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22 years old .. arthritis???? I need advice!!

Okay I need help. Im 22, most of my life I've been overweight and I guess now the reprecussions are becoming evident. So I have 2 bulging discs which have been causing severe nerve pain. They are not herniated,which I heard is a good thing, however the doctor also told me today that I have arthritis which she doesn't commonly see in people my age. I am freaking out. I would have never known prior to my bulging discs but now I feel like ill never be normal... I don't want to be in a wheelchair when I'm 40. I am going to lose weight, which should help, however I don't know much about all this and I need to put my mind at ease. Im so young and I just want to live a normal life.


  • What makes you think that you will wind up in a wheelchair at 40? There is nothing that says that you will or even that it might be a possibility. A bulging disc is not a herniated disc and even if it were, they are not something that can not be treated. A bulging disc can be positional- meaning that you could be sitting or laying down in a position that is not anatomical and could be the 'cause of the bulge'. All of us, will have some form of bulging- all that means is that that particular disc is just a bit outside the normal perimeter of where they are located in between the discs.
    It is not the end of the world diagnosis... Where did you get the idea that the nerves are effected and the bulging discs are in contact with the nerves?? A bulge depending on it's location may or may not be in contact with the nerve, and unless you have had imaging studies done to confirm that the bulge is in contact with the nerve roots, don't assume the worst...
    There are several treatment options, including injections, nerve pain medications assuming that you need them, anti inflammatory meds to ease the arthritis pain.....and of course, excercise and a proper diet and weight management program.
  • I was was 22 when I started noticing chronic pain effecting my life. I was originally told it was Fibromyalgia but now I know if was arthritis. I understand this overwhelming feeling of dread and doom. I got really depressed and spent way to much time in a recliner not participating in life. That was the worst thing I could have done. The less you move the stiffer you become. There are so many different treatment options out there! A couple of things that I found really helpful were acupunture and a gluten free diet. I'm not sure where you live, but In my town there is a community acupuncture clinic with a sliding payment scale, which makes it affordable. And gluten free isn't that bad if you stick to whole fresh foods (which also helps with weight loss).

    Talk to your dr and let him know how you feeling. I know it has helped me immensely to have a treatment plan that includes exercise, nutrition and alternative therapies. There are so many treatment options now, I'm sure you will find one that works for you.
    PILF of L5 S1 on October 29, 2013. Psoriatic arthritis, spondylolisthesis L5 and fractured L5 and DDD
  • ElyetteEElyette Posts: 2
    edited 11/07/2013 - 9:57 PM
    For sure that you won't be in a wheelchair when you will be 40, having arthritis at the age of 22 is rare and I think you are as normal as young people at this age. The best thing you should do is to follow entirely what your doctor advised you, because he is the first one who knows how to remedy from it. As far as the diet is concerned, you do not have to follow a strict one but just know what is good and what is to be avoided. And the most important thing, never give up because it is not a fatal disease, you'll recover step by step.
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