Misdiagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis

I have had back pain for about 10 years.  I was recommended to see a chiropractor, so I did and began treatment within the first few months of being in pain.

This chiropractor ordered a CT scan, which showed a lumbar herniated disc.   It was in the same area as my general pain, so it made sense that it was the cause.  I began manipulation therapy, getting spinal adjustments for over 8 years. 

During this time, my pain got worse, mostly, with few breaks from the misery.  It also started to affect my joints in my hands and feet.  I basically had pain all over. 

The chiropractor ordered a new MRI about a year ago and it showed the herniated disc to be about the same.  He went right back to the same old adjustments, which never helped before. 

I do not know why I waited for so long, but eventually I got tired of wasting time and money with this doctor.  I went to see an orthopedist and took the CT and MRI films I had on discs.

This orthopedist said the herniated disc could never explain the variety of pain locations I had, even though the chiropractor said it could and did.  He also said that he saw widespread changes in the spinal joints and he suspected rheumatoid arthritis.  A blood test confirmed this diagnosis conclusively and I was sent for treatment with a rheumatologist. 

This new doctor put me on various drug therapies and I feel much better now.  He said there is no cure, but that I responded well to treatment and I will likely be ok, as long as I continue to be mindful of the possibility of new symptoms and conditions.

I wanted to share this story, since so many of us are in treatment for so long, without enjoying good results.  In my case, and maybe in yours also, there is a good reason for the failed treatment. 

This chiropractor should not be in practice.  I was told that the bone changes were obvious, but he never brought the condition to my attention.  I basically suffered for all those years for nothing and paid him to be in pain.  I should hire a lawyer and sue him, but I really just want to put it all behind me and move on.

Always get a second opinion on chronic pain and never give up hope.  Thanks for allowing me to vent.  – Cynthea

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