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Who here has lumbar arthritis?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:22 AM in Lower Back Pain
I am hoping to hear from those of you that have bad arthritis in their lumbar spines. What are your symptoms and what are you doing to treat them?


  • I have arthritis of the facet joints. Symptoms are pain and difficulty straightening up from laying / sitting position. Back locks up when walking just to name a few things. Most days I can not bend or stoop. I had a lumbosacral back brace fitted at an orthotics place and it helps me alot. I am also on methadone, cymbalta and percocet for breakthrough pain. Have you been diagnosed with this?
  • Yea, I have arthritis, some stenosis, and bulging disks at 3 levels. And Grade 1 Spondylothesis (sp?). They all think the arthritis is the big culprit.
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  • there is a good possibilty that they are right. I can tell you first hand that it is very painful.
  • Hi, I have arthritis in my lumbar facet joints. I am having a lot of pain, and burning in my back. Can you tell me what you mean when you say your back locks up? When I'm walking sometimes I feel like there's a catch in my back. I don't really know how to describe it, but the muscles down my back and butt tighten up and I can hardly walk. Thanks for any info. you can give me. Hope
  • I have arthritis in my lumbar spine along with some other issues of pinched nerve, foraminal & central stenosis.

    I can relate to that catch in the back. It feels as if something is moving in my back and catches. It mostly happened when I was walking on graded surfaces, or up/down stairs, or turning. Now it seems to catch much more frequently.Is that how it feels for you?
    Usually I have to lie flat for awhile at some point during the day.

    I just started lumbar epidural steroid injections. I go for my second one today. No change yet. I really hope it helps, because it's very painful. I take tramadol, baclofen and lyrica. It takes the edge off, but I still have pain.
    I can't take percocet, vicoden, ect....I will become very sick
    and just vomit.

    I could sort of tolerate norco, if I have to. That can even make my stomach queasy. I certainly can't function as far as work or driving on it.

    I have tried pilates, physical therapy, tens, and now injections. I am considering acupuncture in the future. Anything that might help.
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  • Sorry to hear your pain is so bad. I have been down the steroid road. You name it I have tried it. Acupuncture, unfoftunately did not work for me.

    I wish you luck and hope you get releif soon. Good luck!!!
  • My MRI results say I have arthritis, DDD and other assorted stuff. Bottom line for me though, is they don't know what is causing the pain.

    I am taking relafen (nabumetone) and neurontin (gabapentin). I've tried Darvocet, Ultram ER, Vicodin, and a Fentanyl patch. Only the fentanyl helped the pain, but it also made me violently sick. None of the others helped the pain at all, and the Ultram (made me sick too) and Vicodin also caused side effects.

    I have had 12 acupuncture treatments, with no real noticeable relief. I've had 2 lumbar ESI's, 1 facet steroid injection and 1 facet nerve block all with no real relief. I don't know what the doctor will want me to try next.

    Luckily I can still manage day to day, though it's not comfortable. And some days are better than others.

    I wish you luck in finding relief.
  • I am so sorry but I just now noticed your question to me. When my back locks up it is usually when I have walked more distance than I am able to or going uphill or stairs. The best I can describe it is that my lower back tightens up so much it does not want to let me move, it is like it is frozen and can move no more. That is my best description. Sorry it took me awhile to respond. Feel free to PM me if I do not answer in a timely manner. the absolute best relief that I have found for this is a rhizotomy (nerve burn). They actually kill the nerves that are carrying the pain signal to the brain. It usually lasts me about 9 months to 1 year when the nerves regenerate.
  • Hi SKZ, I can relate to your pain. I am Female, age 54 and most all my pain is related to arthritis in L3 L4 and something 1. I took Vicodin because at the time was on another med that prevented me from taking tramadol. I got my doctor to ween me off that med properly and did start taking tramadol along with celebrex. My family dr. started freaking out about giving pain meds and sent me to pain management. At the time I was working 46 hours a week and didn't see how I was going to find the time to go to pain mgnt. But, as he was cutting me off, I went and it turned out to be for the best. I feel that I got lucky w/this pain dr because after, facet injections that didn't last long enough I got medial branch nerve blocks to see if I was a candidate for radio-frequency to freeze so to speak the nerves. The first set of 4 needles did absolutely nothing but the second set worked and I just had the rizotamomy RF to kill the 3 nerves that sent the pain signal to the brain. :H
  • painintheback - you are the first person I have met that mentions how your back 'locks up' bending forward! I have searched and searched for this discription in every low back article I could find.

    I've had a stable L5-S1 herniated disc with mild spinal stenosis for 4-5 years. Then 2 years ago I also had a L4-5 annular tear, had interforaminal injections and then facet injections. At no time has anyone told me I had arthritis. DJD, etc.

    In July I had sudden onset of right calf pain and decided it was peripheral arterial disease (I'm 62) so started a walking program, 40 minutes every other day. While it has slowly improved a little, walking uphill is the real kicker. What concerns me is that during my walk I also get left labial discomfort and feel like I need to urinate, and sometimes the top of my left iliac crest burns (like when I had the annular tear with all left leg pain.) Nothing fits this current description. I was told the nerve supply comes from S1 for the labial and urinary bladder.

    I also reseached 'mechanical low back pain' and still they don't describe this lock up feel I get. It happens almost every day when I have to push an object (patient stretcher.)
    But I just stand still, clench my fists, and it subsides enough so I can continue. But it really takes my breath away. Supposedly spinal stenosis does not present this way.

    So I am glad to hear I am not alone!!! And I guess it is just arthritis.....
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