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Grabbing Pain with Osteoarthritis

My question is whether anyone can tell me if osteoarthritis in the lower spine can cause grabbing, debilitating pain that causes the patient to cry out it is so severe. These pains act like pinched nerves, but MRS and Neurological testing shows no nerve damage from the spine. The regular arthritis pain increases gradually when the patient is walking and prevents walking altogether after about 15 yards. The grabbing pain is additional to the regular pain. The only relief for the pain is sitting. Lying down, getting up, standing, walking, twisting, reaching, any movement may cause the grabbing pain unexpectedly. It seems to radiate from the spine across the top of the hip and down the right leg. Is this a normal manifestation of osteoarthritis and if not, does anyone know what it might be?
7 Responses
4851940 tn?1515698193
Although there are no signs of nerve damage (which is a good thing), does not mean that the nerves are not being pinched and aggravated.

With the description of the pain when you say it radiates and goes down the right leg, this is typical of the sciatic nerve being pinched.

With osteoarthritis you will experience flare ups and then things will settle for a while and then flare up again.

I suggest you make an appointment with your doctor to refer you for physiotherapy.  The doctor may also prescribe medication to calm the spasm (like Diazepam) and pain relief.

Best wishes.

Avatar universal
I have exactly what you have, it's my tailbone region where it all starts at. Just motions like making a bed or vacuuming, even putting or taking the dishes out of the dishwasher will send me into excruciating pain. Like you only sitting down or stretching out will at times help the pain to subside. Mine also radiates down my right leg. Which they have diagnosed as lliotibial Band Syndrome. I have only had xrays on my tailbone which showed some sort of spurring. I have never gotten a good answer as to what that means.I am being treated through County health because I have no medical, so there will never be CT Scans or MRI's for me. You can find a website by putting in lliotibial band syndrome and they will show you exercises that are supposed to help with stretching out the band. My only problem with those exercises is they require me to lay on my back...so go figure. I hope you find more help then I have, this is stopping me from going back to work and applying for disability is a joke. Good Luck Brendan because i certainly feel your pain.
4851940 tn?1515698193
Iliotibial band syndrome, or ITBS, is due to inflammation of the iliotibial band.  The iliotibial band is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. The band begins at the hip and comes down to the outer side of the shin bone called the tibia that is just below the knee joint. The band works together with several of the thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee joint.

Bone spurs are little bones that grow out of the normal bone, this why they are called bone spurs.  These then press on nerves and cause aggravation and pain.  This is typical of osteoarthritis.

Avatar universal
Thanks jemma, yeah it is really painful but i can't get any doctor i have seen to give me an exact diagnoses. it's really frustrating. When i finally got a chance to see a rhumetologist thru my County Health program because here in the states there is no Medical for people here unless you have a job. Anyway, even she said she saw the spurs on the xray but stopped short of saying arthritis. It's very debilitating for me, i am 57 so either help me or give me a diagnoses for disability, because right at this moment i couldn't imagine having a job right now where i would either have to stand or sit for long periods of time. Thanks for giving some really good information though.

Take Care
4851940 tn?1515698193
Sorry to hear that you can't get an allowance for your ill health and the pain you are experiencing.

Bones spurs growing on your joint is osteoarthritis.  I have it on my bad knee.  I saw the xray of my knee and could see the cartilage had worn away in part of the knee joint and I could see a little spikey bone sticking down.  There is no cure for osteoarthritis, only a replacement of the knee joint if the condition is severe.  

The other way is to lose weight if you are overweight, this will take off the weight off the weight bearing joint (the knee); apply cold compress if the joint is inflamed (I have been told to do that by my Triage physiotherapist); take pain relief as directed on the packet; anti-inflammatories, but take care with these because they can upset your stomach so follow the instructions on the packet and taking with or after food.

Exercises to strength the muscles around the joint.  Walking in deep water in the swimming pool has been recommended to me by physio.  You may need the assistance of a walking stick.

I was also told to elevate the leg with a pillow under the foot and not to wear completely flat shoes.

Best wishes.
Avatar universal
This is also my excruciating story...so much pain in the tailbone and hip and lower back area. Standing for no more than 10 to 15 minutes. A trip to walmart is torture. I also have barretts esophagus and cannot take any NSAIDS...life can be miserable and It is well for us to keep a good outlook and get plenty of sleep to deal with these pains, but I am hopeful that some day there will be a pain med for me!

Best wishes
4851940 tn?1515698193
Sorry BrendanCarrol, the answer to your question is: Yes, osteoarthritis in the lower spine can cause grabbing, debilitating pain that causes the patient to cry out it when it is so severe.

The reason for this is that the muscles go into spasm and this is very excruciating that you may not be able to move without extreme pain.  The only thing to do is to rest, take pain relief medication as prescribed and a nerve relaxing medicine line Diazepam helps to gradually alleviate the pain, by relaxing the muscles.  

Sometimes apply heat or having a gentle message with an appropriate massage oil (arnica is very good) can help to release the spasms in the muscles.

Hope that you are now managing your problems.

Best wishes.
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