Hi, looking for advice for my girlfriend (Lower Back OA)

Johnny81
Johnny81 Member Posts: 3
edited 5. Apr 2015, 04:40 in Say Hello Archive
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice for my girlfriend, she's had back problems for years but for the last year it has been getting worse and worse so she's been to see the GP, had an MRI and been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of the lower back, she's only 33.

I've been trying to find some information online to see if there's anything I can do to help but all I've found is some exercises.

She's able to get about ok for the most part (though driving really wears on her) but she's had to give up horse riding (her passion), stop swimming and we can't take the dog on long hikes anymore. All of which is really taking it toll emotionally as she's gone from being very active to quite sedentary.

She's been seeing a bowen practioner for a while (which has helped), recently taken up pilates and she's been taking Omega3 supplements. Is there anything else we can do?

I've ordered a TENS machine from Amazon on the off chance that'll help (it was mentioned in one of the articles I read).

Any tips or links to some decent advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Johnny.

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,085
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Welcome to Arthritis Care Forums. As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences with arthritis and the problems of living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    All best wishes

    ModA
  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,093
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Johnny and welcome its good of you to do this for your girlfriend..
    I am alot older a t 64 but also have OA in my spine and a few other places..I would think that swimming would be ok has its none weight bearing,sorry to hear she has had to give up horse ridding..it must leave her feeling depressed..Pilates is excellent has it will strengthen her core muscles and that will help support her back.
    But she should certainly ask about the swimming, with back OA has with others the key is to keep moving.
    I do wish her well and who knows maybe she will get back to her horse ridding.
    Love
    Barbara
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's lovely to meet you but I am so sorry you have had to find us. What a lucky woman she having you there to support her, I know that it will make a difference.

    Sadly I cannot advise: I too have OA but mine affects different joints. You are right in that there is not much to be done on the medical front, it is a case of pain relief and maybe an anti-inflammatory medication - her GP is the one to deal with it as OA comes under their remit. Pain relief, TENs and anything else may provide temporary relief but the pain does return, it's the nature of the beast.

    Being diagnosed with any form of arthritis comes as a huge shock and it has no respect for age. I wish her - and you - well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • LemonMerigue
    LemonMerigue Member Posts: 62
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there!

    Sorry you're here.

    I feel your Gfs pain. I'm only 25 and have been diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, it really doesn't discriminate when it comes to age. It affects my shoulders, neck, mid - lower back, hands, hips, left knee and left ankle. It's very exhausting. My knowledge of OA is limited but I do know that gentle exercise is beneficial. I know you said she had stopped swimming and even though it may be uncomfortable it could be worth sticking with. As Barbara has also pointed out Pilates could be a good option for her (as would yoga - I'm a big advocate of yoga).

    Regards to you both!
  • Sparky75
    Sparky75 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jonny

    I really feel for your girlfriend. I had to give a 30 year dancing hobby up as I had a hip replacement and then found out I had lumbar facet disease and arthritis of the thoracic spine around my implanted spinal rod.

    Nothing can prepare you for the feeling of utter hopelessness when you finally give up on the one thing that keeps you mentally fit. I found visiting a hydrotherapy pool gave me some relief so maybe you could go swimming with her and get her to just float in the water with you supporting her (more so that she doesn't feel a wally on her own!).

    I hope she finds some inner strength help her along this horrible, painful journey she's been given.

    X
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,085
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    (Apologies for hijacking your thread Jonny81, but I spotted another new member posting!)

    Can I welcome you to the Arthritis Care Forums Sparky75 from the moderation team?

    As moderators we are here to help with any problems you may have on the message boards.

    There are lots of lovely people here with a wide range of experiences of arthritis and the challenges there can be living with the condition. Just join in wherever you like you will be made very welcome.

    I look forward to seeing you posting on the boards.

    Best wishes

    Moderator AC
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,675
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Sparky75

    Welcome from me too :)

    I am glad you've found the forums and hope meeting us lot will help you as much as it has helped me.

    So sorry to hear about you missing your dancing so much :(

    I agree with you that gentle exercise in warm water really does help :)

    Love

    Toni xxx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,675
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Johnny81 wrote:
    Hi all,

    I'm looking for some advice for my girlfriend, she's had back problems for years but for the last year it has been getting worse and worse so she's been to see the GP, had an MRI and been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis of the lower back, she's only 33.

    Thanks

    Johnny.

    Hi Johnny

    I too had back problems for many years from probably my late teens onwards. Sometimes it would be bearable...others unbearable.

    I have used a variety of things to ease my back.

    From wheat-bags - to heavy-duty pain meds. From Exercise to tens machine. I have had physio and traction and finally surgery . Everything I tried helped to an extent. Unfortunately I think it can be really difficult to see an orthopaedic surgeon these days and GPs tend to not refer you.

    All of what you are doing sound great. I agree with Sparky's suggestion of floating in the water with your help (you need a warm pool - cold water makes you tense up and back pain worse).

    She would probably benefit from joining us lot on here. Distraction is really helpful with pain you know. I also went on one of A/Cs 'how to manage your long-term condition' courses

    http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Selfmanagement/Workshopscourses/Courselist

    Don't forget to look after yourself too if you can - it's not easy supporting someone with a long-term condition.

    Love

    Toni xxx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • theresak
    theresak Member Posts: 1,998
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Johnny,

    I'm so sorry your girl-friend is struggling - she is lucky to have you supporting her. I can't really help with advice, as I have RA and don't have the same joints affected. I believe TENS machines have been found beneficial by some folks, so fingers crossed for your GF.

    Tezz.
  • Johnny81
    Johnny81 Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you all for the kind words and advice.

    It's been a funny week, at first we were both pretty upset by the diagnosis, it left my girlfriend feeling very low.

    That said however, it's given us an element of solace that we now know exactly what is wrong. It's aleviated the worry that the methods she was using to manage the pain were compounding the problem. Now we have a name and a course of action, we can plan and manage.

    It's given my girlfriend hope that she can get back to riding and not have to give up her passion.

    It's also good to know we've been doing the right things and that there's still a couple of extra things we can do (looking into yoga and wheat bags). 'We' especially like the warm water suggestion. I'm not sure my girlfriend got that I was joking when I suggested we get a hottub :)... this is going to get expensive!