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doctor says, "everyone has arthritis. you shouldn't have pain"...

autumnjoyaautumnjoy Posts: 55
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
title says it all. so is this true?

i am 34 years old, and recently diagnosed with moderate osteoarthritis of the cervical and lumbar spine, with moderate bilateral foraminal narrowing at most levels in my cervical spine.

i havn't been able to feel my fingertips (especially on my right hand) for over 3 months now, get horrible shooting pains through my arms, and most recently, my shoulders have been really stiff and painful. this is all on top of the muscle tension and pain in my back, with the occasional headache too.

i am very upset about him saying this at my appt yesterday. at the appt before this one, he said he felt sorry for me for having such bad arthritis for someone my age.

i know this stemming from not wanting to give me any narcotic pain medicine.

i am just wondering if what he said was true? does eveyone have arthritis? should i not have any pain from it?



  • I had mild facet joint (arthropy) arthritis with my disc herniation and received facet joint injections that helped my pain. I think arthritis is painful in the spine. I would get a 2nd opinion and hope you get some relief soon. I just had 3 facet joint injections today and feeling less back pain. Good luck. 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
  • i am definately going to get a second opinion.

    i don't have insurance, but am going to save up for a visit with my friend's doctor, whom she reccomended. he's an orthopedic doctor who specializes with spines.
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  • I was just going to ask what type of doctor are you seeing? I am far from expert, but I do not think it is "normal" to have noticeable arthritis at your age. I know I certainly did not develop a bit of anything resembling pain until my late 40s...and then, it was in my knees and thumb.

    The shooting pains and numbness you feel are more likely caused from the bulging discs you mentioned. Your MRI also mentions multi-level facet arthrosis which is, of course, a type of arthritis of the spine...so perhaps that's what the doc is talking about.

    Let us know what the second opinion spinal specialist has to say....

    Good luck.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    for many people. Similar to Degenerative Disc Disease, Arthritis can happen sooner, more advanced and painful as a result of prior surgeries and trauma.

    The first sign I had any arthritis was when I was about 30, a couple of years after my first lumbar surgery.

    The last bone scan I had done (2006) indicated severe arthritis in my shoulder, hip and knee joints. At that time, all of my doctors agreed this was a result of the 7 prior spinal surgeries.

    It wasn't until about 3 years ago, that I started having pain with the arthritis in my shoulders. Since then it has rapidly spread, deteriorating most of my shoulder and tendons.

    It is very painful to move or lift my arms. But besides my shoulders, the arthritis in my other joints have not bothered me (yet)

    I think it is important for anyone that has been diagnosed with arthritis, to make sure it is
    osteoarthritis and not rheumatoid arthritis.

    Both will give you pain, but treatment for each of them is different
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • with arthritis and DDD and I can tell you I am in pain 24/7 everyday. I don't sleep well and then I'm in front of a computer 8 hours a day which adds into the mix. Mine is a result I believe of being involved in several traumatic auto collisions. (none my fault)However, I think there's more going on than just arthritis, so I am going to see another specialist soon. I'm so tired of docs and medical people saying, "Well, it's probably just this or could be that." I want to know exactly what is wrong, not probably. I've been suffering for 6 years now and my quality of life has been greatly diminished.
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  • I had a doc that basically told me the same thing but he did tell what all you want is lortabs and muscle relaxers. I told him if that is what would help sure other then that i said if you can wave a magic f--in wand and make my pain go away i wouldnt even be at the docsa office then i told him he was a horrible doctor and that he would never see me again. This happened in my 20s , ive now been told i have psoriatic arthritis and rhymy said that the pa probably came when i was young and that was what caused most of the pain in knees in my teens my back in my twenties feet then knees in 30s. I understand abuse is wide spread but a doc that knows your history should never judge a person so.It is sad that some of us realy have to suffer for others abuse.My wife got mad one time when i was a docs because they didnt want to give me anything for pain. But she can get lortabs at any doc apointment. After my micro i was given only 15 lortab and when i told doc i was still hurting asnd couldnt sleep he told me to take advil. I hope you find some relief and or pain meds to help when needed.
  • yeah, i believe that's why he said that (not wanting to give meds). which is fine, but you could atleast suggest something that will help, you know?

    my husband is supposed to come with me the next time i go, and explain things from his point of view.

    i just don't want this doc thinking i'm some kind of drug-seeking drug addict. yes, i may be "seeking drugs" but only because i really need something, that helps!

    it is such a shame that people have ruined things for people that truly do need help.

    i think the doctors must be doing something wrong though, because i see it all the time in the paper how someone's getting arrested for diverting pain meds. i think they need to rethink their ways of figuring out who needs help and who doesn't, because there are alot of people out there still suffering, while others are getting arrested.

    oh well... on we go. =)

    take care.......... autumn
  • It's such a shame when innocent people get accused of drug seeking. It's only natural to want to take something to relieve your pain and the last thing you want is for your pain to be untreated.

    Well, I have several spinal conditions going on such as severe DDD, degenerate joint disease, facet joint arthritis, and plain old spondylosis which is often a very confusing term. Believe me..it all hurts like crazy. When the weather changes and the barometric pressure drops you'll be the first to know about it. Cold weather is really bad too, esp if you have metal implants like from a fusion for example. They do get cold and cause additional pain (use heating pad on the area). On top of it all I came down with arthritis in my teens and it manifested itself with swollen joints and fever. Years later it turned into autoimmune problems.

    Anyway, I think most doctors treat spine OA with an NSAID or with Celebrex, Prednisone for a severe flare up, and sometimes with Tramadol (Ultram) which is a non narcotic med that works like one, or with Vicodin or Percocets. They will also try PT and injections if necessary. I hope you find a doctor who is more understanding and open minded. Take care
  • Hello,

    No, that is not true and you definitely should seek another opinion. Also, what kind of doctor did you see? If you haven't already, you should probably see a Rheumatologist if you can.

    It is true that by the time people are in 60's or 70's, many people will show signs of arthritis, however it doesn't necessarily cause everyone pain. It's also not normal to have numbness and all the other nerve symptoms like you do. (You might even want to consider seeing a Neurologist) It's never normal to have any type of pain..pain is your body's way of telling you something is wrong. I can't believe that doctor you saw just dismissed your symptoms like that. You should have asked them if they're fingers are numb and if they have constant pain. I really hope you follow up with someone else on this especially since you've had it for 3 months now! That is not normal either.
  • Hi,

    I am a pnysical therapist. Diagnostic tests can find stuff that has nothing to do with symptoms. I would not worry too much about this diagnosis. I have had plenty of patients with 'severe' arthritis having only mild symptoms. So, this is not your destiny. Your sympotms can get better. Get to a good physical therapist with manual skills to get your spine moving correctly and give you appropriate exercises. Use ice (not heat!) on your painful regions.

    To learn more about various joint conditions and specific treatment ideas for arthritis, low back issues, and other joint conditions, visit:

    URL removed

    Good luck to you.


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    Post Edited by Authority Member haglandc

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