One more question - managing pain vs getting on with life

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I just wondered if you had any quick advice on on the best way to manage while waiting for the MRI scan/rheumatology appointment.  I've been avoiding doing things (eg lifting heavy items, hoovering) that caused too much pain on the grounds that it was likely to make my back worse. But that was when I was assuming that it was muscle spasms or disk problems or something. If it is AS, will keeping going through the pain actually make the condition worse? Or just hurt while I'm doing it? (ouch!!!)

Thanks

 

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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie, after my last xray the Doc told me not to lift any thing that felt heavy and to keep bending to a minimum. This was because my lower seven vertebrae had moved a lot.( The Doc seemed surprised that I could walk)

    He did however emphasise the importance of frequent gentle exersise. I have done as advised and with the help of a few pills manage quite well.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie

    If it is AS then exercise is actually quite good.

    Some my worse flares have been when I am shuffling around the shops (probably the thought of spending money :-))

    Where in your back is the issue - is it lower back?

    This might sound far fetched but my morning lower back stiffness and subsequent pain can be reduced by doing exercises - like the yoga "cat stretch" arching your back slowly - but I also stretch my calf muscles which really does seem to release tension in the back muscles. There is a lot on line about this.

    My hardest place to remedy pain - is if I get back pain in my shoulder blades where my ribs wrap around to the back. Lying on the floor with my knees bent and pushing my lower back to the floor help relieve.  Breast stroke swimming is painful but will ensure that you do not set in a fixed position 

    Hope you get some relief soon

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    • Posted

      Yes, mostly lower back. Gentle stretches sound perfectly plausible to me, but I'm a bit reluctant to do anything as specific as that until I've got a diagnosis one way or the other and some physio help. Walking the dogs helps in the morning.

      TBH what's really set off this bout is being poked and pulled about by the back specialist - and I'm very grateful if it means I find out what is actually wrong!

      Interested about the shoulder blade pain thing. I sometimes get weird pains underneath my right shoulderblade/ribs and I'd assumed it was to do with the scoliosis I have also had trouble with, but maybe it's not. It's all up in the air at the moment which is very unsettling. neutral

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  • Posted

    Yes, that pain behind the shoulder blade is a strange one.My U.K. Doc laughed when I told him about it and said there was nothing there. My brother, who also suffers, has had the same thing. It just seems to come and go.
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  • Posted

    I hope you have a board certified rheumatologist for this. No sense in dealing with GP's who don't have the training or experience.

    You might consider seeing a physical therapist who can develop a set of sensible exercises for you with AS in mind.

    I also have DDD and between the two [plus I have RA and PsA] it's often hard to tell which one is rearing its ugly head. I use Humira which helps, as well as Celebrex. When it gets misersble I add Tramadol to take the edge off the pain.

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    • Posted

      I've seen the musculoskeletal specialist (a step up from a regular physiotherapist, with extra training and direct access to clinical services) who has referred me for an MRI scan to be followed up by a rheumatology appointment if it confirms her suspicions. If not I go back to the MSK clinic for help directly from them.

      When I finally admitted to myself my back was never going to get better unless I got more help, and went to the GP, I made sure that I got my favourite one. I've been fobbed off in the past with GPs variously saying 'its your age' or 'what do you expect me to do?' or referring me to the telephone physio service (I kid you not) - and once completely ignoring my reason for visiting and just wanting to talk about my other health issues. Good GP referred me straight to the clinic for assessment, no messing about!

      Excuse my ignorance, but what's DDD? I know the other abbreviations.

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  • Posted

    I used Celebrex for years but as things got worse I was put on Morphine. I hated this as I never felt fully awake thena friend suggested I try dl-phenylallanine.I read up on it and although it was untested it was thought to block in a similar way to Morphine . I started taking it and gradually phased out the Morphine. It works for me although I admit I take a small does of  Predisnone ( 10mg) most days as well.
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  • Posted

    Oh yes, and is a very slow recovery to joint injury part of AS? I have twice had a fall and banged a knee, and had it take a good 12 months to get back to normal.
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  • Posted

    Hi Jackie. No problem with dizziness and no major problems with balance although my balance is not as good as it was. I sometimes wobble a little just for one step. Obviously being aware of this makes me concentrate a bit more on staying steady.
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  • Posted

    Sorry for late reply on your post just battle through the pain don't give in. For me it's walking and at work when I'm rolling ceilings after a couple backs in bits I'm used to the pain and will not let if beat me I'm fine with the hoovering and ironing mowing my garden puts me  in bits thoe
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