Help xray results!

Hello all

I posted a week or so ago about my back and neck pain and the fact the chiropractor did an xray for me.

Well I got the results today, it apparently shows two damaged discs, in the upper back and neck. The chiropractor referred to this as 'degenerative arthritis'.

I'm thinking I should probably go back to my rheumy.

Just wondered has anyone had anything similar?

6 Replies

Degenerative disc disease is really quite common, especially as you get older. It may or may not be the cause of your pain, but it would definitely be worth discussing with your doctor. Just be aware that a chiropractor isn't a radiologist or a doctor, so they aren't really qualified to interpret xrays or decide what the reason for any damage is

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Thank you. Yes I'm definitely going to email my rheumy. I'm still not really clear as to exactly what it is. I'm 33 so not sure how common it would be at my age? Or why I would have it? Guess these are all things I can put to my rheumy.


I've had degenerative discs since my mid twenties. And I just wanted to say, Chiropractors are actually Doctors of Chiropractic Medicine and so are entitled to call themselves doctors. Clemmie


I had my first lower spinal fusion when I was in my early 30's because of degenerative discs. I had my second one when I was 55. I now have 3 bad discs in my neck. I'm sorry, but age doesn't really matter when it comes to degenerative discs. And, it doesn't have anything to do with your RA. I was diagnosed with RA 20+ years after my first disc fusion. There isn't much to do for bad discs (it's all just wear and tear damage) until you get to the point that the pain is so bad they will finally do a fusion. I really don't mean to be blunt, just honest. But in my opinion, you are doing the right thing for now which is to see your chiropractor. I've had an MRI which showed all the damage to my neck and spine, and other than surgery there isn't much my orthopedic surgeon said he could do. So I'm seeing my chiropractor monthly and it has kept the majority of my pain at bay. I hope you find relief soon!

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Aww thank you for the replies everyone. I thought a chiropractor may be good for me but he has said it is so damaged I'd need two sessions with him a week for possibly up to 6 months. And at £34 a session that's just not possible at the moment :(


Degenerative Arthritis, or Osteoarthritis, is something within your Rheumy's remit so I'm a bit surprised that he's not discussed this with you & ordered imaging himself if you've complained of pain before. I have it in my neck & lower spine (cervical spondylosis & lumbar spondylosis) as well as RD, many of us do particularly as we age.

I'd see your Rheumy & ask what he thinks would be best. He may suggest physiotherapy or if he's fine with Chiropractic suggest you continue. The thing is not all medical professionals agree that it's helpful, my GP for one. My h has seen one regularly in the past but he had to pay because our Practice doesn't refer. His GP recommended the one he sees for knee trouble & it did wonders for his back when he'd been prone in bed for a day with his arms crossed across his chest unable to unfurl them when he'd been bent double under the floor of a house he was renovating replacing floor joists.

If your Rheumy ok's it do ask if your Surgery is one who refers their patients, some do but as all the partners need to agree to it not all do.

For what it's worth it sounds as though your Chiropractor's fees are reasonable. My h's charged £40 for the first session then £32 each further session back in the '90's. Do check out his qualifications though.

I hope you get treatment whoever does it as it sounds painful, especially if you're not having good pain relief.


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