Discussions By Condition: Muscle conditions

degenerative joint disease in spine

Posted In: Muscle conditions 12 Replies
  • Posted By: lintek
  • June 11, 2007
  • 10:53 AM

does anyone know what is the best prescribed medication to take for this very painful condition?

I havent' had a total follow up once we found out i had it in my spine.
I had been complaining to my dr for quite some time and finally he did an xray.
the radiologist is suggesting an MRI but my insurance co. at the time refused to pay for it until I went to physical therapy first.
the copays were too much for me to handle which was $50 a session, 3x's a week at six weeks. I wasn't making enough money to pay for them. so I couldn't go
I only made it to the evaluation session.
I don't know the extent of the damage yet and will find out more hopefully now that I will be getting new insurance because of a new job.
I wake up in pain, I sleep in pain and I can barely stand on lines.
I"m 46 and scared it will get worst.
it's already up into my neck where it feels on days that my neck will get stuck in place just by turning my head a slight way.
my mother had a terrible deforming form of arthritis that wasn't the type I have. she never went to the dr and suffered and not until she fell down and broke her hip which wound her in a wheel chair till the end of her life did i find out the day she fell that the dr said she had some form of something.
he was almost angry at us for not treating it.
she was our mom and a stubborn one at that. we couldnt' get her to go to see a dr. she suffered silently instead. so to this day, I still dont' know what exactly she had.
when I went for my bone density test last yr they also found out I have osteoporosis in my spine and hip as well. the same year I found out about the arthritis.
we didn't do the wrists. this is when the technician asked me if there was any bone disease in the family and I told her alittle about my moms history. she urged me to find out for my own benefit and said it was important to know.
now with all the hippa laws and stuff, there's no way the dr will give me that information If i were to call the office. they probably got rid of her chart anyway. after a certain amount of years, they either move or destroy the charts.
that was like 8 yrs ago when she broke her hip and it's going on 3 yrs since she died of a stroke.
I don't forsee how excersise can stop the pain. if anything, excersise makes it worst for me.
does anyone have any suggestion on how to relieve this pain?
besides just over the counter stuff?
I am anxious to find out the severity of it and if there's more damage than the xray had seen. it sure feels like it.
the intense pain at night disturbs my sleep and it's almost intolerable to turn over in bed. weight issue is not a problem in my case. I"m losing weight and can't afford to. I"m down to 115 lbs and still going down further.
I don't know if it's related to my stressfull job I just started six weeks ago.

it seems I have a host of symtoms and no answers yet.

I just want to feel normal again and it's been so long that I'm pain free.

my dr gave me some type of anti imflamatory but doesn't seem to be doing the job. when I do go back to him after a very long year of no insurance, which becomes effective this coming sept. I am going to ask for a specfic medication if anyone here can suggest one that worked for them.

any suggestions folks?

Linda

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12 Replies:

