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  • arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

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    Old 01-05-2004, 08:00 AM   #1
    Momto2Tykes
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    Question arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    I had an MRI on Dec. 19. I haven't seen my dr. yet for official results however I sort of got results from my MRI. His nurse is giving them to my husband to pick up at work since they work in the same hospital. My husband looked at the results (on the computer)and looked up the medical term on the internet. I can't recall the name of it but it's really long and it basically means I have arthritis. I feel some popping sensations occasionally in my lower back at times like when I begin to step forward on the right foot. I also feel a lot of lower back pain that is chronic. So much so that my knees hurt/ache. I have headaches and pain in my neck muscles although I don't know if it is related to my back. Anyway, can someone please help me here and let me know what the likely treatment will be. I think surgery is not an option now but what else is there? I just want the pain to GO AWAY!!! I have a 2 yr. old and a 3 yr. old and I'm just wanting to feel better so that I can better care for them. I've had back pain for 2 years now and it's getting really old which I'm sure everyone here can relate to.

    Anyone?

    Thanks!

    Lindsey

     
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    Old 01-05-2004, 01:20 PM   #2
    carol632
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    Re: arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    I have arthritis of the spine as well...it is causing bone spurs which are pressing into the spinal canal. Sometimes anti inflammatories can help with the pain; you may need something stronger than that. Just be very upfront with your doctor, be informed, and don't be afraid to ask questions. He may recommend an epidural steroid injection to help with the inflammation, also. Please let us know what you find out.
    Carol

     
    Old 01-05-2004, 01:28 PM   #3
    Momto2Tykes
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    Re: arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    [QUOTE=carol632]I have arthritis of the spine as well...it is causing bone spurs which are pressing into the spinal canal. Sometimes anti inflammatories can help with the pain; you may need something stronger than that. Just be very upfront with your doctor, be informed, and don't be afraid to ask questions. He may recommend an epidural steroid injection to help with the inflammation, also. Please let us know what you find out.
    Carol[/QUOTE]

    Thanks so much for replying Carol! I really appreciate it. Is this something that is a lifelong chronic condition? Is there anything permanent that can be done? Are the injections painful? Does any of the steroid injections cause weight gain? I sure don't want that!! I am 32 and new to all of this. I will definitely come back here again for help. Would you mind if I seek you out? How long have you been dealing with this kind of back pain? How have you progressed, or not?

    Sorry so many questions. I'd love it if you could help me out.

    Thank you so much!
    Lindsey

     
    Old 01-05-2004, 06:00 PM   #4
    carol632
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    Re: arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    Lindsey, arthritis is permanent, no cure. But there are things to be done to get relief. Anti-inflammatories help, and steroid injections can help, too. I have had several of these injections and never found them to be painful, just uncomfortable for a few minutes. They first inject something to numb the area and then put in the steroid which, to me, just felt like a lot of pressure. It doesn't take long at all. It is best done under floroscopy to be sure of the needle placement, but not all doctors do it that way. The amount of relief varies from person to person. I have had great relief for short periods, a bit of relief for longer periods, and moderate relief for up to 2 months. Your best bet is a long talk with the doctor when you see him.
    I have been dealing with my back since l981 and because I was not cautious in my choice of doctors, I ended up with permanent nerve damage and 4 surgeries which has lead to the arthritis and the spinal stenosis. I now have the intrathecal morphine pump to control my pain and am doing much better since it was put in.
    I hope some of this has been helpful and that you get some relief for your pain. IF you would like to correspond privately, that would be fine, too.
    Best of luck to you.
    Carol
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    Old 01-06-2004, 05:34 AM   #5
    perianthal
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    Re: arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    Lindsey,
    I am sorry to hear of your situation, I can imagine that with little ones to care for, such pain must make things very difficult.

    I don't know what your doctor will suggest in your situation, but I can tell you the things that have been done for my daughter who also has arthritis in her lower back (L4-L5 facet joint-overuse injury).

    She has had an assortment of anti-inflammatories, Bextra, Celebrex, etc. They also gave her Lidocane patches. She has had two spinal blocks, mostly for diagnostic purposes and they were done under fluoroscopy (I think that is important as Carol suggested). Most recently she had a procedure that is not especially common, but seems available most areas. It also goes by lots of different names, our doctor called it radiofrequency lysis. Sometimes they use the term ablation, I have also heard rhyzotomy (not sure of the spelling). In any case, what it is, is another relatively short-term, (but longer than spinal blocks) pain relief achieved by burning the nerves in the area of concern. Eventually the nerves grow back, thats why it is temporary.

    I hope you can get answers from your doctor, be persistent. I recommend bringing a list of questions with you, that way you don't come home wishing you had asked something else.

    Best of luck and do let us know how things go,
    Peri

     
    Old 01-06-2004, 07:01 AM   #6
    Patmg
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    Re: arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    Hi Lindsey: I, too, have spinal arthritis and severe degenerating spinal disks. You are not alone in your suffering, as you can see from the posts here. I am on opiate pain meds for my spinal problems, along with Bextra, an anti-imflammatory. My posts of how I cope are also throughout this site. Also, I take Topamax which is an anti-seizure med, but is used for nerve pain. I used to be on neurontin, but my doc took me off (I saw on a "lawyer commercial" that neurontin has caused depression and suicidice--could be hype though..

