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Osteoarthritis, DDD, Bulging Disc

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:31 AM in Lower Back Pain
Im new here so hopefully im writing all this correctly. I have had back pain since I gave birth to my oldest daugther 4yrs ago, i just had my younger daugther 4mos ago. A few wks ago the back pain got MUCH worse. All of a sudden my whole back pinched up, i couldnt move, i slid to the floor and let my back calm down a lil while crying/screaming in pain. I crawled to my folks room (was visiting them) and my mom helped me to the ER. Anyways docs ended up doing MRI and found that i have Degenerative Disc Disease which my doc says is osteoarthritis? Also a bulging disc. I started physical therapy and have only been 3X but the pain has already gotten worse. In the beginning certain postions caused the back of my left leg to numb, now there is shotting pain on the inside of my left thigh on and off. My back has started pinching up more often. I dont know what to do. My mom has severe back pain as well and has let it overcome her life. She sits on the couch all day doing nothing but snacking. The house has gone to he$$, my poor dad has to do all the house work and errands on top of his normal work. I can tell its wearing him out. I know my mom has back pain, as i do, but i do NOT want it to over take my life like it did hers. I dont want my poor husband to end up like my dad, doing EVERYTHING and me doing nothing. I am going to talk to my doc again, tell her its getting worse but I dont know what else to do. Can anyone help? Offer advice?

By the way, im only 23. Its way to early for my body to fail out on me. I do NOT want to watch my kids play, i want to play WITH them.


  • RangerRRanger on da rangePosts: 805
    Welcome to Spine-Health. You may want to move this post to the Osteoarthritis board but I'll respond to your post here. I have severe OA throughout my body my spine included. First and foremost find yourself a good rheumatologist that can help you manage your pain and refer you to other specialists. My symptoms started in my early 20's and wasn't properly diagnosed till my mid 30's. My OA is a genetic issue with me as from the sounds of your post seems to be your source of OA. Again, if I can offer just one bit of advice, please seek out a good rheumatologist. I can't thank my rheumy enough for keeping me active and the best I can be with how bad this disease is consuming my body.
    Feel free to PM me anytime with any other questions you may have.
    Take care,
  • Thank you! Ill have to mention that to my doc when I go see her again. She mentioned a spine spc, i wonder if a rheumy is what she meant? Sorry if i posted in the wrong section, wasnt quite sure where to put it or how to move it.
  • I am a registered nurse and I also have OA, I also have several other autoimmune diseases. OA is an autoimmune disease. A rheumtologist is good for autoimmune diseases but if you're in that much pain you may need other specialists. Like you I didn't want OA to stop my life.

    I would like to give you some advice that has helped me but you need to understand that only a physician can properly diagnose your situation.

    You need to understand that you will live with pain to some degree the rest of your life. It may be for a day or two or it can be for a period of time. Learn what activities increase your pain. Physicians can only help decrease the intensity and the frequency of the pain. This disease requires a lot of commitment and dedication on your part. You need to be exercising on a routine basis. It also requires you to be an advocate for yourself.

    My back pain really started after a car accident over ten years ago but I was having mild back pain before the accident. I went to a chiropractor before the accident and continued with him for several years. He manipulated the spine, used ice and heat therapy, electrical stimulation physical therapy, massage and accupuncture. While all this helped to some extend it never relived the pain completely.

    I finally went to a neurologist. He did an EMG to pinpoint what nerve damage was done and suggested that I see a physician that specialized in pain management. He used epidural injections,nerve blocks or facet joint blocks. These greatly reduced the amount of pain I was experiencing. Over time this has greatly helped.

    I also consulted with a orthopedic who specialized in spinal surgery so that I had all my options on the table. But please make surgery is the last option because there is no garantee that there will be pain relief and surgery can sometimes create permanent pain. Most orthopedics will either do the injections I mentioned above or refer you to a pain management physician.

    Be aware of your insurance requirements because some insurances are limiting the number of chiropractor and physical therapy visits and what kind of alternative therapies and procedures that they will pay for.

    My recommendations: 1) See your primary physician for any referals that you may need for your insurance. He should also be able to refer you to specialist in your area. You may want to try a chiropractor at this point. 2) Educate yourself about all available procedures. 3) Look for specialists that are covered by your insurance that maybe associated with the local medical school (they will most like be up-to-date with the latest research and procedures), you will probably need a orthopedic, neurologist and a pain management specialist. You may even want to do a background search of the physicans that have been refered. 4) Do all the physical therapy or exercise that the therapist advise. The stronger your abdominal and back muscles are the less pain you will experience.

    I hope this helps you. You take control of your life and don't let OA control your life.
  • Thank you so much! The physical therapy has me working on abdominal muscle strengthening at home, so I have been doing that every day. I will definately talk to my doc about seeing other specialists and I understand about surgery as a last option. I do NOT want surgery. Hopefully my doctor can tell me what kind of excercises will be good for me, I dont want to start anything without knowing what would make it worse.
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