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Blocks and more blocks. MALS

Updated: Jun 25, 2019

This is a bummer. My celiac plexus block wore off. I am so surprised I got over two months with my last block and it even lasted for the entire trip to France which allowed me to eat food and really enjoy myself.

The last few days I have been working out doing hot yoga and yin yoga which holds the poses and stretches out the muscles and tendons and helps realign your spine. It aggravated the plexus area and today the pain has begun. Usually this is typical when I workout which is why I had stopped going to yoga and swimming. Now, all I do is yoga and swim so I have to figure out how to keep this up while the area is aggravated and the nerves are growing back.

I am hopeful I can get in for a block next week, which will be my 33rd celiac plexus injection in two years. The blocks work by killing off the celiac plexus nerves to relieve the pressure and pain from MALS. Imagine having an intense stomach ache all day and when you eat or drink food it becomes so severe you stop eating and drinking. That is where I am again. It hurts to eat and drink.

There is no cure for MALS. There is a brutal surgery you can have but ive already decided it was not an option until I was starving to death. I was lucky. The celiac plexus blocks done through my Pain Doctor have worked. They are not a cure. They are a mask for the pain which is why I have so many done. Maybe one day the pain will stop but from what I know about MALS it just gets worse as you age.

If you want to learn more about MALS and what it is you can read below what I pulled from the Cleveland Clinic website:

What is median arcuate ligament syndrome?

Median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) is a condition in which the median arcuate ligament presses too tightly on the celiac artery (a major branch of the aorta that delivers blood to the stomach, liver, and other organs) and the nerves in the area (celiac plexus).

Ligaments are bands of tissue that connect one bone or cartilage to another. The median arcuate ligament is shaped like an arch and goes around the aorta (the artery in the heart that carries blood throughout the body) to connect the diaphragm to the spine.

In a patient with MALS, the median arcuate ligament essentially acts like a hammer and the celiac axis acts like an anvil, compressing (squeezing) the nerves in between. This causes a number of symptoms, such as pain in the abdomen that can be made worse by eating or activity.

It is important to differentiate median arcuate ligament syndrome (MALS) from median arcuate ligament compression. Median arcuate ligament compression occurs in about 10-25% of the population and does not cause any symptoms. In a very small number of these individuals, MALS is present, and patients will have the symptoms listed below.

MALS occurs most often in thin, younger women. It is a very rare condition.

What are the signs and symptoms of median arcuate ligament syndrome?

The first sign of MALS is pain in the upper abdomen after eating. The pain causes patients to avoid eating, which can lead to weight loss (often more than 20 pounds).Other associated symptoms may include:

NauseaDiarrheaVomitingDelayed gastric emptying (a delay in food moving from the stomach into the small intestine)

What causes median arcuate ligament syndrome?

It is believed that MALS is caused by the median arcuate ligament compressing, or pinching the celiac plexus nerves over the celiac artery. The squeezing of these nerves can cause a pain similar to the pain patients with carpal tunnel syndrome feel in their hands. Another cause may be the lack of blood flow to the organs supplied by the celiac artery, though this theory is controversial.

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