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  • Will my back hurt forever? (Disc degeneration)

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    Old 11-18-2014, 12:51 PM   #1
    brainskaput
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    Will my back hurt forever? (Disc degeneration)

    I was leading a very active life, exercising with treadmill and weights regularly for years, up until three weeks ago. Suddenly I was having weird leg pains (so I took I easy, unsure of the problem), and then my back became swollen, and now it HURTS and hadn't stopped! Sure, now have a diagnosis-moderate disc degeneration of my thoracic spine, which corresponds to where my back continues to hurt. This seems do out of the blue, as I didn't do anything to bring it on. I do start PT on Friday (for muscle spasms in my back-the swelling, per doc) and am on NSAIDS.

    But by mid-day I just feel AWFUL, with the back aching (especially my tailbone, strangely). Is this my new life, or will it come and go? I haven't worked out at all because I'm afraid of hurting myself worse. Twisting hurts, even lying in bed sometimes hurts at night because if a wrong curvature. (And still including neck pain which, while it seems unlikely to have been related, is awfully suspicious in its timing and unwillingness to resolve).

    Please give me hope that this will get better! I don't understand what's going on! Fwiw, I heard back from the nurse with the results but she was unable to confirm that the mild scoliosis and moderate disc degeneration were the cause of my back pain. "Probably not or only a little", was her answer. Ummm...?! Actually she didn't seem to understand anything so I didn't bother asking her any more questions. I see the PT Friday so may learn more then.

    Also, as an aside, the X-ray report I read said "moderate mid-thoracic disc degeneration) but did not have specific details like what some of you write, with vertebrate #s affected, etc. my peripheral pain is more on my right, swelling on left (general aching all over), and *I* would like to know how it all matches up!

    Last edited by brainskaput; 11-18-2014 at 03:02 PM. Reason: More info

     
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    Old 11-18-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
    teteri66
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    Re: Will my back hurt forever? (Disc degeneration)

    X-Ray is good for showing bone, but does not give much detail of any issue with discs, muscles and soft tissue. MRI is what you need to see those types of injury or degeneration.

    What you see on here is usually people asking for helping in understanding their MRI report.

    I would encourage you to get in the habit of requesting a copy of any testing you have done, and the written report...and keep a personal file. You never know when it will come in handy.

     
    Old 11-18-2014, 03:32 PM   #3
    teteri66
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    Re: Will my back hurt forever? (Disc degeneration)

    I should add that one can have disc degeneration for years without having any symptoms. This may be the case with you...and then one day you stressed it a little more or twisted in a new way, etc. and ended up with a disc herniation or similar. And, thus, the "sudden onset of pain."

     
    Old 11-18-2014, 03:59 PM   #4
    brainskaput
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    Re: Will my back hurt forever? (Disc degeneration)

    Ohhhhh, it makes sense that an xray sees bone; I wonder how accurate their diagnosis of moderate disc degeneration is! Our health system puts results online so I read what's supposed to be report. Maybe it's an abbreviated version? I was suspicious, too, of the wording re the scoliosis. S shaped dextroscoliosis at T10 and L1.... Whereas online info says that if it's S shaped, each half of the S should be labeled (ie, there's a right and there's a left curve). Still, mild though. I'm concerned that the nurse didn't think the results would cause my pain and swelling . It was obvious she was unaware of my symptoms, so when she said she didn't think they were really related, I figured she'd have follow up advice (an MRI for further examination or something). I guess I'll keep researching and see what the PR thinks. But I appreciate all the advice snd input from you here!

     
    Old 11-19-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
    teteri66
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    Re: Will my back hurt forever? (Disc degeneration)

    Some radiologists just write more description than others. Some are very brief while others go into more detail.

    Let's assume you have a disc problem. You should avoid twisting or bending at the waist and limit what you lift or carry to about ten pounds...at least until you find out what is going on.

     
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