Degenerative disc disease and inflammatory arthritis

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I have inflammatory arthritis, presumed to be psoriatic arthritis though I've never been diagnosed with psoriasis. I recently had an MRI of my spine because I have symptoms of sacroiliitis and inflammatory back pain. I've had a lot of numbness and pins and needles in my hands and feet for years. No inflammation was found (it was done without contrast) but they discovered degenerative disc disease at several levels with some bulges and prolapse in the cervical and thoracic regions. Would this be anything to do with the inflammatory arthritis or is it unrelated? I'm 40 and the back pain has been going on for years. I've never had any injury/trauma to my spine.

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  • Posted

    They didn't find any signs of ankylosing spondylitis though? Because that would fit with what you describe. And sometimes the spinal changes don't show on imaging until very late.

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    • Posted

      Hi. No, they said they found no sign of spondyloarthropathy. I've already been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, which I understood was a type of spondyloarthropathy. I have different types of pain in my neck, thoracic and lumbar spine. My lumbar symptoms are too much like sacroiliitis and too persistent for me to believe that's not what it is. It just didn't show anything.

      I'm already on biologics but they're not helping my back pain and until I can prove that there's something going on, they're not going to switch me. I'm not sure they even scanned my SI joints this time.

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    • Posted

      It is yes - but ankylosing spondylitis is another particular form. Sacroliitis is often the first symptom to emerge and often quite late in life it is now realised. What biologic are you on? Anti-TNFs would be the best in this context I would have thought.

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    • Posted

      To get switched I'd need to show that this one isn't working and I can't show there's inflammation because it didn't show on the MRI. And my CRP is always normal, always has been. It just doesn't seem to rise in a lot of people with PsA.

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  • Posted

    I would ask to have a blood test done to check your inflammation markers, specifically C-reactive protein and your sed rate . have you tried Prednisone for the pain in your neck and in your lower back ? I'd be interested to know if a course of Prednisone reduced your pain . prednisone reduces nflammation and while I know they said they didn't see any on your Imaging I think it's still possible that you inflammation that simply does not show up in an MRI.

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    • Posted

      Hi. I didn't offer anything for the pain except hydrotherapy, but my hydrotherapy referral appears to have been rejected and nobody seems able to tell me why.

      I know they don't like giving people steroids - I'm not keen on the idea either - but if it helped then, like you say, it would indicate there is inflammation and that would be helpful.

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