Knee OA affecting back and digestive system?

My arthritic knee has become steadily more painful since November. It's now slightly warm and I can't bend it properly. I'll be seeing the physio again next week. Because I'm walking differently - using a walking stick, as well - I've had excruciating pain in my back. This had eased somewhat since December, but is still there. I know I also have OA in my spine.

This seems to have had a knock-on effect on my digestive system - I do have IBS, but the pain has tightened all my muscles, including the stomach muscles. Would inflammation in my knee joint affect my digestive system, too? Yes, I'm feeling very sorry for myself!

I'd be grateful for any ideas to help with the back pain. Would two walking sticks be better?

When I see the physio would a steroid injection be a good idea? There is some reluctance - both from the physio and the GP - to send me for an x-ray, unless it's connected with upcoming surgery. Should I push for this?

Any advice/help would be appreciated.


  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,684

    Hello @Megrose489 . I don't really think I can help. I wish I could.

    I can't personally see why increased knee or back pain would affect your digestive system. I'd be more inclined to blame any increased medication or a possible change of diet. Christmas riches? But then I don't have IBS.

    I would guess that two sticks or a rollator (I love mine) might well help your back as you'll be better balanced but your physio would be the best person to advise.

    As for steroid injections - my experience is that they can help a lot but only in the relatively early stages. Again, ask the doc or physio.

    I also don't know about an x-ray. Of knee? Or back? If it shows deterioration which would necessitate surgery then I see the point. Otherwise, would it really tell you anything useful?

    As you see, I know very little😆 but I do feel for you. You're in pain and unsure what to do to sort it. I'd be making a mental list of what to ask the medica. Good luck. Please let us know how you get on

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  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,204

    Interestingly enough and a bit embarrassingly I get worse back pain (had surgery on mine many years ago) when I need to do a number 2! This started just prior to the back operation when I was in real trouble (completely lost the feeling in my right leg it stopped working) and persists to this day. I think there is a maybe a link with a nerve in the spine which connects to the bowel.

    Like @stickywicket I am inclined to think it might be better to be 'balanced' when mobilising as this will maybe mitigate 'favouring' (and thus putting pressure on one) side of the body. Obviously this is pretty well just personal opinion.

    'They' seem increasingly reluctant to look at imaging these days no idea at all why.

    Finally I'd personally try the injections (for myself) I know a few people for whom they have been very effective. For you it has to be your decision.

    Sorry as yet I am very fortunate and do not have noticeable knee OA.

    Best of luck

    Toni x

  • Megrose489
    Megrose489 Member Posts: 771
    edited 5. Feb 2024, 15:46

    Thanks Sticky and Toni. My back pain has improved, thank goodness, but I'm still going to discuss the use of two sticks or a rollator with the physio the next time I see her. Thanks again for your replies.