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Back pain

I have had back pain since 1996 I have had physo phearphy and a recent scan in 2014 shows that it is now known as degenerative spinal arthritis I also have high blood pressure but past 2months I have had real pains in my left leg and left foot and on right leg it feals like its got cold running water down it I am on meds I was on lycra 1 a day but doctor has not renewed my script for this the pain is just about bearable but what should I do as I wss told degenerative spinal arthritis is not treatable I am 47 and dont know were to go from here the meds I am on are naproxen omeprazole perindopril and amlodipine any suggestions would be great thanks.mark

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Just been told the same thing so will be interested in any reply you have.

With this pain .i totally feel for you .along with r/a it doesn.t seem fair

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Ask to be referred to a neuro surgeon for a MRI and see what he says afterwards darling. Hugs.xxxx

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I agree with sylvi , you need to get further assessment to find out what is causing the pain so that it can be treated properly. Have you ever be referred to an orthopaedic or neuro consultant?

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Thank you all for your advice I will ask again I had an MRI back in 2014 which I went through the results with doctor who confirmed that 3of the spinal discs on upper part of neck were 30percent degenerative and that it was and could not be reversed I have googled other symptoms that I have and all points to spinal fluid witch naproxen is ment to help with but when I do any walking or lifting my hands swell up now it has started on left leg and foot I cant see a doctor for another 2weeks but hope he can do something even for pain would be a help but through all these years I sometimes feal like a number to them thankyous all for advice

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No chance of replacing the discs? My 36 year old son who lives on the other side of the world went to his doctor in September of last year. His right arm had started to go numb, she knew immediately what the problem was and referred him to a neurologist who replaced two vertebrae in his neck. He said that by the time he had his op (October) his leg was beginning to go numb too.

The surgeon had to go in from the front, used cadaver vertebrae and put them in along with a metal cage and he is back to normal now, the numbness had gone by the time he spoke to me on the phone after his operation.

His surgeon said he’d never seen anything like it as the two vertebrae he took out were the only ones damaged with wear and tear and everything else on his spine was absolutely fine. Definitely push for a scan to find out exactly what’s going on.

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The swelling in your hands is most likely from the Lyrica,

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Hi Mark

I’m a similar age to you and have had some pretty serious back problems myself over the last few years culminating in emergency surgery and partial paralysis. I woke up one day and couldn’t move my legs after three months of sciatica in both legs and feet. Following on from this and triggered by the massive loss of muscle in my back and legs along with the fact that I couldn’t stand up unsupported I started seeing a personal trainer and doing regular stretches and exercises.

I had many more minor symptoms and with the benefit of hindsight I wish I’d started the exercise program before it was so severe.

My diagnosis is different from yours ( mainly disc problems that have caused vertebrae to slip and fuse along with pressing into my spinal cord) but the health profession is coming round to the view that the best thing you can do for back pain is exercise and stretches. Pain killers are not the answer, although they do have a place for some they should be used at as low a dose and for as short a time as possible.

I was on pregabalin (Lyrica) for a while and wish I’d never heard of it. It was a nightmare drug for me and took me years (literally) to get off. The more I know about it the more I hate it.

Since the surgery I have stopped taking all of the meds that I didn’t absolutely need to be on, including diclofenac and lasoprazole that I’d been on for 20 years. Initially I had quite a bit of pain in my hands and wrists but this has now settled and I rarely take NSAIDS these days after becoming more aware of the side-effects of long-term use. Obviously some with RA have little choice but to take them, but I was determined to reduce the multiple meds I was on and am pleased I did.

And that’s it really these days. Regular exercise to strengthen core muscles which helps to support the spine and truly does make a huge difference. Regular stretches to keep hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes etc from being too tight. Trigger point release of painful, cramping muscles and as few meds as possible.

The exercise would likely help your BP also, although I’d like to stress I’m not suggesting you stop taking the meds for that. I know nothing of those meds and would assume they are quite important.

NICE are telling doctors to avoid MRIs and the like as well as avoiding opiates and to basically suggest what I’ve said above as the evidence doesn’t support these approaches in most cases. I did have MRIs but they were done privately and only after I was basically paralysed. There is a time and place for them, but they are trying to do them less for general back pain.

All that said I would definitely tell a doctor about the neurological symptoms it sounds like you are having (the leg pain and cold sensation) as they might want to investigate further and see what they think of you doing some form of exercise program - maybe they could even refer you on to one (after all it would cost the NHS less than the alternatives).

