Am I right in thinking that osteoarthritis is degenerative?


I’ve got spinal and general osteoarthritis along with fibromyalgia, I can say that the joints affected do mirror each other, so at least my pains are symmetrical. I’m concerned that my spine will get increasingly more painful with longer periods of stiffness, my mother had surgery on her upper and lower spine to release the pressure on nerves, and so far my symptoms are very like hers, it’s a scary thought.


  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 1,644

    Good Morning @rubies2020 lovely to meet you and welcome you to the Online Community.

    I see from your introduction that you have Osteoarthritis in your spine and other joints as well as fibromyalgia.

    You ask whether Osteoarthritis is degenerative in your title. That is not an easy question to answer so l will give you this information to read:Osteoarthritis (OA) | Causes, symptoms, treatments (

    The Section entitled 'How with Osteoarthritis affect me' goes some way to answering that question. The section titled 'Causes' too is of interest as you say your Mother had to have back surgery. It is a scary thought and not an option which Drs take lightly as you can see if you read this information specifically about Osteoarthritis of the spine: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the spine | Back pain | Versus Arthritis

    I'll leave you now to meet our members🙂

    Best wishes


  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    Hi, I have widespread OA including OA of my spine and Degenerative facet joint disease; my OA certainly is degenerative and I would have welcomed surgery but a Neurosurgeon refused to operate 10 years ago on the basis that there was too great a risk of paralysis! Since then no treatments have been offered to me and now I am on ever increasing doses of Morphine having tried every other drug available.

  • rubies2020

    Hi Mike1, thanks for taking the time to reply. I can relate totally with your experiences of painkillers I also have morphine capsules available for when my pain has gone beyond the just bearable and the Buprenorphine has only taken the slightest of edge off the pains. I find most frustrating is even with all the meds I take I’m still in pain somewhere. Take care

  • stellabean
    stellabean Member Posts: 307

    hi rubies I was attacked over 20 yrs ago and ended up with 3 damaged discs in my neck the neurosurgeon said he would not operate as it was too risky and after further scans they found I had degenerative disease in my spine. In fact I was only 40 and had the spine of an 80 year old, his only advise was use a wheelchair when in pain , be careful how you sneeze and if you fall do not put your arms out or you will end up paralyzed. Since then I have managed to keep mobile though I have pain it is part of my life and now I can accept it.I also have OA RA and fibromyalgia as well as Crohns disease just because I am greedy. Not everyone's journey is the same or predictable according to the consultant I shouldn't have been able to walk and things would get worse and fast ( well he was wrong there)

    Try to remember that medicine is always moving on and surgical procedures are always advancing sometimes it is better not to fear what the future might bring as you may miss the marvelous things happening in the present. Take care.

  • rubies2020

    Hi Stella, wow you haven’t done things by halves have you, I’ve always felt that if I know my limits I’ll be able to do the things I always used to, but the problem is that OA and Fibromyalgia get on a little too well together and I’ve found that a fibromyalgia flare will also set off the pains of OA. It just seems that the medical profession are content with dishing out a load of painkillers and generic advice like eat a healthy diet, get exercise etc., which for some people it maybe does work, but they should take into account the age of the patient in question and how long they’ve been suffering. Take care

  • airwave
    airwave Member Posts: 579

    I’m in a similar position, there are ways to help yourself and let’s be truthful, OA is not going to get better but the way you deal with it can improve. There is so much information on this site, you need to sit down and read. If we wrote it all down we’d be here for a few years.

    Talk to the helpline, read this site, ask your go for a referral to the Pain Therapy Clinic, they will interview you and can send you on a very good course.

    good luck.

    pits a grin, honest!