Re: Have I really got osteoarthritis of the spine/
Hi Barry and Rita....I'm Jenny and I've had OA since my early 20's and developed rheumatoid arthritis about 4 years ago just to make sure every joint is involved. First some info on OA. It's true that we all get OA as we grow older and it is also true that many people never get pain with it or minor pain and no one knows why. But recent research is starting to show that just like the inflammatory arthritises, osteoarthritis may be several diseases, like the early onset one I have. That may explain why for some people it hurts a great deal more and moves much faster.
Barry...have they checked to see if you also have hip and knee OA as well? might explain some of the leg pain. But I can tell you that from my experience with OA of the lumbar spine, what you describe is what I feel too...especially the heavy feeling. That comes from the arthritis causing bone spurs to build up where the nerves exit from the vertebrae in your back and press on them. If you ever find you have any problems with bowel or bladder function(can't go or can't wait)let your doc know. These same bone spurs can build up inside the vertebrae and press on the spinal cord and cause damage.
Rita....how are they monitoring your cervical spine? OA of the cervical spine is called cervical spondylosis and can cause damage to you spinal cord rather quickly so you need to know what to watch for. Has anyone talked to you about it and told you if you have stenosis or cord compression?
for both of you, most people think of OA as the arthritis of old age and dismiss it. Well, I've had 22 orthopedic surgeries to deal with OA so it is nothing to dismiss. It can be devastating and needs treatment and being followed regularly. My RA is well controlled with medications but the OA??? Nothing has really worked for mine. I'm glad, Barry you are finding pain relief as that is about all you can do. There is no way to stop OA. RA can kill...OA cripples. I hope they find some treatment to stop it in it's path before I die. I has done a real number on me, for sure.
Take care of both of youselves. Rita, perhaps you'll join me in the knee replacement group someday but don't rush it.Check out the Spinal Cord Disorders board to meet more people with necks like yours. And Barry, you have a lot of company. Check out the Back Problems board and you'll see.
But for both, get good treatment and keep at it. OA won't stop so you can't either.
good luck and gentle hugs...............Jenny