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D.I.S.H a type of degenerative arthritis

jacqueline b.jjacqueline b. Posts: 6
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Arthritis, Osteoarthritis
Hi Everyone,

I was recently diagnosed with diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis which is a degenerative form of arthritis of the spine. Mine is located in the mid back and neck. The ligaments and tendons of the spine are becoming hard or calcifying so to speak. Anyone else out there with this problem? If so what do you take for pain and have you ever tried a back brace for relief? Any help you can offer would be great!



  • Hi
    I am 57 and was diagnosed with DISH about 7 years ago
    I have it in my Thoratic spine area.
    Every thing you read about it is scary.
    In the 6 years i have lived with it I have found that it is little harder to walk long didtances, a bit stiffer in the morning and you do get niggly pains every now and then.
    I have XRAYS every 2 years to monitor the progression.
    So far so good No progression.
    My specialist told me 20% of the population aged in their 70's to 80's would have some form of DISH.
    I have given up walking long distances now and have purchased a push bike. I find this great exersise and do enjoy it (I Ride about 20 Km's a day.
    It is important to try and stay as active as possible, but don't over do it if it hurts.
    When I look around I find a lot of people a lot worse off than me. PS If I over do the exercise I tave a Rapid 50mg Tablet & a Pain Killer Tramil.
    Any way all the best and don't believe all you read.
  • Hi Scamp,

    Thank you for your response. I have been having problems for the last ten years but was only recently diagnosed. The specialist feels it has only now progressed to the point that it was easily recognized on x-ray. It is often over looked by the people reading the x-ray when they don't know what to look for but is very evident to a specialist who knows what they are viewing. Luckily I was fortunate enough to see one who knew exactly what he was looking at. I thought for many years that doctors thought the pain was in my head. I am not in much discomfort when away from work but because of the repetitive nature of my job the pain becomes unbearable. Leaving my place of employment right now is not an option and am trying my hardest to get an ergonomic asessment done. All my health care providers feel this is the first step in my total health care program. I am being treated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories at the present but it seems not to be enough. Viox is still available and that is my last line of treatment. I was on it before the big scare and my family doctor thought it was pulled from the market but it is still available for those that the benefits outweigh the risks. The specialist also mentioned bracing so was trying to find out if anyone out there had tried braces for upper back pain and how they worked. I strength train twice weekly and do cardio on an elliptcial trainer three times weekly because it is low impact. My strenght training program was developed with my back issues in mind. I find exercise very benefical for keeping flexibility. Seeing a Chiropractor on a regular basis also helps a great deal. Thanks again for getting back to me and sharing your experiences.

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  • Hi Jacqueline
    I am from Australia
    I think a back brace would worsen your spine.
    I use a back stretching macine to stretch the spine.
    I figure if you try and keep the spine active and the vertabrea apart they may not fuse. (Just my thinking)
    All The Best
  • Hi Geoff,

    Australia sounds wonderful, it is on my bucket list of places to visit. I am an avid backpacker at least for now and I bet there would be some beautiful country to travel there. I am from Nova Scotia, Canada.

    The back brace is a last resort and would only wear it during certain chores. Not all my duties at work bother me so wouldn't need to wear it the total day. I am still trying meds but worry about the side effects of these drugs for the long term, I have nine years to retirement. Thanks for your response. It is always good to hear others thoughts and opinions. I am so glad not to be alone in my difficulties. Have a great day!

  • Hi all
    Unfortunately I too have had a diagnosis of DISH. My Rhumatologist thought I had Ankylosing Spondylitis, but closer investigation on x-ray showed up as DISH. Apparently there are detailed guidelines that outline the criteria for DISH. I am only 39 yo and am in constant pain in my lower back. I'm off to see a pain speciallist in a few weeks and am so looking forward to it. I was diagnosed 2011 and am still coming to terms with it. I have it all: Morning stiffness, lower, middle (thoracic) and neck pain along with limited range of movement in my pelvic region. Basically I walk, stretch and take pain meds. I can only take codeine based meds as I have developed three stomach ulcers (which blead seriously last yr) from using naproxen for serious pain. I'm ok now, but no more NSAID drugs for me, which is a shame, as they really do work quite effective for me. Believe it or not, but I'm a nurse and am unable to do a lot of my duties that I once was able to do. I now work in a clinic environment and cannot do ward work anymore :( At least I am greatful to be still working. I do feel for everyone on here and thx for listening to me. Sometimes when a person is in chronic pain, family and friends just don't quite get it and brush it off. Yes it's very very hard to live with this disease, but I have it and I now have to deal with it in my own way. I love hearing about your experiences too. It makes me feel like you guys are listening and I certainly know that you understand. Thx

