Hello from a new member with OA in lower back!

Southerndave Member Posts: 2
edited 28. Nov 2023, 14:04 in Living with arthritis

I have just been diagnosed with OA by my GP here in France, and am struggling to come to terms with it! I have had some back problems for 25 years but all were normally resolved by physio and home exercising. I had a couple of herniated discs in 2013 but these healed up and I was fine from mid-2014, cycling and walking up the steep hills of the Correze where we live without any pain.

Last summer I put out my L5/T1 joint and had it put back in a couple of times, after which I felt fine and managed to walk fine for months afterwards, including hill climbing. It started to get a little painful when climbing hills around Xmas, and now it hurts all the time. My GP reviewed my scan and said my pain is arthritic, and that he can do nothing for me apart from painkillers. The 2013 scan highlighted arthritis forming in the lumbar/spine hinge and the lumbo-sacral joint.

It all seems to be very sudden and it’s taken away quickly all the things I used to enjoy so I’m really looking for anyone else with similar problems to see how to take my life forward. I’m a 62 year old man, not overweight, never smoked and don’t drink much. I eat heathily too, my only problem is poor posture which is partly familial, partly my choice of career. Pilates has been a great help to me and has helped a little, but I can’t yet seem to contro the pain, which stops me sleeping at times.

Any help greatfully appreciated, sorry for the whining!



  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi southern Dave
    Welcome to the forum sorry you are going through a lot at the moment we understand what you are going through as everyone here has a form of arthritis and go through similar pain
    Everyone on the forum is friendly and sympathetic, the most popular forums are Living with Arthritis and Chit Chat.
    All the best Christine
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,725
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dave and welcome from me too. I can see that this diagnosis – not to mention pain – has taken you by surprise and, really, when I read your last paragraph, I'm not surprised. You've clearly led a very healthy life and, even now, are trying to keep it that way with Pilates – which is recommended for arthritis.

    Let me say at the outset I don't really have back pain. I've had rheumatoid arthritis since 1961 and osteoarthritis since about 10-15 years later but my back contains virtually the only joints which aren't much affected. However, we all understand the pain and the struggle to live as normally as possible.

    You say “ I have had some back problems for 25 years”. It seems to me that someone living a less healthy lifestyle might have succumbed greatly to these a long time ago but by doing the hard graft of physio and care, you have got the very best out of your body.

    I can't really offer any help other than to say keep doing what you're doing apart, maybe, (and this is the tough bit) the hill-walking. There is a big difference between walking on the flat, or semi-flat, and walking up and down hills. Walking poles will help, especially on the downhill bits which really shake up the bones, but my guess is that aiming for flatter areas will help more. I'd certainly consult the physio on this as they are far better informed than I am.

    As for sleeping – most of us on here have to take some form of pain relief just before going to bed. I keep mine to an absolute minimum but a good night's sleep is the best preparation for facing the day ahead. Most people are reluctant to embark on a routine of daily medication but some of us need it so it might be worth discussing options with your GP. Doing all the annoying, boring and sensible things can allow us to keep going as we would wish for much longer.

    Also essential is a good mattress. They reckon they should be changed every 10 years.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright