Location of pain with spinal osteo arthritis

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Can any one tell me where in the back do they get pain.  I was diagnosed 2 or 3 years aago with arthritis in the spine.  I also have osteopenia.  I am on various medications for other problems and just take paracetamol (can't take nsaids).  I have had a reoccurance of a digestive problem and cannot work out whether my back pain is from that.  Sometimes it seems like itis digestive in nature and at other times not.

It does not keep me awake at night and resting helps.  I find walking, bending, picking up things brings on the pain.  Two main areas are in between the shoulder blades and bit down and also lower down at the level just above the waist both sides involved.  I have been told that there is degneration at various places all down the spinal column.  Before being diagnosed I was also diagnosed with cervical arthritis.  I do sometime get low back pain but not often and I think it may be more to do with my IBS and associated constipation.  Any ideas please.

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  • Posted

    Hi Libralady. I have spinal OA too plus it's most of my other joints now also. You can get referred pain away from the main problem. Mine is in the muscles and tendons which we use to support the spine, all getting more work to do when you have osteo arthritis. I was referred to physio therapy quite early on to strengthen these muscles and tendons. I opted for hydro/ warm water therapy as I found it really helpful and I enjoyed doing it with several other people in the pool, mostly ladies of similar age. We had fun and loads of cuppas and a chat after in the hospital cafe!lol It's worth asking for a referral from your GP anyway. Just talking to others with similar problems helps your mood too. I'd speak to your doc about pain meds as there are others and also stomach meds which might help that problem. Best wishes, Pollyanna UK rolleyes
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  I also have O A in my knees and according to consultant early problems in my hips.   2 or 3  years ago I was for a few months house bound because of the pain from the knees which spread to legs and feet.  I now know that the leg and feet pain was probably from the spine undiagnosed at the time.  I was about to undergo a knee wash out when the pain suddenly got better.  The consultant at the time said best not to go ahead with surgery as it would probably upset it again.  At the time I was taking ibuprofen and omeprazole to protect stomach.  I also tried one of the codeine ones also suggested by hospital.  Unfortunately these all upset my IBS causing constipation and stomach cramps.  I was told by consultant just to take paracetamol.  Since this time the pain has eased considerably so paracetamol and pernaton gel are fine at the moment.

      I was also advised not to have knee surgery as it is a very painful op and not as successful as hips and wait until I really thought surgery was the only thing to do.  I have had physio on my knees but caused so much pain had to stop.  I think you may be right about muscles and tendons and pain.  I am going back to gp to ask for more tests for the stomach problem maybe gallbladder or ulcer I am thinking.  I am taking omeprazole for a short while although I did not really want to.  I just hope I can get sorted out.  It is my husbands 70th in March and new grandchild due in June making 5 alltogether, so do have some nice things in my life although wish I was 10 years younger and fitter when it comes to grandchildren.    I also suffer from anxiety which does not help all this.  I hope that I can find out what is going on.  

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    • Posted

      Hi again. I'm 72 and been having OA problems since My 50's so I understand where you're coming from. I also have Diverticular disease which can cause pain in the back and pelvic regions. I find I also get bowel problems at the same time as the pain so that's how I know which is which. My granchildren are older now but one is just turned 6 so I know what you mean about that too. I don't even try to pick him up or get down on the floor with him, (Don't think I'd get up after!) lol frown  I have to pace myself and know my limitations these days. A nurse once told me that it was now time for me take it easy and 'be my age'! I didn't like this much but understand she meant well at the time. In my head I don't feel 72 and still try to do things I did 10 years ago. Not possible, I just have to accept that this is how it will be now, along with many other people. "Acceptance" is the key word and just do what you can without causing more pain and problems. I also find I'm worse this weather as damp, cold or hot and humid weather really do make pain and stiffness much worse. I stay indoors and keep warm, this helps a bit as long as I potter about and keep moving or I just seize up. It's easier to do gardening and such in summer if it's not too hot and humid.  I also take Omeprazole, side effects are muscle aches among other things but they are necessary for the stomach problems so I have to weigh up the pro's and cons! Amitriptylene and Tramadol were prescribed for me as they help with pain and anxiety and sleep. Hope you get sorted, do see your GP if you're unwell or unsure what's going on. Best wishes, Pollyanna.

       

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    • Posted

      Hello Thank you for your kind words.  You seem to know just how I feel.

