I have been having back problems since my 20's ( 46 now ). I went into to see a doctor about 2 months ago know after the large quantities of ibuprofen were no longer hacking it. After convincing the guy I was not working out and really was having issues with my back he decided to run a set of xrays. 20 minutes after the xrays were taken he comes back in and asks me what kind of pain killers I would like. Pick what I want. He told me he thought I had some form of ankylosing spondilitus and my spine was in bad shape. Pain meds and a referal to a rhemy.

Rhemy stated I had dish. Offered pain killers and said nothing could be done. After looking up dish I began to have doubts about that diagnosis because of my age and that its effecting every one of my vertibrea.

Seen an orthopedic surgeon last week who is a friend. He spent quite a bit of time going through my exrays. He came back in and jokingly ask me what vertibrae hurts followed by its in all of them. His diagnosis was spinal spondylosis with stenosis in my in my lower back. moderate to severe in places. Said there was no surgical option only management at this point.

My questions are as follows... Anyone else in this situation? What can I expect longterm? Is it going to be pain killers/muscle relaxers the rest of my life? I cannot have cortizone because i'm diabetic. my wieght is fine and I walk twice daily. Anyone?

My last question is about pain. I have the ususuall aches, bone on bone pain and occational sharper pain. But the worst of it is the gnawing pain in my spine. It drives me crazy. It feels like something is alive in there and gnawing on the bones. Its not that its that painfull its that its constant some days and tenses up my entire back and pretty much nothing relieves it. Any idea what is causing this and how to get relief?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Bfromaz
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First Helper sabine175
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replied March 2nd, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
Its not possible to say what exactly is causing your pain but if you think of your spinal cord of an extension of you brain which it is and it course's all the way down your spinal canal and branches out grooves in the vertebra at all levels and then all these vertebra that have delicate joints at the back of them (facet joints) begin to fuse together which is what Spondylosis is. It is understandable that your pain is so unpleasant. Medication and exercise are the two treatments used to manage this disorder. get someone good to help you manage this condition.
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replied March 2nd, 2008
Experienced User
You stated you had x-rays but there is no mention of a MRI. MRI is the only viable way to diagnose spinal stenosis and is helpful in many other diagnoses. Most with ankylosing spondylitis have a positive blood test HLA B27 and the treatment involves drugs in the class of etanercept. Spinal stenosis may be treated with x-stop surgery or laminectomy whereas spondylosis of the zygapophyseal (facet) joints may respond to radiofreqency neurotomy.
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replied March 2nd, 2008
Experienced User
You stated you had x-rays but there is no mention of a MRI. MRI is the only viable way to diagnose spinal stenosis and is helpful in many other diagnoses. Most with ankylosing spondylitis have a positive blood test HLA B27 and the treatment involves drugs in the class of etanercept. Spinal stenosis may be treated with x-stop surgery or laminectomy whereas spondylosis of the zygapophyseal (facet) joints may respond to radiofreqency neurotomy.
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replied March 2nd, 2008
Stenosis
The surgeons diagnosis for stenosis was based on me having numbness in my right foot. No reflexes in right leg. Sciatic pain at times going down my left leg. While walking/excercising at times my legs go rubbery and start to give out.

I have also lost a lot of my ability to turn my neck (30-45% loss). What ever this is its in every vertibrae I have from what I can see from the x-rays. It is slowly reducing my range of movement as the vertibrae ankylos.

I lived a fairly active life in my 20's and 30's. Military, skydiving, dirtbiking, climbing etc.

I am currently waiting for insurance approval for an mri.

The pain for me is not in just one or two joints but runs the full lenth of my spine. It varies from day to day depending on my activities. Today my lower back and neck are bugging me and my mid back is quiet ( Mid is my worst area ).

Thank you for pointing out the radiofreqency neurotomy. I will explore that as an option. Kind of nice hearing about options verses being told to take vicodin, percosett, tramadol etc and told its management only.

Thanks for the replies.

Bfromaz
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replied March 2nd, 2008
Active User, very eHealthy
OK, BfromAZ:

I have exactly the same diagnosis and I have been suffering since 2000. I've had so many MRIs that all the many doctors I have seen agree with the stenosis. I just had six facet injections and have been virtually pain-free for two weeks. My pain is not exactly the same as yours, though, as my lower back is the worse. I've already had a cervical laminectomy and that area is fine.

I have had drugs, many types of injections, exercises, radio frequency ablation and it's been hit-and-miss. I was on heavy pain medications (Norco, morphine, oxycontin) for four years, but I became dependent and had to stop. I quit last February and was sick as a dog for a month or so, then gradually improved a little each month. It was May before I really felt like the drugs were out of my system. Needless to say, even though they do work on the pain, I do not recommend drugs unless you're willing to stick to the prescribed dose (which almost impossible with deep pain).

I'm presently on pain management and taking non-addictive Lyrica for nerve pain, but still needed the injections because the pain was becoming too much. I also still have numbness in my left foot and I know about the rubbery legs. The injections are just a stop-gap measure with three months being the longest any lasted for me.
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replied May 25th, 2009
Dish lower( curve) back pain
I have had 'Dish' for the past 10 years, I find that if I take only take 'on occasions' some type of anti- inflammatory, and go to therapist who users the elbow treatment, I gain good relief. I also play plenty of golf to keep me supple, I find that I suffer after the golf but I usually have my massage on the Monday each fortnight, and I find that I feed good for the next week.
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replied June 16th, 2009
I too have cervical and lumbar spondylosis - over a few years I lost 4" in height, so pretty obvious. I'm a healthcare professional myself and have had access to everything on offer. Opiate pain relievers are not effective for this, but I do agree with 'lonestarguy' that Lyrica is effective - and also aids sleep. Robaxin ('methocarbamol' in UK) also helps to relieve muscle tension. Other than that, traction therapy from a physion offers some relief. I've had injections also - but the relief is shortlived. I still walk (just), but I also have R foot symptoms - pain, numbness, which is part of the deal.
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