I was diagnosed (through an x-ray of my spine) with degenerative disc disease about 3 years ago. At that point, and since, I had pain or discomfort basically every day. It ranged from mild stiffness and soreness up to a full on flareup where I would need to stay off my feet for a day or two. The flares happened about two to three times a year.
A lot of my other symptoms, sore muscles or other aches and pains, I figured were caused by the back issue. Maybe I was holding myself wrong or too tense or whatever.
Now, in the last 6 months or so, pretty much the only place I'm not having issues is my back LOL It feels fine, no problem at all.
My husband is questioning that I ever even had degenerative disc disease in the first place. I know that if I do have MS that does not mean that I can't also have DDD, but I do wonder. The back flareups always just happened, there was never anything that set it off. Also, the back problem started suddenly, one day I was fine then the next I could not move from the pain (it started in a bad flareup). So, it started very suddenly, and eased up but I had constant pain or was uncomfortable for over 2 years, then it stopped suddenly. I just woke up one morning and I was not stiff or sore in my back. It's been fine since.
Now, I have had a couple instances in the last 6 months of a similar type of pain but it is on my left hip. My back pain was always sciatic nerve pain, my lower spine and down my left tushie cheek and back of my right thigh. When I had a flareup or it was just overly sore my husband would massage it and the area of my lower back/ spine would be hard (I guess tense? He just always knew exactly where it was hurting because he could feel it).
The newest thing has been feeling similar to the sciatic nerve pain, the shooting pain that it is. But instead of going down my right back/butt/thigh, this is my left hip, the outside of my hip and the outside of my thigh. It has only happened a few times, all of them at night when I was laying in bed.
It is making me wonder if the DDD is now causing problems with a different nerve? (is there a nerve that runs down the outside of your hip?) And would it be normal for DDD pain to stop being in one area and move completely to a new area? Different side of the body and everything?
Hi. I really know next to nothing about back pain and degenerating discs (thank my lucky stars), but I'm sure this muddies the water when MS is also involved.
One thing does seem obvious though, and that is that if discs are in bad shape, that should show clearly upon imaging, even x-ray. So maybe you should look into that first. I don't think you'd be able to tell the difference otherwise.
The most important thing is for you to get relief from pain so you can go about your busy life. So I suggest seeing whatever doctors are needed and finding out what's going on, meanwhile getting some good meds.
Back pain can cause all of what you are experiencing because I have similar problems that I thought were hip issues and turns out the back nerves are responsible for more than you think!
I have Lumbar Radicuthary, Lumbar Spondylosis, Cervical Spondylosis, and Stenosis - they are all unrelated to MS and monsters of thier own that the only thing I can do about them is get Pain Management and take tramadol. I have had most of these issues since my son was born and he always sat on the right side of my hips which is why I thought it was hip related but the pain management doctor said that it is just the way my spine is sitting on certain nerves and what inflammation I have that day that can cause the different areas of pain.
I hope that makes sense I am in a bit of a fog this morning. I also have the shooting pains down the butt and the legs - sometimes it goes straight from the hips and sometimes it only goes from the knee down. Mine is always better when I am up and moving also, laying in bed is horribly uncomfortable at times to the point I will get up and sleep in the recliners in the living room because that position is just more comfy.
I would request PT or pain Management to try to relieve some of your back issues. One may work better than the other, I know the PT in the pool was great on my back. I hope you find something to make you feel better!
It's hard to tell because DDD on x-ray is a very poor predictor of pain. It can show up in people with no pain and others suffer constantly with little evidence on film. My own arthritic pain comes and goes and I can't always say why - humidity, activity, bone spurs, spasms, none of the above, all of the above, etc, etc).
OA (also known as DDD) doesn't have to compress a nerve to cause pain. The pain that feels like sciatic nerve pain could be from arthritis in the facet joints. That is known to cause a lot of buttock and thigh pain. It could be relieved by sitting with the knees bent and falling out to the sides (think of having monkeys). Okay I'm done 'cause that was probably TMI.
Lots of people assume, & I was one of them until doctors told me different, that OA & DDD are the same. I was told THEY ARE NOT! OA is a type of arthritis, bones spurs ,calcium buildup on hips back, almoist any bony growth. DDD is a disease of the discs themselfves. Discs are composed of gelatinous masses, encased in a capsule-type ligament. The disc sits inbetween the foramana of the vertebra. So they are actually two different entities. That said,, however, either OA or DDD can cause nerve problems and the type of pain you are experiencing. DDD is diagnosed by an MRI. Disc's themselves are not seen on an x-ray, as they are soft tissue. OA is plainly seen on an X-ray, not an MRI. I hope that makes sense to you.
I suffer from both, along with spinal stenosis, which is the vetebral column filling in toward the spinal cord with bony growth., and compressing the spinal cord. It is a type of OA.
Whatever it's cause, anti-inflammatories may help the pain, or you may need stronger pain meds. You should ask your dr for x-rays first (cheaper, lol), then if that doesn't show problems possibly an MRI. Good luck.
When I googled your journal was the first thing to come up :-)
It sounds like the meralgic paresthetica fits. I have the overweight risk (about 25 pounds) and the "floppy" abdomen thanks to 6 pregnancies in 11 years LOL
I am confused though. Is this a separate thing from degenerative disc disease? My doctor told me that the x-ray I had showed a disc in my lower back was shrinking. I did not ask which disc or for more details at the time.
Also, is this something that I can expect to get worse over time? I've only had it happen a few times so far and it didn't last too long.
Thanks. I meant to say DJD (degenerative joint disease) rather than DDD. Of course, discs are not bone and therefore don't have arthritic changes. They dry up though like an old O ring and contribute to pain and the "I'm melting!" syndrome.
I didn't even think of the meralgia parenthetica. When my PCP diagnosed that years ago it caused a large area of complete numbness on my outer thigh but no pain (for a change).
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