Good luck.

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Hi there just a quick one have you been tested for AS I only ask as I had lower back pain then pelvis and hip pain which started in my 20's I thought it was my job and being pregnant then having small children etc I had a car accident and a massive flair started which I was told could be ms after 9 months I was Told it wasn't it was a prolapsed disc then it became 3 discs nerve pain and I was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis spine . It was 13 years before I was finally seen by a rheumatologist who straight away looked at all my symptoms and arranged for blood tests and X-rays of my pelvis and thankfully the SI joints showed changes . By this time I had 16 plus procedures on my spine that has caused nerve damage my right leg I can't touch as it makes me feel sick as the skin is so sore . I was so relieved to be told it was AS and now with RA as well but I have continued to walk through the pain as best I can I've torn ligaments in my legs etc but having taken so many cocktails of pain killers I truly glad that I was told to keep going even when I struggled to get out the chair and cross the room as it was better for my spine . Please read up on it and mention to your doctor as from others I've spoken to it is difficult to get a diagnosis . Sorry if I have waffled but I have a lot on at the moment but wanted to run this passed you for information . Good luck 🤗

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Hi Nessa28

I’ve had RA for 19 years and have been under the same consultant for about 14 of those and he is fully aware of what has happened with my back. I’m assured by both him and the surgeon that operated on my back that there is no sign of an inflammatory cause and that ‘It’s just bad luck’. 🙄

I imagine even if they thought it was AS the treatment would be the same as I’m on Humira (and have been on just about every dmard there is with no joy).

As you can imagine when I had major issues with my back I found it hard to believe it was entirely coincidental!

I think for me though the reason was largely mechanical as I’d been walking with a limp for years while I waited for a TKR (too young apparently) and then I suddenly started walking upright following the TKR and my discs decided to go for a walk. Don’t think the long-term use of certain meds helped either (and neither does the rheumy when pushed), but who knows.

Thanks for the information though, I appreciate the thought.

🙏🏻

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Bless you it's rotten luck when your spine starts to go as I so understand . You are so right I'm on humeria and solpadol only now but I can't believe the nasties I have taken over the years which have caused other problems . I do so wish you well and glad you have a good consultant and help 🤗

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Yes it’s a bit of a shock when you wake up and can’t move your legs!

Oh well, I’ve come out of it better than a lot of others do after back surgery (mostly pain free for now at least) so I guess I must be lucky after all. 😀

Consultant is one of the best, which unfortunately means he’s just moved on to head up the rheumatology set-up in Birmingham but I’m amazed he did clinics for as long as he did so can’t complain really. Replacement seems ok from one appointment...

Take care.

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I have been so overwhelmed with the support this site have given me today and will raise the thoughts with my doctor at next appointment I must point out I am not house bound I sat at a sewing machine for 9 years and till now have been working parttime as a milkman and rest of week delivering for yodel which is about 6 hours each day not as mobile as I used to be and problem could have arisen from my work I get exercise donig this but very painful all the time but I manage best I can as when I stop work pain multiplies this could have brought on blood pressure problems I cant sleep long at nite as mornings are hard to deal with I would had of gave work up but its the only thing that kind of helps with pain if that makes any since? Thanks again everyone

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I thought naproxen shouldn't be taken with high blood pressure at least that' is what my doctor told me as it thins the blood ?

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Naproxen will raise your blood pressure as does ibuprofen. Aspirin thins the blood. I have been on a consistent dose of 325 mg aspirin for 30 years. I take it with a glass of milk at breakfast. Coffee and aspirin don't mix. I originally started taking aspirin because there was a very high risk in my family of early cardiac deaths under 50 in multiple relatives. I didn't learn until much later that the other side of my family had the rheumatic problems so the aspirin has kept my inflammation under control as well as my heart concerns.

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That is good to know as I take both aspirin and naproxen. I too have strong family history of heart problems and was worried over taking naproxen thanks

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The best thing for your back is to exercise it daily. Do stretches of your back. I will raise my arms above my head and grab a hold of the door frame and then into it and back and just stretch my back as much as I can. I also stretch as much as I can before I get out of bed in the morning. The pain and cold in your legs might be a vascular or microvascular problem.

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Couldn’t agree more. Stretching and keeping active is the way to go. Once I found myself a great Pilates teacher I never had to go back for my twice yearly physiotherapist visits.

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