Severe back pain : When I first had RA I could barely... - NRAS


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Severe back pain

dobsey profile image
21 Replies

When I first had RA I could barely move due to back pain Once I was on meds it cleared up , but I had a severe reaction to biological meds so can never go back on them

Now the back pain is back and so severe I cannot walk and can only stand for a minute or so

They did an MRI again, and again it showed no issues to cause this

Rheummy says RA doesn’t affect lower back but I think he is wrong. I can’t walk

When I go on Facebook groups most say they have moderate to tremendous back pain due to RA. So I am confused. The pain will be on the left side for months then will move to the right side and then back again a few months later

It’s deffinately RA. What do you guys think


21 Replies
Hessie5 profile image

Hi Dobsey - I was told by my rheumatologist the only positive about RA is you don't get back pain, so yes, odd indeed. Could it be a major flare? I am sure you will get a response. I would go back to my consultant, you may need steroids to get you moving. Hope you find something that works for you.

dobsey profile image
dobsey in reply to Hessie5

This is Hessie5

linda-5502 profile image

Yes i have terrible back pain like you can only stand 4 a few minutes and like u i m sure it is RA. Help!!!!

dobsey profile image
dobsey in reply to linda-5502

Helix helix says maybe AS as I do get terrible neck pain and can barely move it

Might be worth you looking at it as well 🤔

Shreeve1979 profile image
Shreeve1979 in reply to dobsey

I get that pain sometime left side and sometimes right seems to move although I can stand and. I’ve about as I’m on steroids and just started on biologics .., I was also told that it isn’t RA and the i have the same with my neck and shoulders and apparently that isn’t RA either I’m not sure what I believe only that I know it hurts. Can understand wishing you some form of pain relief ASAP

Mmrr profile image

I had a slipped disc 28 years ago for which I had very successful surgery for and no real issues since until RD raised it's ugly head a few years ago.

When my RD is better controlled my back is fine, when not very well controlled I get awful lower back pain. I have a friend who also has RD and gets back pain when she stands for too long.

dobsey profile image
dobsey in reply to Mmrr

Thanks Mmrr no damage to back whatsoever Strange. Need to ring Rhummy nurse as it’s so painful

helixhelix profile image

Could you have ankylosing spondylitis rather than RA I wonder?

dobsey profile image
dobsey in reply to helixhelix

Just looked it up I have neck pain as well. Terrible I think you may be right It isn’t a flare. This is permanent. Can barely move

Thanks Helix. Ring rheummy nurses tomorrow

dobsey profile image
dobsey in reply to dobsey

I think I have both as they say once you get RA you get other autoimmune diseases. Have Fibro as well but have RA everywhere. But this back issues has only come on since 12 months after coming off bio logics 😡

Hessie5 profile image
Hessie5 in reply to dobsey

Do you think the biologic contributed to your back pain Dobsey?

Hessie5 profile image
Hessie5 in reply to helixhelix

HH - can you get RA in your back? Frustrating how we all get told different things 🤔

helixhelix profile image
helixhelix in reply to Hessie5

RA tends to go for the smaller joints in hands and feet, and then larger joints like shoulders and wrists because it goes for synovial joints. When the synovial membrane in this type of joint gets inflammed it produces the fluid that damages our joints and makes them swell.

It is not common that it attacks vertebrae (apart from the top one that joins your neck & head) because they are not the same type of synovial joint, but are cartilaginous joints.

However ankylosing spondylitis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that does affect your back. It is much less common than RA.

Also it is very, very common to get osteoarthritis in your back. And many people have both RA and OA. I do, and I actually find the OA is more of a problem at the moment that the RA!

Hessie5 profile image
Hessie5 in reply to helixhelix

Interesting thank you. Last question and I shall leave you alone. How do I know if I have osteo?

helixhelix profile image
helixhelix in reply to Hessie5

It hurts!

But seriously, a joint damaged by osteo looks different on an x-ray to one that has got erosions from RA. So best diagnosed that way.

To complicate matters you can also get secondary arthritis in a joint already attacked by RA.

Elmo333 profile image

I get terrible back pain but I was also told that it’s not RA🤷‍♀️

Kazwilks profile image

Hi Dobsey I to have back pain and hips. I was also told RA does not affect back or hips which I'm finding hard to believe as i have never had any problems with my back or hips until I was diagnosed with RA. My pain is at its worst in bed. I'm seriously considering buying a new mattress especially for sufferers with RA the only problem they are so expensive. Hope you get sorted soon take care

cathie profile image

Can you get to see a physio? They might help

Leics profile image

I get terrible lower back pain with RA too but it stems from my hips which are severely inflamed atm. My RA doesn’t affect my hands too badly with me it’s knees and hips and neck too sometimes has also caused problems in my shoulders too. If your hips aren’t inflamed it sounds more like ankylosing spondylitis. There are many autoimmune diseases that can be hard to diagnose or define. Hope your pain subsides soon.

Marycullen profile image

I have had RD for 19 years and have back pain. I go to two different chiropractor tors and they have helped relieve the pain. My left hip is higher than the other and the pain moves from side to side. I also had a neck fusion which brought out the RD majorly. I go to a chiropractor who specializes only in the neck. Both have helped immensely. We don’t need back pain with all the other issues.

Nanna71 profile image

Wondering if this is kidney pain moving from side to side?

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