loans to create products skew their findings.


Hi, Phil:) I am new here but have been struggling with fibromyalgia and chronic pain issues for about 15 years or more. I also have heart disease with high cholesterol and high tryclicerides for which I take medication. I have been taking statin drugs for about 12 years now and I started out on one called Pravachol. One day I went in to my docs office and during the examination she informed me she was going to change my cholesterol medicine to Lipitor. She gave me no reason for the change at the time and i just went along with it figuring my doctor was to know best....right??? So, I started the lipitor and not too long after I started waking myself up in the middle of the night in terrible pain or else I would wake my hubby up because I was moaning and crying in my sleep due to the pain. I told my doctor about this and she just shrugged it off and told me to take a Motrin or Tylenol before bed time.
Well....this continued to escalate over the years until finally I got on the computer one day and started looking up first, Pravachol, which I learned they had recalled because it was developing a history of chronic pain issues like I was experiencing and other bad side effects. My doctor never mentioned anything like this to me when she pulled me off the Pravachol she just said that she was going to try a newer one that was supposed to be better on me. This new one was Lipitor. So, I started on the Lipitor and saw no improvement to my symptoms....in fact they got worse. So....I was sent to good old PT. Exercising usually made it worse which is usually the case in a good many Fibromyalgia patients. Then I moved and found a new doctor. By this time I had had it with the cholesterol meds I had been prescribed (somewhere in there I also tried Welchol too) so when I found my new doc I was not taking any statin drugs. Well....my cholesterol was checked and was in the high 400's and the doctor informed me that i needed to be on something. I told her of my experiences with the other statin drugs I had taken and she said well I had no choice because also in some of the tests they ran on me they found I had a main artery to my heart blocked by 98%. I had to have a stent placed and was told I would have to take a cholesterol med for the rest of my life. That is when they put me on Crestor and I remain on that today.
I am not happy about it because altho it seems as though it has not made me feel as bad as i did on the others (or else I have just gotten used to it which would not surprise me) but I still balk at taking it.
I do have vry strong feelings that the start of the statin drugs accelerated my Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain issues but as far as pursuing a law suit seems a lost cause to me because what it would come down to is having a physician or medical person back me up on my suspicions. But not a day goes by that I do not feel that my starting on that statin drug and still being on one has intensified my pain issues. Also, even if I DID decide to stop taking one of them, at this late date who knows how long the effects of it would remain in my body or if stopping it would be a guarantee that my pain would lessen.
So...there you have my experience. Sorry if it was long and rambling but wanted to clearly get my story across. I hope I have achieved that.

Good Luck from a newbie here:):)


Dear Meg,
As I read your story, I again was reminded how trivial my problems are and how many people hurt so badly. My wife died from a sudden heart attack in August and also had Fybromialgia, celiacs disease, along with a few other problems, and she was only 52, but that's a whole 'nother story.

I've done some research on statins over the last few weeks and although they have side affects, I think they are really life saving because of how they reduce cholesterol and plaque buildup. The trick is to find one that gives you minimum muscle pain and there are so many brands that have only minor differences , but a big effect on side affects. I can't believe when I hear the commercials on TV and they mention "on rare occasions, muscle pain anf fatigue....".. On rare occasions??.. There aretens of thousands of people complaining and this is not rare.

I went to my PCP the other day and told him about leg pain and we both decided to cut the Crestor dosage from 20 to 10mg and see what happens after 6 weeks. I can tolerate the muscle pain, especially now that I know the damaging effects of long term high cholesterol . My doc said most people don't connect statin use to pain and he usually goes through 3-4 different statins with patients before selecting a final brand.

My back pain started way before statin use, and the muscle pain caused by statins is obvious, if not accepted, but I know for a fact that a bone spur grew on my thumb joint after being on Lipitor for 6 weeks. Even after stopping the medication, the growth is still there but doesn't cause my thumb to lock in place. My MRI also showed bone spurs, but was unfortunately done after being on statins so no conclusion there.

The scarey part is the possible permanant damage that can occur that is yet unknown. There are rare cases of muscles dissolving on statins, but this shows up during a blood test. I've read so many reviews on statins and there are hundreds of people that claim muscle pain even continues for many years after they stopped taking the drug.

I guess I'll keep a lookout for the legal commercials for 1-800-LAWYER, getting class action suits together after permanant damage is proved.

God Bless you and take care of yourself. Stay healthy for yourself and for those that love you and would miss you if you weren't here. Women don't get the classic chest pains during a heart attack. Pay attentions to lower jaw pain, difficulty swallowing, the need to shake your hands, and get to a hospital ASAP. Maybe if I knew this, my wife would be here.


Phil, you are right on.
I am only 43 and have been on an assortment of statins for 5 years.(I put them off for 10 years until my father died of a heart attack). I am not fat amd neither was he.
The the low back pain and spurs / growths in both end thumb joints. The legs are painful from the hamstrings down. Prior to statins I never had leg pain or knee issues of any kind.
I have tried low dose statins but still get the low back pain shortly after starting any statin. As for the thumbs the damage appears permanant. For 3 years I have had to get cortizone injects in the last joint just so I can use a pencil. The knees hurt with every step and the PT although fun, (cuz she was cute) is useless.
I Doctors are pill pushers...


Amazing! I feel vindicated. Even though I have been suffering with spine issues and the pain that goes with it, after starting a statin my muscle pain increased and I was so tired I couldn't stay awake. I also had decreased urine output. I tried twice to take the statin and never managed to take it longer than 4 days either time. THANK YOU for posting this. I will be seeing my new Dr. next week and this will be the #1 topic.