    My house so cold right now (10 below zero outside; we only have wood heat, fire got low), thus hands are too cold to type anymore, as when I awoke it was 50 deg. in my house. So gotta go for now. Take care, Patmg

     
    Old 01-06-2004, 03:22 PM   #7
    Momto2Tykes
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    Re: arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    [QUOTE=perianthal]Lindsey,
    I am sorry to hear of your situation, I can imagine that with little ones to care for, such pain must make things very difficult.

    I don't know what your doctor will suggest in your situation, but I can tell you the things that have been done for my daughter who also has arthritis in her lower back (L4-L5 facet joint-overuse injury).

    She has had an assortment of anti-inflammatories, Bextra, Celebrex, etc. They also gave her Lidocane patches. She has had two spinal blocks, mostly for diagnostic purposes and they were done under fluoroscopy (I think that is important as Carol suggested). Most recently she had a procedure that is not especially common, but seems available most areas. It also goes by lots of different names, our doctor called it radiofrequency lysis. Sometimes they use the term ablation, I have also heard rhyzotomy (not sure of the spelling). In any case, what it is, is another relatively short-term, (but longer than spinal blocks) pain relief achieved by burning the nerves in the area of concern. Eventually the nerves grow back, thats why it is temporary.

    I hope you can get answers from your doctor, be persistent. I recommend bringing a list of questions with you, that way you don't come home wishing you had asked something else.

    Best of luck and do let us know how things go,
    Peri[/QUOTE]



    Thanks Peri! It sounds like your daughter has been thru a lot and I hate to think that I might be getting ready to go down that same road! I know it'll be trial and error for a while but it just sucks to have to deal with this. It sounds like I might be treated with meds or injections. Not surgery, right? So far, I sleep pretty well but during the day my back just aches. It's affecting my hips, knees, neck. Just about every part of my body.

    Your post was helpful and gives me some hope that there are some options out there. I just hope they are successful. It's been too long to be dealing with all of this pain. I'm thankful I had my kids when I did because it would be impossible to carry a baby with a back like mine!

    I'll be back on here as much as I can to get help. I'm so new to all of this and I find you all very informative and helpful. As soon as I see the dr. next week, I'll know more and post.

    Thanks again!
    Lindsey

     
    Old 01-06-2004, 05:31 PM   #8
    snowmelts
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    Re: arthritis in lower back. Can anyone help? PLEASE!

    Sadly all arthritis has no real cure.
    Mostly surgery is only for drastic situations. It does get to be a BIG pain thing though before you get to any level that would require surgery. Most people make every attempt to avoid perscriptions.. preferring over-the-counter pain relievers instead untill it just plain gets too bad.

    Being 56 I know quite a few people who have arthritis. Because of arthritis my elderly mother has had a complete knee replacement and still needs the other knee replaced..a neighbor recently had a partial knee replacement and one neighbor when through hip replacement this year. (NO they don't do back replacements but they can try to help it a bit)

    What you can do to gain control of the pain really all depends on what the report actually says. NOT every pain in the back has to do with arthritis. And there are diff kinds of arthritis...Osteoarthritis and Rhumatoid Arthritis seem to be the most talked about.
    The treatment for each is very different.
    The treatment can also vary by which area of the body has the arthritis and the amount of current damamge. You say everything aches? Did you also have a Rhumatoid Factor blood test? Which part did you have the MRI on? The MRI report is only going to tell you what's wrong with THAT part, not the rest. Other tests may be needed depending on what the MRI shows. Have you had X-rays? Have you had a Bone Density Scan?
    Only your Dr will know if you should take a med or not. There are diff meds for diff types of arthritis.

    I am personally taking just suppliments ..for my arthritis it's Glucosamine & Chondroition (sp) as well as Calcium, D and Magnesium in my daily multi-vit (no pain perscriptions for my arthritis) and currently having Physical Therapy. The PT does help a lot with the pain.
    I'll admit I've certainly used my share of Aspercream on my back and heat pads.

    I take a perscription for Neurontin but it's for my Pheriphal Neuropathy pain and doesn't do a thing for my arthritis.

    I have osteoarthritis in both knees,(This has gotten so bad over the years that it has caused misalignment of my knee bones and I now have a very seriously problem with stairs) Osteoarthritis my Pelvic spine, Lumbar spine and Dorsal spine.. shrinking discs (I have shrunk a total of 1 and 3/4 inches in height) hypertropic change in the facet joints and anterior and posterior osteophytes (spurs). The newest unhappiness is that my spine has recently developed a 10% Scolosis convexly to the left. The PT is supposed to help slow the Scolosis if it can't stop it.

    Sounds painfully unhappy when it's typed but a lot of people have it MUCH worse than I do.

    I also have osteoporosis (thinning bones) which is a whole diff problem but it makes the Osteoarthritis more complicated.

    Oh yes my back hurts and it just plain puts a frown on the face. But you have to ask the Dr and discuss the report with him/her to see what treatment fits you exactly.
    good luck.

     
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