Degenerative Disc Disease, Do you have it? (and Other Ramblings)

As a consequence of sitting for too long at my work writing an urgent report before 1pm, then driving like the wind across town to sit for too long on small school chairs for Winter Boy’s First Ever Harvest Festival Play and Summer Girl’s First Ever Speaking Part in her Harvest Festival Play (they were both amazing and brought tears to my eyes, so proud), then driving like the wind across town again to swimming lessons, then again across town via collecting R at work, and finally back home, I am Really Fucking Sore.

My back is in spasm and my entire spine is locked from lumbar to cervical. I can’t bend well, can’t sit well, can’t stand well. So, I am writing this while waiting for the trusted muscle relaxing ‘Friend‘ to do its magic. I may do the written equivalent of slurring towards the end of my post.

I had some not so great news this week at the pain clinic. The pain that I have been experiencing in my back and sciatica down my legs, and which is getting worse, is, partly the re-prolapsed L5/S1 disc, which I already knew, but mostly coming from Vertebral End Plate oedema at the same level, where there is inflammation and damage, which I believe is Degenerative Disc Disease. And thus we have come around full circle since the beginning of my blog, where I had initially had explained that my condition was DDD, then ruled out.

I have read a bit about Degenerative Disc Disease, and end plate damage, and it’s not the most mood lifting read in the world. The pain clinic answered my questions about what the future will mean due to this end plate inflammation,  with as much of a positive spin as he could, smiley faced while telling me that “yes it will get worse”, “no there is nothing that will fix it, fusion won’t help” and “you may experience increase in pain” “but we can manage this can’t we Wine?!” “stay optimist Wine!” “you are a determined woman Wine, a fighter, keep that going and you’ll be fine!” “don’t feed the pain, don’t fuel it with too much thought” etc, etc.

If anyone has experiences of end-plate oedema and degenerative disc disease, do get in touch with your advice, and links to information, and how you cope with it.

I’ve also had a blood test to rule out a spine infection due to localised large swelling in my spine at L5/S1 level (right between my Venus Dimples), painful blood/flu feeling (which I have blogged a little about before a year or two ago now), increased feeling of unwellness during a flare-up. Don’t think much will come of it, as he took the bloods after the main flare up. Also I read on Dr Google that low-grade infections don’t show in normal blood tests. But we’ll see what happens.

I have been reading some interesting articles on the Spine Health website, get sent links via Twitter and Facebook, and so I thought I you might want to read the most recent one I have been reading called Chronic Pain on the Brain – as the title suggest, it looks at the potential impact of chronic pain on the physical structures of our brains.

7 thoughts on “Degenerative Disc Disease, Do you have it? (and Other Ramblings)

  1. You’re more patient than me, I’d have been tempted to punch the pain clinic fella! I’m sorry to hear you’re in so much pain again, it really is shit. Sending love and very gentle hugs.

  2. Have you tried using a home ritmscenar device? I swear by the scenar for the sciatic pain and plenty of deep tissue massage. I am well again and back at the gym and yoga helps immensely. I have to be careful though as the back can go into spasm (brain memory) if I am not aware of that first grumble .I now have no more nerve pain. The pain clinic at the nhs was how do I put it politely?
    The scenar is expensive but worth it. I travel with it everywhere. At one time I could barely walk.
    Yes, you are right… wine does not cure back pain, but I tried that also! Good Luck. 🙂

    • Thanks for a great reply. Never tried one, never heard of it, shall go google now. Pain clinic always seems so rubbish. Never get anywhere hugely successful with long term treatment, but guess I can’t complain as they have given me a firmer diagnosis. Good luck to you too. 🙂

      • I did not go the op route!
        I know some who have been helped and others not at all.
        Before I forget….you need to buy the pain relief sticky pads that stick onto the back so the pulse from the scenar goes straight in. That is the only way it worked for me.
        I get mine from Pain Genie,if that helps. 🙂

  3. I have just finished reading your article/post on Degenerative disc disease. I too have the same disease of the spine and I am currently laid up recovering after my third operation on the spine. I have had an Anterior Cervical dissectomy and TWO Micro dissectomy of L5/s1. It has been a long painful process that seems never ending. And like you I have tried it all. I have been reading all your posts and it’s like I’m reading about myself! Xxx I feel your pain. Thanks for writing so honestly! Three months of morphine in and I would kill for a glass of wine!
    Thank you for your blog and best health 💕
    Michelle Parry

    • Hi Michelle! Just a quick reply as I’m at work but tried to post your blog few days ago! Hope you are recovering ok. You are me! I now have neck problems, currently dismissed as postural. Will blog later about it! Keep writing, I’ll follow when I can work out how to do it!

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