just been told have arthritis in my lower spine

just been told have arthritis in my lower spine, already have it in my cervical spine and right knee, i do not know what type i have. moving and sleeping are a problem. Also have emphysema and have applied for pip been refused so far. I cannot take nisads as had stomach surgery, wondering what is left for me. I have pain everywhere toes, fingers ankles, knees shoulders back.


  • Hi Carolannf,

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum, Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and the spine can be affected by this condition.

    Osteoarthritis means that the cartilage of your facet joints and discs have got thinner and the surfaces have become rougher. This can mean that your back or neck don’t move as smoothly as they used to, and they might feel stiff or sore. 

    Symptoms of Osteoarthritis (OA) can vary from one person to another, theses can be pain in your back or neck, stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after resting, crunching, or grinding noises when moving your back or neck. The condition can be difficult to diagnose but a confirmed diagnosis is very important so that it can be managed properly, this can be done either by a physical examination, x-ray, or an MRI scan.

    Keeping moving is an important way to reduce the pain caused by your osteoarthritis. Many people with joint pain worry that moving more could make things worse, but this isn’t true. Keeping your muscles and bones strong will support your joints. Speak to your doctor about a referral to see a Physiotherapist, other treatments include Hydrotherapy, which is exercising in warm water, which is normally done in a hospital environment.

    In your post you mentioned that you cannot take NSAID, if your condition is Osteoarthritis, I can tell you about a drug free treatment that you can only get on prescription from your doctor though, it is called Capsaicin cream, capsaicin cream is a well-tolerated pain reliever if used regularly, particularly beneficial for Osteoarthritis and can be used on several joints.

    I am sorry to hear that you have been refused PIP, if the claim has been turned down you can challenge the decision, speak to the Citizens advice who are really good at offering advice about benefits, alternately there is a website called turn2us that has a benefit calculator on the website, where you can enter your details to see what benefits you may be entitled to.

    I have attached a few links below, I hope you will find the information given below of some help.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Advisor

  • jeddison1985
    jeddison1985 Member Posts: 211

    Hi @jabroom13, I am one of the forum moderators here. I can see from your post that you have been told you have spinal arthritis, know but without a diagnosis you cannot confirm the type. I wanted to reach out to you as I have a similar condition.

    I myself have Ankylosing Spondylitis which is an inflammatory spinal arthritis and have been managing the condition for about 10 years now. I am glad I can say that through exercise, medication and a healthier active lifestyle I have successfully been able to have long periods of being pain free. I hope that you are able to find a plan and balance that works for you.

    There are different types of spinal arthritis and treatments have become a lot more advanced in recent years. As Chris said above spinal Osteoarthritis is very common but also below is some additional information on other types of spinal arthritis and also tips to manage back pain.

    I hope you find some help, advice and relief soon.



  • Carolannf
    Carolannf Member Posts: 21

    i also have arthritis in my cervical spine, although i did not know that was what is was, was told spondylitus or something similar, all my joints hurt, shoulders, neck, lower back, knees right one diagnosed with arthritis, toes, fingers, wrists. i am in a real old mess, i also have emphysema.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    Hi Carolannf,

    You should contact the CAB or turn2us re benefits as they are a nightmare to navigate with arthritis so you really need someone on side as for your diagnosis re arthritis is it all documented maybe get a copy of your medical notes you honestly don’t need the stress of dealing with your illnesses and the dwp they are a nightmare.

    Have you been referred to physio or pain clinic your gp can do that or you can self refer if your able to pay are you on any pain medication to help?

    love Jona 😊💪

  • Mike1
    Mike1 Member Posts: 1,992

    It would be worthwhile to organise an Occupational Health home visit, which can be done through the Adult Care department at your Council, as they can assess how you move around your home and look after yourself and put in any equipment which may be needed. They send you a copy of their resultant report which can then support PIP claims. Remember that PIP is not payable just because you may be disabled, it is to cover the additional costs of having such a disability. The amount you get depends on how your condition affects you, not the condition itself. It could be that, if you have a partner at home, that you need to claim Carer's Allowance. https://www.gov.uk/pip

  • Carolannf
    Carolannf Member Posts: 21

    i am waiting for an appointment with rheumatology, the appointment was made last month it is for September this year a telephone appointment. i am very puzzled how they can assess my joints via a telephone.

  • Jona
    Jona Member Posts: 406

    They can take a history over the phone and order mri scan and do bloods and if they need to see you it will be in a controlled environment while will this covid is going on he or she should be able to see any X-rays you’ve had too xx

  • Dear CarolannF

    Thank you for your postings. I wanted to let you know that if you would like to talk things through with us here on the helpline with one of our helpline advisors you are most welcome to call us. You can talk things through with us ahead of your rheumatology appointment to help you make the most out of your appointment. You can contact the Helpline on 0800 5200 520 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm).

    I hope this is helpful.

    Best Wishes


    Helpline Advisor