  • Hi Linda sorry i cant give you much advice you said you have osteoporosis you can try to treat this with dietry supplements ( calsium supplements ) or medication, exersize can be helpful but difficult when you are in pain. Do you want pain medication ,or medication to treat your arthritis ,docters usually perscribe the mildest type of anti inflametry medication first then more powerful types with worse side effects if the first ones dont work. Its good your getting insurance you need to find out what is wrong with you, see if you can get that MRI or find out if you have rheumatoid or reactive atharitis which sounds possible you can post here on this usernet group for information on medication if you want . http://www.ibiblio.org/usenet-i/groups-html/alt.support.chronic-pain.html they know all about just any type of medication they should be called pill poppers.com but dont tell them i said that good luck ihope you find somthing that helps you.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I know that most docs will disagree with this, but osteoporosis and degenerative disc diseases are NOT irreversible and can be helped by complimentary medicine. Please consider trying acupuncture - it will help with your pain and help promote healing along the spine. Acupuncture works and has made a difference in millions of peoples lives - please just consider this as an option. www.acufinder.com to find a practitioner near you. Also, bone density tests are controversial, as they keep changing the accepted levels, and more people are on bone building drugs. Before you take one of these meds please be aware of their side effects by checking them on www.drugs.com. I think a better choice to build your bone is to completely eliminate sodas and carbonated beverages from your diet (these drain minerals out of your body causing bone loss). Consider adding glucosamine/chondroitin and MSM as a supplement. Calcium is good, try to find Calcium citrate or malate combined with magnesium in a 2-1 ratio. There are other bone building nutrients, including D, boron, silicon, vanadium, and others. You need to give these supplements time - at least 6 months on gluco/chon/MSM before you will notice a difference. Please try a proactive stance and learn about alternative meds to help your condition. There is no magic pill to erase your pain:( . The above treatments take some time, but you should notice a difference after a short while. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Ocar and Dom,both of you have helpful information and I thank you for replying to my post.I have never really believed in the holistic approach, being I'm raised in the western medicine world. But, the older i become and the more I read and hear stories from others who can attest that the holisitc works, i am ready to try a different and safer approach.I remember a time years ago when insurance companies did not cover chiropractic work and now they do. so there is progress and more people are opening up and trying a healthier approach rather than just relying on popping the assortment of sometimes very toxic meds that can be harsh on our systems. I didn't realize drs rx the weaker anti inflam's and go to stronger if the first and second don't work. I didn't realize there are bad side effects to anti inflammatories either. I've never had to take them in all my 46 years of life till last year. I don't understand the concept of accupuncture. it doesn't sound like it would really work and I don't trust the people out there who are just in that field to make a quick buck because here in New York, the cost is very high for one treatment. I simply can't afford it. thats' another reason I'm so quick to just pop a pill. it's my own fault for not having a more open mind and at least try it. chiropractic work is another method I"ve never tried and am anxious to try it. I was just discussing this method with a coworker yesterday and it made me very anxious to want to give it a try. but, once again, the money problem. it's very expensive for just walking thru the door of a chiropractors office, let alone the weekly visits. Isn't there anymore honest people out there who have compassion for the sick and really want to help them if they can? I understand they have to make a living too, but the world seems to be getting greedier and more hungry for money than ever before.do you know if there's a difference between "degenertive JOINT disease" vs "degenerative DISK disease" and is it the same thing?thank you again for your answers. I appecitate your replies.Linda
    lintek 26 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm trying to figure out to fix this too, let me know when you got an answer, cause I can't go on like this. It's slowly driving me crazy.
    hopespringsanew 5 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi again Linda i am also pretty cynical about both conventional medicine and so called complementary medicine it seems it is a real struggle for either types of practitioner to diagnose and treat back related conditions successfully. I guess you just have to persevere, i think there are some really good things about alternative medicine, and it wouldn't hurt to give them a go. I also think that by the sounds of it you have not yet had a real investigation into your condition such as an MRI or blood tests to check for any rheumatological conditions, these are invaluable even if they don't show anything at least a lot of serious things can be ruled out, then you know that you wont be wasting your time, and money on other possibly helpful therapies such as acupuncture or chiroThere is some difference between "degenerative joint disease" and "degenerative disk disease" although they are similar, DJD refers to changes in any of the joints in the body such as the erosion of cartilage, or formation of bone spurs around the margins of the joint. while DDD refers to changes in the disks between the vertebra such as thinning, bulging, and rupture.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I don't understand the concept of accupuncture. it doesn't sound like it would really work and I don't trust the people out there who are just in that field to make a quick buck because here in New York, the cost is very high for one treatment. I simply can't afford it. thats' another reason I'm so quick to just pop a pill. it's my own fault for not having a more open mind and at least try it. chiropractic work is another method I"ve never tried and am anxious to try it. I was just discussing this method with a coworker yesterday and it made me very anxious to want to give it a try. but, once again, the money problem. it's very expensive for just walking thru the door of a chiropractors office, let alone the weekly visits. Linda,I understand your fear of acupuncture, in that it is difficult for Western medical minds to wrap around the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine. But it is just another form of medicine, and there are traditional forms of medicine, Ayerveda being one of the oldest, that have worked for millions of people for thousands of years. Please read up on this by visiting www.acufinder.com or similar sites - the more you learn the more you may be willing to try it. Also, do you live in NYC? If so, then there are at least two very good acupuncture schools, and it may be possible to get an appointment in their student clinic at a very reduced rate (I am sure they book up quickly, but it is worth checking into). I offer reduced rates for acupuncture treatments ( I live in Rural NM) and have never turned down a patient because they cannot afford treatments. There ARE others out there like me, but you have to search for them...you may be able to find a practitioner who offers a sliding scale fee. Again, if you are in NYC then this may be less likely, but you never know until you try! When I opened my practice in a small conservative town in New Mexico, I was not sure if there would be many people open to acupuncture and Chinese medicine. I am happy to say that I was wrong - lots of people have been willing to try it and have friends who have benefited from this form of medicine. I believe in 5 years most insurance companies will cover it - in NM most insurance DOES cover acupuncture, which is great. My last comment concerns both conventional and alternative treatments - there are good practitioners/doctors, and there are BAD ones in all fields of medicine. It is always best to find someone you can relate to and who seems right to you- if they don't answer your questions and help you feel at ease, then find another one who will. