Just had my MRI scan results

As some folk here may be aware I've had serious sciatica for the last 12 weeks, which has more or less kept me housebound. I spend most of my time laid up on the settee as it becomes too uncomfortable if I stay on my feet for long.

Had my MRI results yesterday and scan detected a small swelling on one of my lower discs, which is causing problems with adjacent nerve/s. I have now been called back in for further investigation on July 14th, which involves having a high contrast MRI scan with a dye injected...sounds fun! So it looks like I'll be laid up for several more weeks at least. I was feeling a bit down in the dumps already, but with the added worry of the MRI not revealing exactly what the problem is, I am now feeling pretty darned low to be honest and don't exactly look a picture of health. Fingers crossed that this small swelling is nothing too nasty and can be fixed... hopefully by means of a single, side effect free, tablet! ;)

I know I have to wait for the next MRI results to find out exactly what the problem is, but I've had slight discomfort in my lower back for a couple of years now, which seems to be the spot where my current pain emanates from. I'm wondering if this discal swelling could be linked to my RA?... the sciatica did start during a flare up.

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  • If you have RA(RD) rather than ankylosing spondylitis then it is quite unlikely that it's the RA,but do always ask your rheumy as they'll know how thedisease is affecting you. But lower back problems and bulgy discs are very, very common sadly - particularly lumbar spine which I guess is where your problem is as the sciatic nerve that gets pinched is between L5 and S1 vertebrae. And it is very hard to pinpoint the exact problem.

    Bothme and my OH have lower back problems. Although everyone's different, for us the absolute worst thing is too spend too much time laid upon the sofa. Although it feels best in the short term, it actually makes things worse as you loose your muscle tone that helps protect the vertebrae so becomes a downward spiral. My OH has a herniated disc, which used to be operated on automatically. But these days it's less advised and gentle movement and time are the recommeded approaches for him, with pain relief. It took a while, but he is now improving with exercise. So do talk to your GP about what they might advise.

    But also sympathy as I know exactly how much it hurts!

  • Hiya wishbone. Not much add to helixhelix's excellent advice but I do empathise. I have cervical spondylosis which typically affects my lower back (among other parts of me!) & find if I keep moving as much as is comfortable is much easier to cope with. My worst time with it is in bed, which goes against the grain as we all get fatigued & need to rest up & have much pain on waking having had a restless night trying to ease the discomfort. I'm struggling too at the moment as I've had to prn my etoricoxib & until my next Rheumy appointment relying on co-codamol which isn't nearly as efficient not being an NSAID .

    Have you spoken to your GP about it? He could maybe prescribe you a med such as amitriptyline short term to relax your muscles till you start on further treatment. I know it's yet another tablet but I did find benefit when I was prescribed it following whiplash, as if I needed that lol!!!!

    Hope you're sorted soon one way or the other & at least the weather's getting warmer. :)

  • I suppose though wishbone they didnt say we cant find anything and leave you? at least they are investigating further. Patience is a virtue im afraid with the nhs. Hope you manage till they work out what to do. Hugs xx

  • That's just what my wife said. Suppose I tend to agree, providing I don't need major surgery that is. ;)

  • She sounds like a clever lady !!! :)

  • PS. forgot to say thanks allanah.

  • Thanks for the replies, my medical knowledge is next to zero (typical of alpha males in this neck of the woods) :) so much appreciated.

    Yes it is my lower back that's affected. I spoke to my rheumatologist about it a fortnight ago and she does not think it's RA related. She also said that sciatica tends to hang around longer in older people - what a cheek I'm only 63! :) and did tell me to try to stay as mobile as possible.

    My sciatica has gradually eased over the last few weeks and I can now keep the pain to a tolerable level with just the occasional dose of tramadol/paracetomol, which is a darned sight better than the morphine, daizepam, co-codamol combo that was needed to relieve the excruciating bouts of pain I was previously having... it worked but blimey did I feel unwell on that stuff! Think I exaggerated somewhat about the amount of time I spend on the settee. I do try to keep active but find the more I'm on my feet throughout the day the worse the pain becomes. I will hold my hand up however and say that maybe I revert to the settee a bit more often than I should. The thing is, I'm fearful the serious pain will return if I overdo things, this has happened before and I seriously don't want it to happen again as it was the worst pain I've ever experienced.

  • Do you know, we'd know you were a man if you hadn't told us lol!!! No, this is serious stuff & as such you should listen to your body & as you quite rightly say don't overdo it. It's all about attaining a happy medium as it's just not worth the pain or the drugs that knock you for six if you do do too much.

    Take care.

  • It's that obvious is it - dare I ask how you ladies can tell I'm a bloke?...second thoughts perhaps it's best not to go down that road.... :)

    You take care too

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