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Rheumatoid arthritis cause back problems?

2

Comments

  • I wanted to respond to Kelly above and I wanted to learn what she has learned since then. I too have RA and have had it for 15 years now. I have been active and am on biologicals, hydrocodone (sad but a must) and mobic (NSAID) -- my RA is serum positive and aggressive. I have had a number of rheumatologist over the years from either moves or changes in coverage and I have heard it all!

    What I do know is that RA DOES affect my spine. Some of my rheumatologists have believed me and some have not and I know my body. If I find one to be closed minded I find another -- this disease has no hard and fast road map... I have cervical spine flares that then can go into my chest cavity and make it feel like someone has crushed my sternum. They are infrequent, usually short lived (a week or two) and they are severe. I now am having issues with my L5 - S1 in my lower back. My disk is utterly gone. It is bone on bone and a phase 3 joint (out of 4 phase possibilities). What is good news is that there is no sign of calcification of the joint yet (it is not trying to fuse). My pain is localized and not shooting down my legs. I am working with a chiropractor to open that joint a bit and we are hoping to either avoid surgery all together or to postpone it. What my RA never seems to affect is my middle spine -- it is either the top (cervical) or the bottom (Sacral-Lumbar) that is affected.

    I am an athlete -- I run, ride bikes, ride motorcycles, wake board, snow board, ski, race triathlons, etc. The pain has been too bad to do much of late (have been able to ski!!) but I am hoping that with a little relief I can get back on it and that in turn will help with the pain. Exercise HELPS! I am 44 years old now, female and got RA when I was 29.

    So Kelly if you are still active on this forum and are willing to share where you are and what you have done -- I would appreciate it. Or if anyone else has comments on their issues that relate to this please tell me about it.

    Kind regards,
    Kyle
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