Spine arthritis diagnosis, what do I do?

Hi everyone, I have just been diagnosed with arthritis of the lower spine. I have been stuck living & sleeping in my lounge chair for over 4 months now because I can't lay flat for the pain. I was hoping the consultant would say the MRI showed that I needed an operation that would sort me out, but he said it's arthritis and an operation would not help. I think I'm a bit shell shocked! Does anyone have suggestions for supplements that actually help? I will lose weight and exercise gently, but it will be a struggle with the pain, at least to start with. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks all.


  • Anna
    Anna Moderator Posts: 731

    Hello @MarkIanHunter and welcome to the online community,

    I understand you’ve just been diagnosed with arthritis of the lower spine and you finding it hard dealing with the pain, especially lying flat. You’re looking for advice about supplements or anything else that can help with the pain. A diagnosis of arthritis can seem quite overwhelming but you’ve come to the right place for support and advice - all our members live with arthritis and are friendly and keen to share their experiences.

    Losing weight and taking gentle exercise are two of the most effective ways of helping with the pain. Here’s a couple of links from the Versus Arthritis website about osteoarthritis, its treatment and ways you can manage it, and a page of gentle gentle exercises that you can do:

    You might also find some useful information on the following page that talks about diet and nutritional supplements:

    Do let us know how you’re getting on,

    Anna ( Mod)

  • DebbieL
    DebbieL Member Posts: 61


    I am 56 and have OA in L5 S1. I was diagnosed in 2019.

    I had basically given up exercise because of the pain. After a full day sat at a desk I often came home and took strong painkillers and went to bed.

    It wasn’t until I complained to my GP that things improved. I was referred to a specialist back physio .The exercises he gave me massively reduced my pain and gave me the confidence to exercise again. I do ballet, stretch class and tap. I can’t run but I can cycle a bit. Just built the exercise up slowly. I also reduced my office work to 3 days a week. I still need 2x 30/500 cocodamol and nortriptyline to sleep but I don’t often need painkillers in the day anymore. Exercise in an evening also helps me to sleep.

    I have a 4 inch memory foam topper on my mattress that cushions my hips and helps me to sleep. As backup I use heat pads on my back and naproxen if I can’t sleep.

    Its a massive blow to realise that the arthritis can’t be fixed. I was devastated and my future looked like loss of mobility and ongoing and worsening pain. However I have made some adjustments and have found I can do more than I ever thought I could. I still have bad days where I take to my bed with my painkillers but not too often- it’s part of my life now that I accept.

    I hope my story helps.

    Take care