Back problems/RA?

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I've had a bad back for over 25 yrs which like lots of others I've learnt to cope with. I've had physio sessions tried acupuncture but nothing has ever taken the pain and stiffness away. Approx 7 or 8 yrs ago I had a terrible period of sciatica which lasted about 9 mths and during that time had a scan which the consultant explained to me as a wearing down slightly of one of the discs but he felt an operation wasn't advisable at that stage. He said he would see me in the future if things got worse. So I went away and got on with life and the sciatica eventually went and I was left with a little nerve damage to the back of my calf and some toes. Not long after this I was diagnosed with RA. 7 yrs on and I would say apart from the tiredness my back is still the thing I struggle with the most. I have been back to my GP about it to see if I could get a referral to see the specialist to try and find out if the discs have got worse or if its down to the RA affecting my back. After getting me to do several movements she said there was no point in referring me as I had good movement in my back and the pain was clearly coming from the hip areas which she said RA is known to affect. So that's that then. So I guess I'm just asking if anyone who previously had a bad back before being diagnosed with RA has found it getting worse and been told similar?

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  • Posted

    Hi Debra,

    Sorry you are having a bad time of it. I, too, have had a bad back for years. 10 years ago I was told don't hoover, don't lift anything heavier than your handbag etc....

    3 years ago I was so fed up with pain and weight gain I reached out to a Physio and she explained that it is possible to build up your back muscles and core which will help hugely. I took Pilates classes specifically for those with back pain and it transformed my life. After 8 classes she said I could start exercising. Joined my local gym and slowly ( starting first in the pool doing exercises) I began to workout. I now on good days, lift weights, take classes and play tennis. I can't believe the change. It is my experience and I know everyone is different but I just thought I would share. If someone would have told me this transformation could happen, I geniuely wouldn't have believed them,

    Take care


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    • Posted

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for reply.That's great you have had such success with Pilate's definitely something I could look into. I try to walk as briskly as poss for about 30 mins every day but find it impossible to do the sort of "keep fit" exercises I used to do. I've piled on the weight in the last 7 yrs and really struggle to get it down but Im not giving up. Good luck with staying so active that's really amazing!


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  • Posted


    Ive had a bad back for 20yrs. Two years ago I had a bad attack of sciatica. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my spine. Doc said it happens have some pills!!! A year later I became ill and diagnosed with RA. I agree my back causes me more issues especially the neuropathy in my leg. Ive spoken to my specialist who only seems interested in my ra. Isnt it all part of the same problem?

    Hope u feel better soon.


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    • Posted

      Hi Donna,

      Thanks for reply.I guess having a diagnosis of osteoarthritis of your spine explains the back pain. Doesn't sound like a very sympathetic doc though! I was told my back problem was a separate issue to the RA. I would have thought the inflammation you get in your body when you have RA, that affects all the various joints...not to mention other organs etc,..could possibly cause problems for the spine/back too. Hasn't seemed to be the case with me. Hope all goes well for you.


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