Hi

I’m a 52 year old lady with a history of back pain going back 30 years. I had a hip replacement in 2017 and have now been diagnosed with multilevel degenerative disc disease and OA of the facet joints. I have been really struggling with pain management and feeling very low as doctors seem to refer to this condition as “just wear and tear” which makes me feel a fraud. And of course it’s not visible and therefore difficult for people to understand that every day is painful. Does anyone else feel like this?

Comments

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 678

    Hi to you too @Maxine9

    I see you have a long history of back pain and have been diagnosed with Osteoarthritis and Degenerative disc disease.

    It sounds to me as though you are really struggling with pain and feeling low as the Conditions have been referred to as 'wear and tear'. I can promise you you are not alone in feeling the way you do and many of our members will relate to your story and will share their experiences with you.

    In the meantime it might be worth a look at this information: Osteoarthritis (OA) of the spine | Back pain | Versus Arthritis

    Even if you think you know a lot about the condition do please have a look there might well be things you haven't tried which might make your life a lot easier.

    I look forward to seeing your posts.

    Best wishes

    Ellen.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 330

    Hi Maxine9,

    I know what you mean about feeling like a fraud and saying wear and tear really annoys me , I have DDD and oa in many bones in my body and like you feel pretty low as it strips you of your identity and one phrase really makes me mad is it’s just a bit of arthritis yet I read of celebrities have had shocked medical condition of arthritis in the knee and been told to slow down but ours is just a bit of arthritis I have days where I cry with the pain a consultant once told me bone pain is like a toothache you can’t get rid of

    ive been referred to the pain clinic and am sick of putting massive amounts of chemicals in my body to try to get the pain under control I have been told they can help my hot water bottle helps placed on my back nearly all the time

    it’s pain and where there is pain there is a problem so don’t let anyone underestimate or play it down to you, there is a wealth of experience here on this site and really lovely people who are very supportive I was at rock bottom when I first asked here for help and now I’m stronger every day mentally

    talk to these lovely people and you will find a way to stay strong 💪

    big hugs

    Jona 😊

  • Maxine9
    Maxine9 Member Posts: 6

    Hi Jona, I’m so sorry I didn’t acknowledge your response sooner, I genuinely didn’t realise anybody had replied!

    Thank you for your reply, it helps to know people do understand and I am definitely coping better at the moment.

    Take care,

    Maxine x

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 13

    Hi Maxine,

    I am a 54 year old lady. I have osteoarthritis in my lower back. I suffered for over a year before I was given a MRI scan. On phoning for the results I was told I had Osteoarthritis in L5 S1 and I should “get some physio” .I was devastated.I had done some physio through the doctors and it hadn’t helped. I was in terrible pain day and night and was hoping for a cure / explanation/ treatment plan ! I felt I had no where to turn . I wrote a letter of complaint and then things improved. I was referred to a specialist back physio, who was amazing. He explained and gave me the confidence to start to exercise again. He said not exercising for the last year had made things worse and the physio I had been given so far was useless as I was already fairly fit and needed different exercises to the “norm”! I had to change a lot of things. I worked long hours , sat at a desk 5 days a week. I now work 8 hours , 3 days a week. I can’t run or do aerobics but I can cycle and do ballet and stretch class. I walk a lot. I rarely need painkillers during the day now but I need them to sleep. I take 60mg codine, 1000mg paracetamol and 20mg of nortriptyline for nerve pain. Occasionally I also need Naproxen. I sometimes use heat pads as well and sleep on 4 inch memory foam mattress topper. It has taken 3 years to find the right medication , exercises to do and not to do. Often I am in some pain before I exercise and really don’t feel like it, but I know it will definitely reduce my pain overall. I’ve accepted that I wake up to pain every day but the more I do (sensibly) the better I am. I have some bad days, days I need to rest and take painkillers but not so many now. It’s all a bit “trial and error” and it takes time to find what works best to reduce the pain. I am so much better than I was a couple of years ago and hopefully you will find something that helps to reduce your pain.

    I joined here when I was having a “bad day” and as you say people just generally don’t understand how bad it can be- the pain and how low it makes you feel and wondering if tomorrow will be worse than today. But then I have a good day and the bad days can be forgotten for a while.

    Take care

    Debbie

  • Maxine9
    Maxine9 Member Posts: 6

    Hi Debbie, thank you for taking the time to reply, really helps to know people understand. I’m having a good period at the moment but still take painkillers most days, co-codamol mainly but I also have Amitriptyline at night and sometime Naproxen if I need it during a flare.

    I try and keep very active but I just find I do get very tired quickly and need to rest more than I did a few years ago. Am finding that hard as I can’t sit still! I work full time but thankfully mostly now from home so I can make sure I move around, stretch or get out for some air and exercise with my dog when I need it.

    I find that I’m in a cycle of having a good period followed by a bad one where I get temporary help and then I go off the radar again until I reach crisis point again where my body says “no more”. I then get quite depressed which makes the pain worse. It has helped to understand the close connection between my mental health and my physical health as my body reacts very badly to stress and causes me more pain. So looking after my mental health is as important as looking after my physical health 😊

    Take care,

    Maxine x