    Lydia (Australia)
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  • Hi Lydia,
    I'm hoping you are still a member, I too am from Australia and I too have been diagnosed with DISH at a young age (diagnosed nearly 4 years ago, when I was 33). I started off with really strong NSAID drugs which I really didn't wish to continue with long term. As a result of minimal movement in my thoracic spine (T3-T10), I have developed bulging discs in my neck (C6/7). Then as a result of the discs pushing on my nerves, I have tingling and numbness down my arm.I have a pain management plan in place which includes nerve medication. I started on endep, then lyrica and now I'm starting on gabapentin. I would really like someone in Australia, but more importantly someone my age to talk to and compare 'notes' with about my issues. Hoping you're still around or anyone for that matter!!

    Tania. (Australia)
  • StrachanySStrachany Posts: 1
    edited 03/05/2015 - 11:57 PM
    Hi Tania,

    I am also from Australia. I was recently diagnosed with DISH -(4 weeks ago) (T2 - L5), so I am still in the exploring phase of understanding how to manage the pain and lifestyle.

    I am only 45, and the burden of debilitating is certainly taking its toll on not only me but my wife and kids. Unfortunately, the spread of the pain is in my Thoracic, Lumbar, Hip and Heel. I am taking (what I believe) to be a large amount of pain medications. Oxycontin 50mg t/d, Endone 10mg 4xd, Panadine Forte 500mg 3x2d, NSAID (Nurophine 400mg) 3x2d and medication to manage depression.

    In way of background, I injured my back at work in 2013, since then I have undergone an enormous amount of pain management. Over 40+ steroid injections from S1 to T2 bilaterally, approx. 16 denervation's at varying levels and several Ketamine infusions. On top of this I also have a Spinal Cord Stimulator implanted back in Nov 2014.

    My pain specialist has recognised that the stimulator is located too high up the spine and aggravating my thoracic. The plan is to lower the current leads to focus mainly on providing relief around my lumbar and hip areas. A request to my insurer for approval on a second trial of a peripheral subcutaneous stimulator is currently in progress with the aim to concentrate the pain in my Thoracic.

    I am limited in the functions I can do I.e. walking, bending, sitting and standing. I am a very optimistic person by nature, and whilst I have some down days, life must go on with a smile and hope that sooner or later some relief or cure will be found.

    If anyone is reading this post and can offer any advise; in particular those who have been inserted with a SCS, I would really welcome your feed back.

    Kind regards to all of you and I am so pleased that this forum is available to discuss what we are going through.

  • Hi All, I've been visiting a really good support group on Facebook called Forestier's/DISH. There are lots of people with experiences to share.

    I was diagnosed about a month ago and am still connecting all the dots from the last decade. I am interested in researching the basic science to determine contributing factors and healing factors. DISH is very similar to AS in outcome as I have been reading. I'm not sure it has been classified right as a degenerative type arthritis due to the similar rates of pathogenesis between it and Ankylosing Spondylitis. At any rate, the inflammation can be reduced but it seems once the bone formation starts, we are unable to stop the faulty repair process. The best we can do is stop the inflammation and hope the bone formation fizzles out which isn't very encouraging. It's at least something I can hold onto to feel some control over the situation.

    I wish you the best of luck!
    Cheryle Yarbrough
  • I was diagnosed only a few months ago with adhesive arachnoiditis and I just found out today that I also have DISH, I've had loads of past x-rays, CT/Scans and MRI's and not a one caught this just like with the AA. I currently cannot take any kind of medication due to the complications over the years but I do try to stay as active as I can.
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,347
    Take a look at Spine-Health's sister site, Arthritis-Health article Conditions related to degenerative arthritis
    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
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