Back soreness

scozzie Member Posts: 333
edited 28. Apr 2013, 15:37 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi all

Just a quick question, how or when do you know if upper and lower back stiffness and soreness is OA? And what about the shoulder joint?

When I was first diagnosed with OA in my hands, feet and knees two years ago (my ankles joined the party six months later) they concluded that my back stiffness was probably due to having had sciatica affecting my right leg 14 years ago.



  • lizzieuk1
    lizzieuk1 Member Posts: 302
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    So the back stiffness being caused by sciatica isn't quite right, sciatica is just a word to describe pain in the areas the sciatic nerve feeds, the nerve has to be irritated by something which can be one of many things, most of these originate in the low back for example a disc prolapse pressing on the nerve root. The back stiffness is caused by a process happening in the back and that may then cause sciatica, it is very common to have some degeneration in the low back and many people without oa have this along with sciatica, on the same note it could be oa in the low back also. Really without an xray its v hard to say if its ur oa thats directly causing the back pain, I would suggest the upper pain is as a compensation for oa elsewhere since oa is less common in the thoracic spine and oa in the shoulder and/or legs could cause this. Shoulder is a common place for oa to effect, again an xray would show this, equally ur shoulder pain could be referred pain from the neck which is another common site for oa!

    As you prob guessed there's no simple answer to your question, if it continues past a few weeks prob worth asking for some xrays to assess if it is oa in these areas.

    If you can get some manual therapy that would prob help your body cope with the oa better.
    Hope that's helped.x
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,093
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Scozzie
    I had xrays then a couple of MRIs on my back...the xrays showed up some bony growths in the lumber...and the MRI showed up some bulging disc and narrowing...stenosies I think it called..and this was causing the sciatic you ask for an MRI...or ask to be referred to a back specialist..they will do the MRI...good Luck x
  • scozzie
    scozzie Member Posts: 333
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks ladies.

    I really should've said upper back/lower neck. The back's not too much of a problem, at the moment, so I'll ask about it next time I'm in seeing the doc.

    My sciatica's not been a problem for years, at the time it was murder though, and a year or two later I had a pinched nerve in my upper back/neck which was even worse which left my pinkie and ring finger on my left hand with a slight but permanent tingling feeling ... that same problem has reoccurred once since then.

  • rugbygirl
    rugbygirl Member Posts: 691
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Scozzie

    There are a variety of things that could be associated with your neck/ shoulder pain. I suffer quite a bit with neck and shoulder pain as well as lower back pain and a variety of other problems. It took plenty of tests including blood tests, xrays and MRI Scans to diagnose the problem and I finally got my diagnosis in September last year when I found out I have Fibromyalgia. It is worth going to your GP and asking them to refer you to the pain specialist and getting the tests done so that you know what you have.