I was just diagnosed with osteoarthritis of the L4, L5, and S1 joints. I started about 2 years ago (at age 27) with stiffness and slight soreness for a few hours after repetitive bending (i.e. cleaning, gardening) but would go away. Never any major pain.
For the past 10 weeks I have had lower back pain and tenderness. My doctor told me a week after the pain started that it was a pulled muscle and prescribed physical therapy for 2 months. The physical therapy did help initially but plateaued after a month. I am in a lot less pain that I started with, but still have it. 8 weeks later I returned and she said she still thought it was a muscular issue and told me I would have chronic back pain the rest of my life. She never ordered any Xrays or MRIs. She did refer me to a rehabilitation physician.
I had my appointment with the rehabilitation physician 2 days ago and she immediately requested an Xray which I had done that day. I received the results this morning of osteoarthritis in the L4, L5, and S1 joints due to "wear and tear". She did say that I am pretty young to have this and scheduled me to get a joint injection to treat the inflammation.
I am a very healthy person. Have always eaten super well (lots of veggies and fruits) and exercised 2-3 times a week before the pain came. I am a healthy weight at 150 pounds and am 5'10. I have never been an "athlete" just used the ellipitical, lifted light weights, walked, and attended cardio classes. I have never had any major trauma to my back.
I am just wondering why I have this? I am worried that it may be a sign of an autoimmune disease. And also, will I always have this constant pain? Or does it just flare up at different times? The specialist told me that it would likely get worse as I get older. Are there things I can eat, supplements I can take, and exercises I can do to help? Earlier this year my husband and I talked about trying for a baby this Fall. Will this diagnosis effect my pregnancy?
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