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have you gotten a firm diagonis of the name of the degenerative disease? My 58 year old brother has one that is extremely rare and very little is known about it. It took quite some time for the docs to finally figure it out. I will give you a very rough spelling of it (I can't even say it): parapasisticitis. He has alot of pain and cramping in his legs and can't lift his feet to walk 'normally', he more or less shuffles when he isn't using his crutches. We live in Idaho and he had to go to Seattle, Wa. to get treatment. If you want more info from me, I will ask him to refresh my memory. And have him write down the name of it! Good luck to you. I know what it's like to not know exactly what's wrong and wonder what all will happen in the future.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • lintek: Have been having same problems. My spine is a mess. Have you ever had any epidural injections? Do they help? I'm also trembling (twitching). Any advise would help.
    Michael Hopper 7 Replies
    • December 19, 2007
    • 07:23 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi I also have degenerative disk disease in my back and neck. I also had injured my back at work and had a bulging herniated disk L4 L5 in my back.At first my doctor had me on leave from work for 3 months with no lifting. It got worse....I couldn't tell that I had to urinate because I was numb in my pelvis and when I would stand up away went my bladder. The pain was worse as well. So he said cortisone injections. I went thru 3 series of 4 shots in my back none of which helped.....but it hurt so bad I wanted to die. I had been off of work for 7 months when he finally said I would need to have a discetomy done. He also said there was no guarantee that it would take away my pain....but I would stop wetting myself. So I went for it.That was in 2004......I am still in pain every single day! I can barely sleep because it hurts to lay down for too long. Most of the time I sleep sitting up because if I don't I wont be able to get out of bed. I cant walk for very far or long unless I can hang onto something and take breaks. I cant sit for more than 20 mins at a time and standing in line is a total joke! I cry because nothing helps me sometimes and I am just so tired of being tired. I have to watch what I take because I am allergic to nsaids and am on meds for Diabetes, high blood pressure, gurd, hypothyroid disease, bipolar 1, irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, shingles, and for carpal tunnel syndrome/diabetic neuropathy.So as far as the shots go......didn't work. By the way they gave me the same shots in my wrist and of course no help there either. PT helps to a point but only so far.Whatever you do act on it now and don't do as I did and let it go for a couple of years hoping it would go away. I added insult to injury and am paying dearly for it now. Make sure you have a good doctor who has recommendationsI am only 45 and I walk and feel as if I am 105 instead.
    WildThing69 2 Replies
    • January 16, 2008
    • 11:58 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi I also have degenerative disk disease in my back and neck. I also had injured my back at work and had a bulging herniated disk L4 L5 in my back.At first my doctor had me on leave from work for 3 months with no lifting. It got worse....I couldn't tell that I had to urinate because I was numb in my pelvis and when I would stand up away went my bladder. The pain was worse as well. So he said cortisone injections. I went thru 3 series of 4 shots in my back none of which helped.....but it hurt so bad I wanted to die. I had been off of work for 7 months when he finally said I would need to have a discetomy done. He also said there was no guarantee that it would take away my pain....but I would stop wetting myself. So I went for it.That was in 2004......I am still in pain every single day! I can barely sleep because it hurts to lay down for too long. Most of the time I sleep sitting up because if I don't I wont be able to get out of bed. I cant walk for very far or long unless I can hang onto something and take breaks. I cant sit for more than 20 mins at a time and standing in line is a total joke! I cry because nothing helps me sometimes and I am just so tired of being tired. I have to watch what I take because I am allergic to nsaids and am on meds for Diabetes, high blood pressure, gurd, hypothyroid disease, bipolar 1, irritable bowel syndrome, high cholesterol, shingles, and for carpal tunnel syndrome/diabetic neuropathy.So as far as the shots go......didn't work. By the way they gave me the same shots in my wrist and of course no help there either. PT helps to a point but only so far.Whatever you do act on it now and don't do as I did and let it go for a couple of years hoping it would go away. I added insult to injury and am paying dearly for it now. Make sure you have a good doctor who has recommendationsI am only 45 and I walk and feel as if I am 105 instead. Please please try acupuncture. It would be very helpful in managing your pain. Please look into it - acupuncture works! Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • January 16, 2008
    • 07:40 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Thanks I would love to try it.....but I am not able to work and tryin to live off my SSI which is under $300 a month so depending on cost.....I am on AHCCCS (Arizonas state funded healthcare system) and will look into whether or not it is covered. Thank you again for the advice! Somethings got to give soon this has gone beyond ridiculous to insane. The only thing they are giving me in the way of pain relief is Gabapentin which doesnt really seem to do much for me (its mainly for my carpal tunel and neuropathy but they try to tell me it should help the pain yeah right) and I might have to stop takin it because of my other psych meds and my psychiatrist is worried about takin too much. (I am also on Lamictal and that is kinda like the Gabapentin) so she wants me off of it. ~sighs~ Anyone care to send me a miracle pill that'll wipe out all my junk??
    WildThing69 2 Replies
    • January 16, 2008
    • 11:37 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • Anyone care to send me a miracle pill that'll wipe out all my junk?? If I ever find it I will let you know:p . Because you are taking so many meds please go to www.drugs.com and click on their drug interactions checker and type in ALL the meds you are taking. It will tell you if there are any scary interactions - often overlooked by docs and pharmacists alike. Gabapentin is a very strong drug. I would be cautious about this. Research the mind/body connection to pain, as it can help you better cope and manage your pain. I think there is a good book out there by Jon Kabat Zinn - google pain and meditation and see what comes up. Keep researching your options for acupuncture - there may be some practitioners in AZ who offer a sliding scale fee. I do and practice next door in NM. Best wishesDOM
    acuann 3,080 Replies
    • January 17, 2008
    • 02:41 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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