Degeneration in neck and spine

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Not sure if I am posting in the correct forum.  A few years ago I was told I have arthritis in the neck and degeneration through out the spine.  Recently I have been suffering a lot of pain in the back which only really improves if I don't walk around or do any activity.  Heat helps a lot but I can only take ibuprofen.  My question is can anyone with this condition tell me their experience with the following.

1.  where in the back do you get pain

2.  what does it feel like

3.   what helps

4    Does it ever seem like it could be affecting digestion.

I am due back to my gp on Tuesday,  I thought of asking for an MRI scan, gallbladder scan and camera down the throat.   I should add I am 70 years of age and have just managed to get through my 70th birthday party this weekend in pain at various times.  I also have arthritis in my knees, possibly hips.  I have IBS and diverticular disease plus some other health conditions.  I am concerned this pain in serious.  Thank you in advance. 

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    This forum is for Polymyalgia Rheumatica which is an auto immune disease causing very painful muscles in neck, shoulders, thighs, legs, arms, ( not necessarily all of them but muscle rather than bone though not always easy to pinpoint. ) Many of us were originally diagnosed with arthritis in one form or another. Quite often if you are given ESR and CRP blood tests which return high readings this will confirm the diagnosis but there are other tests done at the same time for the purpose of excluding other conditions. The usual treatment ( which only alleviates the pain, the condition goes in its own good time. ) and many of us experience very rapid relief which many doctors think that confirms the diagnosis. After that it's a case of slowly tapering the level of steroids. This is by no means straightforward as further reading on the PMR forum will demonstrate. Hope you get sorted very soon.

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    • Posted

      Betty, as far as I can see libralady has posted on the Arthritis Group!!   it is not so easy to tell since they've messed the layout up.!!

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    • Posted

      Kind of you to blame the "new improved" layout but I can see I had forgotten that I follow the arthritis and the gout forums and, because my primary interest is PMR I thought that was where I was. Apologies all round; will try to concentrate!.

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    • Posted

      I know what you mean.  I have been on several forums over the years and sometimes have posted in 2 different ones and got confused what I had said where.  Thanks for the reply though.  I have an under active thyroid another auto immune disease.  You seem to have a lot on your plate and I wish you well for the future.  I am due for routine yearly blood tests so will see also what they reveal, nothing I hope.  
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  • Posted

    Libralady, welcome.  I haven’t got back troubles (thank goodness),  but I have polyarthritis, so I know how dibilitating pain is.  You certainly seem to have OA - “heat helps and ibuprofen”....  Try googling diet for arthritis, you will get some tips from there.  Also excercise is important - even if yoy can only do them sitting on a chair (stretching, pulling, etc).  Others will be along re back ache.

    💐

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  I thought I had posted on the Arthritis forum, so thanks for confirming that.  

      Yes as you say heat helps a lot.  Unfortunately I cannot take ibuprofen as it upsets my stomach and causes problems with my ibs/diverticular.  I take paracetamol and sometmes ibuprofen gel, even then I have to be very careful, although I assume if I could use the gel for a period of time it might help.  I also use pernoton gel which is abit like  glucosamine, it very cooling and does help a little without side effects.  It was recommended to me on this site a while back.  As I mentioned I have a few health problems not least anxiety which I am having counselling for.  It of course makes everything worse. I have a gp appointment tomorrow so will go from there.  Thanks for your interest.

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    • Posted

      I too have spinal OA.  Interesting you mention anxiety - I find this to be the biggest inflammatory for my pain levels.  If i'm relaxed and at ease the pain drops significantly.  I recently went on holiday where the weather was warm and dry and I didn't have to do very much and I noticed my pain levels dropped noticeably, my movement was improved and I didn't wake up in the morning in agony.  I didn't take a single pain med the whole time I was away.  Within a week of returning to rotten chilly and damp weather, having to contend with work and home stresses, whammo, I'm in agony again.  Have a look at meditation - there are types specifically designed for pain relief, eg Mindfulness - they really work. 

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    • Posted

      My apologies! Forgot which forum I was on. I have arthritis,too, so do sympathise. My main comforts are my wheatbag and a wax therabath. 
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    • Posted

      Yes anxiety can cause so many symptoms and make other existing problems worse.  The problem is when you have pain and are worried it might be serious it just makes the anxiety worse so a vicious circle.  I have had a bad years with hospital visits and procedures am just hoping the counselling can  help me cope better.  Thanks for your reply I think we do under estimate the damage that anxiety and stress can do.  We do live in a different world now.  The young people seem to have stressful lives.  I worry about my daughter who is so stressed in her job as a teacher and also has a family to look after.  I have started to look at the mindfulness videos on line so thanks for reminding me. I wish you well.

       

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    • Posted

      I'm a long ago retired teacher so I do feel for your daughter. I live in hopes that I will survive long enough to see the inevitable turn around. A bit of moderation would help instead of wild reactionary swings to the opposite hell.

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  • Posted

    I had degenerattion in my neck to the point where I was operated on as an emergency as I had problems walking and had lost feeling in my fingers over a period of years. I had a fusion and spacers put. I have made a good recovery. You need an MRI scan 
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  • Posted

    Hello Just an update.  Saw my GP this afternoon.  She is thinking that Fibromyalgia may be a possibility.  I am having some blood tests.  Unfortunately the first Appointment they had is 2nd Nov, however I can go up to the local hospital if I want it done sooner so maybe when I am not in so much pain I might do that.  I am carrying on with the Ranatadine for another couple of weeks as she wants them to have a chance to work on the digestive problems I have been having.  I will see her again once the blood tests are back.  She is also testing for gluten intolerance because I get a lot of bloating.  She examined me again and I must say that although I am still in pain the prodding did not seem so painful.  
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