Facet joint degeneration advice

WindMystic Member Posts: 9
edited 25. Sep 2023, 09:18 in Living with arthritis

Hi guys. Just wondered if anyone can give me some advice as I’m feeling quite lost. I’m on the journey for getting a full diagnosis after suffering back pain over the last few months. Initial x-ray shows severe facet joint degeneration L3 to L5 . I saw the consultant on Friday and he’s organising for an MRI to rule anything else out but it’s gonna be a few weeks to wait for the scan and then for an appointment to see him again and I kind of don’t know where to go at this point in time. As you guys no doubt appreciate, the pain can be really wearing emotionally as well as physically. . I’ve gone from being a really active person to not really feeling I can do very much without pain. My difficulty is that I haven’t really found any meds that are helping at all, so I’m currently surviving as best I can popping paracetamol and occasional Co-Codamol with a few ibuprofens thrown in for good measure. So my question is any other suggestions for meds I could ask about trying. Anyone had any good results with naproxen? I have a prescription for that and lansoprazole, but the only issue is that I have a history of gastritis and I felt like the naproxen was flaring that up again, however I’m really feeling like I might have to just give it a go. Any thoughts on any other options I could consider investigating would be really very much appreciated. I am starting physio on Tuesday and may ask her about acupuncture because I believe that she’s a trained acupuncturist too , as I would like to investigate alternative options that are available. As you guys know, doubt understand, I’m just kind of willing to try anything right now.


  • Trish9556
    Trish9556 Member Posts: 391
    edited 26. Sep 2023, 09:59

    Hi @WindMystichave you tried a tens machine? I have had mine for many years...I'm in my second and it's brilliant. The one I have us from boots but there are many different ones.

    Mine has options for tens, ems and massage and simply attach the cables to the pads, place them where it hurts and turn it on.it is battery operated and they last well. My husband suggested a rechargeable and Bluetooth option but for me I stick with batteries and cables. I wouldn't want to have the device to go flat when I most need it and have seen negative reviews for the Bluetooth versions

    Love n hugs

    Trish xx

  • Hi @Trish9556. Thanks so much for the reply. I do have a tens machine, but to be honest I haven’t yet found much benefit from, although admittedly I haven’t given it enough time possibly. I’ve been meaning to try it again, so your message is really encouraging and I will give it another go, thanks again

  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,108

    Is your pain only in your back or do you have associated nerve pain? When I had facet joint arthritis I had a lot of nerve pain, I found gabapentin effective against that (it didn’t take it away entirely but it did reduce it). You have to titrate the dosage up over a few weeks and, I warn you, it makes you stupid!

    I would also ask for omeprazole or similar stomach protector along with gastric coated naproxen. I can’t tolerate nsaid without but I manage fine with that combo.

  • I did wonder about gastro resistant naproxen. It could be an option. I am having some pain down my legs but still waiting for mri and final confirmation if there’s anything else going on. Out of curiosity @frogmella you said when you ‘had’ facet joint arthritis and you use past tense. I am totally clueless about this as it's all very new to me. Does that indicate that your pain has settled. I’m guessing the arthritis doesn’t go away but is managed? Sorry if it’s a stupid question.

  • frogmella
    frogmella Member Posts: 1,108

    I had my arthritic level fused so that cured the problem because there was no longer movement there.

    I am now having nerve pain down my leg again from my hip this time so yours could be a combination of both. Try asking for gabapentin. My experience is that if you don’t ask you don’t get!