Back pain

Hi - I’m at the testing stage with suspected MS. just a question about back pain! I’m currently struggling with a 2nd bout of awful lower back pain. I’ve never been a backache sufferer so this is all new to me. Is it a common thing with MS? I know I’ve been walking differently for a good few months because I kept tripping over my right foot - could my change in walking be the culprit? Any insight gratefully received! Anne

Hi, I have only just been diagnosed as having MS but have been advised that my back problems are due to compensating for my left hip which is displaced and has nothing to do with my MS. Do you have any appointments comming up? It would certainly be worth checking. If it is a compensating pain they may be able to refer you to physio to help? Stay well x

Hi Taulla I would go and see your doctor and ask for an xray on your back, you may have hurt your back and it is nothing to do with MS. This is what I have done my hip has been very painful and it hasn’t gone away even with painkillers, I will see my doctor in a few weeks and ask for some stronger tablets. There is nothing worse than back ache. Mine might be arthritis. All the best Kay

Hi Thanks for the replies - I’m due to see my GP next week so I’ll definitely be mentioning the back pain. It’s being a nuisance, stopping me in my tracks literally! Thanks again - hopefully a bit of physio and pain relief is all that’s needed. Best wishes to you both.

Hi Anne

Definitely a change in the way you walk can cause pain in a different place to the cause of the difference in gait.

For example, my husband (not an MSer) hurt his back recently. The resulting way he walked first caused a pain in his thigh, then in his calf muscle. And this was just after a few days. His back is better now, but his leg still hurts.

Many people with foot drop (is this what’s causing you to trip over your foot? It’s caused by an inability to pick up your toes from a variety of causes, in MSers it’s generally a problem with the nerve that enables you to lift the front of your foot, but thee are other reasons.) start to ‘hitch’ their hip as they walk to attempt to pick the foot up. The other troublesome way of dealing with foot drop is to swing the affected leg out to the side. Either way of dealing with foot drop can cause pain to your hip and/or your back.

If the cause of your tripping over your foot is caused by something other than foot drop, the same thing might apply. Or if you have a problem with your back that’s causing you to trip over your foot, then you might need to have your back looked at.

If you discuss it with your GP, you could request a referral to a physiotherapist. That might help you to sort out the root cause of the back pain and / or the tripping over your foot (assuming that’s the cause and not an effect of the back pain!)

Best of luck.


Hi sue - thanks! I’m thinking possibly foot drop as my right foot tends to drag and I trip- and I’ve had to raise my foot more as I walk - my right leg looks like im in a marching band when I walk now lol The back and hip pain has been rotten but would make sense if I’m not walking normally. Will def have a chat with my GP - I’m still in the diagnostic stages and trying to understand why my body is not behaving normally and what the cause might be so I really appreciate the insight and advice x

If you are certain your walking problem is due to foot drop, you could try out one of these: Foot-Up® for Drop Foot - Drop Foot Support - Össur Webshop or Both can be bought from Amazon or direct from the company. And both come in black and beige. They’re based on the same design, elastic helps pick up your foot so aids your gait.

I have used both as well as other products to help with foot drop. You could see if a physiotherapist could get you something to help, but in the short term trying out a low tech easily obtainable product might help.


Oh great thanks so much Sue! Seeing my GP this week - hopefully they’ll be able to tell me if it is actually foot drop. X

Your GP may not be able to say that it’s definitely foot drop. The problem is that it’s a neurological issue and one that a GP won’t want to definitively say that’s what is causing your problem. So don’t expect a definite answer, but aim for a view / guess from the GP. See if they’ll refer you to a physiotherapist, there may be a neurological physio service in your area, which would be your best bet for help with the back pain as well as the foot.


I really appreciate this info Sue - trying to manage symptoms while waiting for a diagnosis/explaination as to whats going on in this wee body of mine is a bit of a downer at times. Losing some mobility and the recent awful back and hip pain plus a loss of vision and gain of double vision has been frightening. I saw a lovely and very clued up optician to help with my dodgy eyes! But for the rest and worst of my symptoms, It really does help to have advice to point me in the right direction for help to manage in the meantime. So thanks so much again!