caret icon Back to all discussions

Confused,Stressed but still hopeful

I’m a 49 year old factory worker (21 years with company)who works extremely long hours trying to get by life as pain free as I can. I’ve had 2 mri’s 5
Years apart that show multiple level DDD,spondylosis with pain in my neck and left shoulder blade. I have pain that flares up in my knees and hips occasionally switching to elbows wrists. I’m at 162 lbs and over the last 8 months have had success at improving my pain and strength with the advise of my physiotherapist. I’m trying to improve my accommodations at work and don’t seem to be getting anywhere with my doctor. Should I hire a private occupational therapist to help me or should I go about it a different way. I’m struggling trying to get anywhere at work with this and I’m aching more and more every day. I live in Ontario Canada and hoping to find guidance and help so I can get a proper diagnosis not just that I have really bad cervical arthritis.

  1. Hi . Have you been diagnosed with RA or any other inflammatory arthritis condition? You may want try to see a rheumatologist for diagnostics and treatment information. As far as physical and occupational therapy goes, I can tell you that it has been extremely helpful for my wife, Kelly Mack (who is a contributor here). She wrote about some of her experiences here: and here: Kelly's experience may feel a little extreme, so I also want to share this article from our contributor Nan looking at the question of whether to have PT: Hoping you get some answers and improvement. Feel free to keep us posted on how you are doing. Best, Richard ( Team)

    1. I’ve had 2 mri’s and I’ve been asking my doctor if I can get a referral to a rheumatologist for the arthritis I’ve been diagnosed with for the last 5 years.The last mri was to see how far along it’s progressing.For whatever reason my doctor was content with me seeing a neurosurgeon 5 years ago and because I didn’t need surgery he says a rheumatologist is not needed and he dismissed me basically.Unfortunately I’ve gone through medical at work when I should have been using my family doctor and he made that clear. Throw in covid and trying to find a new doctor I’m at my breaking point.I take pregabalin day and night to control the nerve damage I already have in my upper back.I also take naproxen 500 on bad days.I work for a very big organization in Canada worth billions and I’ve been working for them for 21 years.I have 8 years till retirement and I will collect a decent pention. All meaningless if I lose my job or I can’t enjoy life anymore.I work extremely long hours and it’s shift work every 2 weeks.All the pain killers I take and I’m still in so much pain and what it’s done to my head well I don’t think I need to explain that here.I’m lost for answer’s.I’ve done everything my company has asked and I’ve been put into a less physical job but it is a factory and my body can only take so much.I was told that If I were to stop exercising I risk being back to my worst flare up I ever had which completely locked me up.I exercise regularly and strength train with light weights and body weight.I do yoga multiple times a week and try to stretch as much as I can.Believe it or not I can’t touch my toes and I try every day.I look great…..I feel absolutely horrible and in pain. How can anyone I work with understand what it’s like to live with this much pain.They told me to manage it so I’ve been doing what I possibly can.I’m listed as chronic at work yet I haven’t disclosed all of my issues with my boss because it seems to go on deaf ears. I haven’t lost any time and I’ve worked through it so far. I don’t even know what to ask let alone who to ask anymore.I have a beautiful wife and beautiful sons which give me strength and energy to exercise. I’m losing strength inside

      1. I’m lucky enough to have not been diagnosed with RA but I haven’t seen a proper specialist or doctor yet. As much pain as I’m in and I’ve had my cp surgery and trigger finger surgery your wife is truly brave and strong. I can’t compare myself to what she’s gone through already. What I truly want are more answers and if I’m doing everything I possibly can to slow down whatever is damaging my spine.I to have been taking physio for the last 8 months but I’ve exhausted them till September.

        1. I go to physical therapy twice a week and it has certainly helped me, but the thing that helped me the most, believe it or not, was seeing a pain specialist. Since we are at the point where my illness has caused damage that cannot be fixed, it's the pain that mainly makes things untenable so I wanted to try to help with that and it did. It didn't make the pain go away but it did make it better enough that I was able to have a decent quality of life. It may be something worth thinking about. In the meantime remember, you're not alone - we know exactly what you are feeling! Keep on keepin' on, DPM

          Please read our rules before posting.