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first the back, now the shoulders, hips, and knees?

autumnjoyaautumnjoy Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:42 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
hi everyone.

i've recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my cervical spine, and also in my lumbar spine. i haven't had an mri of my thoracic yet, but would be willing to bet i have it there also.

lately, not only does my back hurt me, but i've been getting alot of stiffness and pain in my shoulders, hips, and knees. my hands flare up also where i have a hard time making a fist.

would it be fair to say that i may have the OA throughout my body, or could something else be going on?

this has been going on steadily for 3 months now, and i'm afraid it's never going away.

the weird part is, i've had these pains in my joints sporadically (and only one joint at a time) since i was a teenager (i'm 34 now). the pain would come a few times a year, last a couple weeks, then go away. my mom would take me to the doctor, but either they wouldn't know what was going on, or, if it was in my shoulders, they would say it was bursitis.

the scary part is, it's never lasted this long, or affected so many joints at one time.

i have a doctor's appt here shortly, and i will of course bring this up. i was just hoping to get some first hand experiences.

thankyou so much........ Autumn


  • Have you been checked for rheumatoid arthritis? Your description doesn't make me think of OA, especially since your symptoms have recurred since a young age. I don't know much about fibromyalgia but maybe it could also contribute to your joint pains?

    My other thought is stress. I went through a period of bad hip stiffness and pain and when the stressors in my life eased up, the stiffness largely went away.

    2009 Foraminotomy C6-72010 PLIF L4-S1Multi RFA's, cervical inj, lumbar injLaminectomy L3-4 and fusion w/internal fixation T10-L4 July 17Fusion C2-C5 yet to be scheduled
  • I have osteoarthritis in my cervical spine and DDD and have had facet joint arthritis while I had my herniated disc. I had episodes of knee and feet swelling caused by arthritis and shoulder bursitis and had a shoulder surgery from that with good results. It seemed though that almost every joint and one elbow was affected by arthritis while I had the acute herniated lumbar disc. I hope you're going to see a Rheumatologist who can run tests and assess you. There are medications they can use to help with the acute episodes and maybe physiotherapy can help also. I hope you get some pain relief soon and more answers from your Doctor's appointment. I use a cane to get around but with one flare up I had to use a walker to get me out walking. Best thing ever was my infrared platinum heating pad for pain. I hope you get some answers soon and some relief. Take care. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • Hello,

    It's possible that it could be OA in those other areas, however, if I were you, I would go see a Rheumatologist, who is an arthritis specialist. It's also possible you might have an autoimmune disease being it flares up, then goes away, flares up, goes away, etc. Besides RA, which is usually bilateral, there are many other inflammatory diseases, such as lupus, which is what I have. I get flare ups of joint pains all over. There is also ankylosing spondylitis, which is more common in males, though it does happen in women less often. Another thing to consider is if you've ever been bitten by a tick, because long standing Lyme's disease can also do this to joints. These are just a few examples. A rheumatologist should know all the tests to order, to see if any come back either positive or provide suspicion of an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune just means that your body is attacking your immune system, it's like an over active immune system and it's not anything catchy. Many of these disorders do tend to run in families, though.

    You should keep a log or journal of every single symptom you've had/been having and write down where it is and how long it lasts, if you notice any redness or inflammation. Also let the doc know if you've been having ANY other symptoms, no matter how unimportant you think they might be. Autoimmune diseases do not just necessarily affect joints, different ones can affect all sorts of parts of your body.

    I have lupus, and I've had joint pain flares, hives, angioedaema, memory problems, severe fatigue, bladder problems and infections, malar rash, other skin rashes, constant headaches, dry eyes, sun sensitivity, and many other symptoms. If you know nothing about autoimmune disease, you probably wouldn't know all the other things can occur, so you'd probably never even mention them to your doctor.
  • I agree with everyone who recommends seeing a Rheumatologist. I have had issues with my knees since I was a kid and after 20+yrs of sports my PCP just assumed it was OA basically caused by being active (along with the congenital knee problems). But at 23 I started having a lot of trouble with my hands, then my shoulders, sometimes my ankles...etc. Luckily as soon as complained about the other issues to my PCP he sent me in for blood tests. Turns out I have Rheumatoid arthritis (diagnosed at 28yrs old). It's a b**ch but at least I know what I'm facing and that it isn't something worse.
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