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Doctor insights on: How Can I Tell The Difference Between Arthritis Or Just Back Pain

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Dr. Thomas Namey
2,357 doctors shared insights

Arthritis (Definition)

Arthritis is progressive degeneration of one or more joints. Symptoms may include joint pain, swelling, decreased motion, and stiffness. The two most common types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, which is associated first with articular cartilage breakdown with a component of inflammation, and rheumatoid arthritis, which is a systemic autoimmune disorder that affects joint linings first and secondarily ...Read more


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Having upper back pain - any tell tale signs that it is arthritis versus normal aches and pains?

Having upper back pain - any tell tale signs that it is arthritis versus normal aches and pains?

None. Why? Arthritis: is just a catch-all term, just a contraction of Arthro (joint) + itis (inflamation of), yet commonly promoted as a diagnosis even when not involving a joint. The term is just repeating back to the person complaining of pain their stated complaint using a different term, as if useful. Yet many seem to perceive this as useful. Normal just means average/common, not diagnostic or predictive. ...Read more

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How do I know if I have arthritis or if it's just back pain?

How do I know if I have arthritis or if it's just back pain?

Many Possibilities: Depending on how long it's been going on, i would consider an evaluation by a spine specialist. Sometimes it could be a muscle imbalance, early onset arthritis or scoliosis. Also could be a pinched nerve/herniated disc. Either way it might be good to figure it out and get appropriate treatment. ...Read more

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What is the drug of choice of arthritis & back pain?

What is the drug of choice of arthritis & back pain?

No such thing: There are many good arthritis drugs and the drug of choice is more individual than anything. I use Mobic (meloxicam) and Duexis the most due to less stomach upset. ...Read more

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A dr on here is concerned im on morphine at 27, why? I have ms, arthritis, back pain, and am disabled. Whats the problem?

A dr on here is concerned im on morphine at 27, why? I have ms, arthritis, back pain, and am disabled. Whats the problem?

Dependence: The concern stems from use of opiod narcotics have short and long term complications. You do seem to have many medical issues, yet there are many non narcotic alternatives without the problems of addiction/dependence. Querry your physician about other non narcotic alternative which could help just as effectively. ...Read more

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How to relieve chronic back pain due to inflammation and arthritis?

Conservative care: Chronic back pain can be difficult to treat but for most patients at your age, conservative treatment will work - physical therapy, regular exercise, core strengthening/stretching, smoking cessation, improved diet. Keep in mind that if your imaging studies have not shown anything severe, it is ok to push through some pain in order to acheive the improvement that you want. ...Read more

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How to relieve chronic back pain due to inflammation and arthritis?

Conservative Mgmt: Nsaids (if not medically contraindicated), pt, home exercise programs, spinal injections may be considered if indicated. Ask you spinal specialist. Rheumatoid arthritis has to be ruled out, as this would also have additional available treatments. ...Read more

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Besides back pain, what else should I expect if I have degenerative arthritis?

Besides back pain, what else should I expect if I have degenerative arthritis?

Leg symptoms: The degenerative process can allow the spinal canal to become narrow. This in turn could affect you legs. You could develop sciatic type symptoms. You could also develop symptoms where you only walk for a short distance and then have to rest up and lean forward. ...Read more

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Could reiki heal serious deseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and heavy back pain?

Could reiki heal serious deseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and heavy back pain?

NO: No such thing as healing happening, however Reiki might help reduce or make the pain issues more tolerable. ...Read more

Dr. Robert Lowe
1,461 doctors shared insights

Painful Joints (Definition)

That term is not really a specific diagnosis, but rather somewhat of a general term. The medical term is arthralgias, which implies pain in multiple joint possibly coming from a single cause. Don't hesitate to be seen and evaluated for ...Read more


Dr. Heidi Fowler
3,105 doctors shared insights

Back Pain (Definition)

Pain in the back is a symptom that can be due to a number of causes including musculoskeletal or neurological problems or due to problems ...Read more