Good morning. I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left shoulder 7 years ago and had some surgery to alleviate the symptoms which helped, but I still suffer with pain and restricted movement in this joint. For the last 2 years, I have been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica and a MRI scan showed ‘mild detorioration of the bone in the L4 and L5 vertebrae’ . I have been referred to a pain management clinic. I am struggling with all of this day to day. The pain and discomfort affects my sleep, my work and now my relationships as I feel emotionally low most of the time. However what I’m struggling with most is not knowing if this means I will get osteoarthritis in all my joints or are the 2 episodes unrelated ? As I am now 56 is what I’m experiencing just part of a normal ageing process ?


  • chrisb
    chrisb Moderator Posts: 704

    Hi @Soozie_lu31

    Welcome to the Versus Arthritis forum.

    I see that you have OA in your shoulder and lower back and are struggling with managing the associated pain and discomfort. This in turn affects your work, relationships and wellbeing. You are also concerned that this will lead to OA spreading to other joints.

    Well you’ve certainly come to the right place to meet others who have been through similar journeys and who will, I’m sure, be able to offer useful advice based upon their own experiences.

    Our website, if you’ve not already visited, should provide some helpful information, such as:

    You mention that you are concerned your OA will spread, this will not necessarily be the case as this link illustrates:

    I hope that you receive some useful input from other forum members who have faced similar concerns.

    Best Wishes

    ChrisB (Moderator)

    Need more help - call our Helpline on 0800 5200 520 Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm

  • helpline_team

    Hi @Soozie_lu31

    Thank you for posting on the helpline forum. I’m glad you felt able to reach out to us for support.

    Thanks to @chrisb for posting some very useful links. Also as chrisb says the online community is a great safe space to share your questions about arthritis or life in general. We would encourage you to read the other boards and join in when you feel you want to.

    Pain, as I’m sure you are fully aware, has a huge impact on our lives but not just physically. Lack of sleep reduces your ability to cope with the pain and leaves us exhausted and emotional. See the link below for some help with managing some of these issues.

    We cannot tell you how or if your arthritis will progress. Everyone’s journey is different, and it could well be that both these things are unrelated, but I can’t assure you that they are.

    If you haven’t already called the helpline, please consider doing so (freephone: 0800 5200 520). We can offer more tailored support, especially regarding pain management options you may not have considered.

    You can find out more about this, including emotional wellbeing  here:


    I hope this is helpful.

    Best wishes


    Helpline Team

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 64

    Hi Soozie,

    I am a 55 year old lady. I have osteoarthritis in L5 S1. I was in terrible pain for over a year. I stopped exercising and was so tired all the time and needed painkillers day and night. I complained to the doctors as they had advised I had Osteoarthritis but gave me no further information or treatment options. I was devastated. As a result of my complaint I was referred to a specialist physio and prescribed nortriptyline as well as co-codamol. The physio gave me exercises to do and gave me the confidence to exercise again.

    I do ballet, tap and stretch classes and love it. I walk a lot and cycle too. I don’t take painkillers in the day anymore and the painkillers I now take give me a good nights sleep most nights. Being more active in the day gives me a better sleep and this has improved my mood. I also have a 4 inch memory foam topper that really helps with comfort in bed. I also use heat pads/ hot water bottle to ease pain at night.

    It takes time to find what medication helps the pain, which exercises help and what makes pain worse. Keep trying different things to find what works for you. I still have bad days but there are more good days now.

    Take care