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I was told a long time ago there's something wrong with my spine, what should I do now?

(26 Posts)
WideWebWitch Sun 22-May-05 21:23:36

This is going to sound v stupid but nearly 6 years ago I went to a chiropractor for a whiplash injury (I did it to myself trying to show ds how to do a somersault, stupid!) and he x rayed my back and said something like, iirc, "you have a spinal condition which is the thing that causes hunch backs in old ladies. There's nothing you can do about it, there would have been if it had been picked up before you were 6 years old." Since there was apparently nothing I could do about it and since I was in the process of splitting up with ex dh at the time and couldn't cope with any extra bad news I did nothing and haven't done anything about this ever since. I just couldn't deal with it and anyway, the chiropractor told me there was nothing I could do. So, should I find out what this is now? If so, how? Could my GP help? I can't afford a chiro atm and the guy I saw won't have any records I'm sure as it was so long ago. I know this might sound a bit dippy but I just read a thread where Tamum and hmb were discussing AS (andolysing something or other) and I'm worried that's it from a magazine article I read a while back. Any help or advice really appreciated about what to do next. Thanks in advance.

Caligula Sun 22-May-05 21:25:32

I'd go to your GP and get it checked out. It can't hurt, can it? And you might find that something can be done.

I would have thought that they would still have your notes - even if they're in an archive somewhere.

Twiglett Sun 22-May-05 21:27:18

ankylosing spondilitis (a thread on it and I missed it )

ok you can go to the GP and ask for tests

genetic marker HLA B27 is a diagnostic aid - that along with ESR levels will help diagnosis of AS

are you in constant pain? that is a big indicator too

I'll chat you through this if you want

Twiglett Sun 22-May-05 21:28:42

most important thing is to do what the Hitchhiker's Guide advises in capital letters on the front

(oh and call old chiropracter to see if he has records)

could be scoliosis? (don't know anything about that though)

tortoiseshell Sun 22-May-05 21:31:32

Definitely go and get it checked out - even just so you can find some info. Could it be kyphosis or scoliosis? Might be worth phoning or writing to the guy you saw, you don't lose anything by asking. I'd have thought they would have to keep notes for legal purposes.

Hope it turns out to be nothing serious.

Enid Sun 22-May-05 21:32:11

I have a scoliosis. Had an MRI scan last year. Basically the top of my spine is a bit wrong. Means I really have to make an effort to stand straight/not do anything that might make it 'go'.

Acupuncture brill when I can afford it although its not too bad atm.

I wouldn't bother going back to a chiropractor. Go to a good physio they will be able to diagnose you.

Twiglett Sun 22-May-05 21:54:21

Actually I'm going mad - I turned this off and had to reboot

it definitely isn't AS - because of 2 reasons

it is very very rare for a juvenile to get AS (not impossible).. most normal age to be symptomatic is mid-20s

even if a pre-6 year old had developed AS, there would have been nothing that could be done for it

so it wasn't Ankylosing Spondilitis, HTH

think its probably Scoliosis ... over to Enid

WideWebWitch Sun 22-May-05 22:03:57

Thanks guys, so that's not too serious then? I'm not in pain, no. I get the odd bit of back pain when I'm too fat or when I sit stupidly (curved or slumped on the sofa say) and because of that I've been fairly careful of my back for the last what, 7 odd years. Well, that's my excuse for not picking up heavy things if I can help it. Phew that it's not AS, well, it doesn't sound likely really does it? He def said something could have been done if it had been picked up before age 6. He said 'that's the trouble with you Brits, you don't DO preventative medicine' He was Amercian with a crap bedside manner!

bini Sun 22-May-05 22:56:02

cranial osteopathy can work wonders for all kinds of conditions

giraffeski Sun 22-May-05 22:59:48

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giraffeski Sun 22-May-05 23:00:44

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giraffeski Sun 22-May-05 23:01:14

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WideWebWitch Mon 23-May-05 07:01:26

Thanks giraffeski, so can I do anything if it's spondolitis? Just googled it and scared myself. I think I'd better go to my gp.

happymerryberries Mon 23-May-05 07:20:36

Don't Panic! (impossible I know!)

First thing is to find out what the condition is.
I wwould have thought that picking up AS in 6 year olds would be unheared of. BIL was,'t diagnosed unttil he was in his late 20s

I would have thought that scoliosis is a more likely condition, but you don't have a diagnosis of that either.

If you are worried , so your GP and discuss it.

twig, I din't know that you have AS.

BIL is ok at the moment and does a lot of swimming which he finds helpful. I also have a mate in school who has it and it is under good control, he is also a very active person.

Twiglett Mon 23-May-05 08:57:25

HMB I don't - DH has (well he has dx of Ankylosing Spondilitis and Psoriatic Arthritis) - didn't know your BIL had it though .. does he know about (good US based support / info website)

happymerryberries Mon 23-May-05 18:05:13

Doubt it, but at the moment he is mostly asymptomatic. When he wants more info I'll pass it on, but at the moment I don't think he likes to think about it too much. But thank you for the info.

Twiglett Mon 23-May-05 18:14:55

good to hear - hope he stays like that for all his life

SoupDragon Mon 23-May-05 18:21:31

Scoliosis is very common - something like 40% of the population to one degree or another. It's when the spine curves into a kind of S shape (one bend is the actual "deformity" the other where the spine bends back to balance it out IIRC). Mine's fairly minor but causes my lower vertebrae to lock occasionally resulting in several hundred pounds worth of osteopathy.

My paternal grandmother had "old lady hunch back" syndrome but I don't know what it's called. My dad might remember.

happymerryberries Mon 23-May-05 18:25:35

Was it something that just happened as she got past 70? If so it might be osteoporosis.

SoupDragon Mon 23-May-05 18:27:03

That's what I thought but I don't think it was. She was very short but I don't think her other bones were brittle in any way - ie she had a number of falls but no fractures.

lima Mon 23-May-05 18:34:41

SD it's Dowagers Hump

SoupDragon Mon 23-May-05 18:37:43

But that's caused by osteoporosis which I don't think she could have had.... hmmm.

elibelly Mon 23-May-05 18:41:19

my mother had severe scoliosis, first spotted when she was in her 30's and she was passed from specialist to specialist for years before she finally got a referral to someone fantastic. She ended up having major surgery, the metal rods in the back sort, at the age of 62, and it has helped her enormously although so much damage had been done to her by the degenerative progression of the scoliosis that some of the problems she was having pre-op still remain. They normally do this op on teenagers, and she should have had it in her 30's when it was first noticed. The point I'm making is that it's never too late to sort these things out, but it's better if you do it sooner. I'm also not sure if you have scoliosis as that's a side to side curvature of the spine. The old lady hunchback thing which I believe is known as dowager's hump can be caused by spondylitis (sp?) or osteoporosis neither of which would have been present at the age of 6 or before. Why don't you get your GP to refer you to a spinal specialist and have some tests done to find out properly for you. Sorry if I've repeated stuff that others have said here - haven't had time to read the other responses

WideWebWitch Mon 23-May-05 18:48:06

Thank you elibelly, soupy, hmb, twig. I'll make an appointment with my gp and update this when I know anything more. I've been putting it off for so long it feels odd to be even thinking about it tbh. Oddly, my back has been hurting today but only in one position and I'm fairly sure it's an rsi thing caused by mouse usage as it goes if I move the mouse to the left hand instead of right.

SoupDragon Mon 23-May-05 19:03:41

Get off MN then!!

<<whispers>> I had to get one of those kneely posture chairs because I spent so long at my PC...

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