      I am 68 and like you have had arthritis for a number of years.  It was when I got to 60 and retired that I seemed to have more pain and other problems.

      I have had an under active thyroid since my mid 40's but then added high blood pressure,IBS,asthma,glaucoma and belpharitis to the mix, never mind the anxiety.  I do realise it is a question of balance when it comes to medication which you need and their side effects.  Nearly ever tablet you take seems to have a long list of similar side effects so it is impossible to tell anyway.  

      My grandchildren are a boy 19,girl 7,girl 4 and boy 4 plus the new one in June.  Like you I try to pace myself.  One day I accept my limitations and the next feel both angry and guilty than I can't do more with them.  None of them are local  2 an hour away and the other 2 4 hours journey.  I think you are right you have to accept your limitations and then start living if you know what I mean.  My husband has arthritis,asthma/copd and type 2 diabetes and sees accepting your limitations as giving up.  I do understand his way of thinking but I don't think it is always right.  He like you likes to be in the garden in the summer.  I read somewhere that grown up children never accept their parents are getting older or need to slow down.  I sometimes feel a bit useless but then I remember at New year whilst away at our daughters I managed to keep going all eveing at a party even getting up to jig about a bit and do the conga line.  Maybe that's what has caused all this pain lol.  

      Take care and I wish you well for 2016.

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    • Posted

      Hi, you have a lot more problems than I do so should be pacing yourself. I agree about husbands and family, they don't like to think of us ageing, we've always been there for them and now it's beginning to look like the tables are reversed! I don't think acceptance is is defeatist, we have to pace ourselves as we get older or possibly face even more problems in my view. You did very well to party at Christmas, I can't do the conga these days, too stiff! lol wink If it was that then you'll feel better soon but it's my guess this awful weather is causing you to feel worse. Take care and all the best to you for 2016. razz
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  • Posted

    Hi there smile

    I don't know how much help I'll be here.  I also have OA in my upper and lower spine.  It presents more as stiffness really, first thing in the morning or when I've been sitting for a bit.  The pain comes when I bend or twist and it sort of 'catches' if you know what I mean and makes me gasp, but I don't have ongoing pain.

    I'm waiting for a hip replacement and the consultant said my lower spine is more worn than my hip and he is surprised I don't get more pain in my lower back.  I suppose we are all different but that's how it is for me.

    I hope someone else can offer you more help, Cels xxx

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.  When I was at the hospital clinic for my knees the consultant looked at my spine xrays and said you must have had this for years and you must have a good pain threshhold which I certainly do not.  As you say we are all different and the pain and xrays don't always correspond.  I do know what you mean about bending and twisting but problem is not knowing what pain is from the spine and what might be referred from the stomach.  I am going back to gp to ask for more tests.  I did start with just stiffness in the morning and after sitting it was when I started getting pain that I had xrays done.

       

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    • Posted

      Just a quick addition.  I noticed you are on Omeprazole.  I am on Lanzoprazole, a similar drug for my acid reflux and when my stomach is playng up I do get pains in my back too.  I also have diverticular diease (yes, I'm falling apart), that can cause back pains too.  When I first went to see the physio about my hip pain he had me flat on my stomach on the table and poked and prodded my spine causing me lots of pain which was totally different from the dull ache I get when my stomach is playing up.  As you say, it's walking and bending that bring on the pain so it does sound like it's your spine, but I would definitely seek a professsional opinion.
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    • Posted

      That's interesting.  I have only been taking the omeprazole for 5 days.  The gp prescribed it as I have been having some indigestion and burping/bloating following a really bad cold with really awful coughing which I think may have caused some of the back pain.  My gp who knows me well asked if I was having problems with anxiety again (Have had cbt for this in the past).  I have been feeling anxious mainly because of various family health problems and other personal problems.  I know that you produce more acid when stressed and this makes my IBS play up and this is what the gp thinks it is.  I do not want to take them long term as when I came off them in Oct 2014 it took ages to get them out of my system until the body became used to acid again.  I did think at one time that I had LPR because of all the throat mucus and coughing.  I had a throat scope in March 2015 and it was fine, diagnosed with rhinitis and given advice about looking after the voice, and dietary much like reflux reduce caffeine,citrus,chocolate etc.  At the time I was in a choir and kept losing my voice (cutting out on top notes).  Again my voice is a bit croaky after the cold but getting better.  I will certainly give the omeprazole a bit longer but will go back to gp when I can get an appointment.  
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