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  • Hi everyone... Question about DDD

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    Old 09-22-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
    Tricia2007
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    Question Hi everyone... Question about DDD

    I was diagnosed as having a degenerative disc in my neck. My question is: Is a degenerative disc, osteoarthritis, or it is RA, and would this cause general fatigue? My neck is so tight most days it is hard to move from side-to-side. When driving it hard to properly check to see in order to change lanes. Tylenol helps somehwhat, but barely.

    I may have a low thyroid too. I am going to get that checked again soon. I know that causes fatigue, but just wondering if OA, or RA does too? And is degenerative disc disease in the neck cause for fatigue?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.
    I am 53 years old.

    Tricia

     
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    Old 09-22-2008, 04:07 PM   #2
    sunshine221
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    Re: Hi everyone... Question about DDD

    Tricia

    Have you had a spinal MRI? Are you in pain? My DDD issues were more involving motion issues, muscle weakness, dropping stuff etc. but no pain. DDD isn't necessarily a form of arthretis but I've been told I have elevated rheumatoid factor and I'm still trying to determine what that means.

    In general DDD means just that - some level of degeneration of the disks. This happens to virtually everyone in the long scheme of things but yes I'm only 50 and have problems since 46 - I believe many on this board with non-accident related problems are in this age group.

    Sunshine

     
    Old 09-22-2008, 04:32 PM   #3
    Wymom94
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    Re: Hi everyone... Question about DDD

    Hi Tricia, I don't mean to contradict another member, but I was told and understood that DDD is arthritis, that spinal arthritis, osteoarthritis, degenerative arthritis and degenerateive disc disease are all synonymous and are not related to rheumatoid arthritis. I'm going to double check with my doctors on this, though, since another DDDer was told differently. I've been told things by doctors before that weren't exactly correct, so what I understood may or may not be correct. I do have spinal/osteo/degenerative arthritis, though, neck and back. My neck was quite bad before surgery this year, my back was bad, but not nearly as bad as my neck -and was also operated on this year. I'm 39. Looking back, now with knowledge of what symptoms reflect problems with the neck and back, I have had problems since at least 2001, so 32 or younger. I was told that I have a small spinal cord that accounts for having problems 'younger' than they typically begin with DDD (supposedly w/ a small cord it takes less to 'ding' an arthritic spine). I blame bungee jumping (I'm kidding... I'm sure it was more than that; I only jumped once).
    As for fatigue, well I've sure got that, but I think my thyroid is funky like yours and that's the more likely culprit for fatigue, I think. I honestly don't know if arthritis can cause fatigue. It can sure cause muscle fatigue, but I'm not sure about 'body' fatigue or all-over tiredness. I really think that smacks more of the thyroid.
    Have you tried muscle relaxants for your neck, instead of pain medication (or in addition to)? And/or, PT exercises?
    Take care,
    Meghan

     
    Old 09-22-2008, 07:57 PM   #4
    Tricia2007
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    Wink Re: Hi everyone... Question about DDD

    Thanks so much to both of you for being so kind to answer my questions. [removed] Yes, I agree, I thought a degenerative disc in the neck was caused by some kind of arthritis. I did not have an MRI. I did have an X-ray and it showed the degenerative disc. My motion range in my neck is so limited. The Dr. felt like I had been in accident that might have caused it, he said maybe 10 years back! I have never been in an accident! So not sure from where it originated, as I was thinking 53 years old might be a bit young for a degenerative disc.

    Yes, I think I am probably hypothyroid to some degree, so I know that causes fatigue. I have had blood tests and levels are always okay, but my TSH was on the border. ( maybe you can only talk about thyroid on the thyroid board.. LOL ) I don't know what board I belong on!!! LOL!!!! What do you all think?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my note and I wish you all good health.
    Take care.
    Tricia

    Last edited by HBMod07; 09-24-2008 at 06:48 AM.

     
    Old 09-22-2008, 09:48 PM   #5
    SpineAZ
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    Re: Hi everyone... Question about DDD

    [removed]

    Part of the confusion is that the description of degenerative disc disease sounds like a progressive "disease". In reality it is not a disease in the true sense of the word (like cancer or diabetes are diseases). DDD simply means a disc is degenerating but doesn't imply any symptoms. DDD is likely to progress over time but that doesn't mean the symptoms will get worse (or will appear if they have not before).

    Disc degeneration is a natural part of aging - it's just that some people never realize they have it. And, each person's experience is different. Some may have no symptoms, some mild pain and stiffness, and some may have more severe symptoms of pain and being very stiff, etc.

    DDD does not equal arthritis. Arthritis is "inflammation of a joint" and DDD can be accompanied by arthritis but not necessarily so. And, people who have RA can have DDD as often as those who do not.

    If RA is a concern then your doctor should do the appropriate lab tests that can substantite RA.

    Otherwise a consultation with an Orthopedic Spine Surgeon or Neurosurgeon is a good way to go (once you have all the test results, MRI's, etc).
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    Last edited by HBMod07; 09-24-2008 at 06:48 AM.

     
    Old 09-23-2008, 10:47 AM   #6
    Tricia2007
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    Re: Hi everyone... Question about DDD

    Thank you so much SPINEAZ... I understand what you are explaining and I appreciate it very much.

    I am going to follow up on this and will let you all know what I find.

    Thank you all for clearing up my confusion and good health to you.

    Tricia

     
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