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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Spinal problems and back pain

Question: Diffuse Idiopathic Skeltal Hypertosis (DISH)

 Kacheri - Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:24 am

Hi, first let me apologize for being a internet researcher. I was diagnosed with PCOS back in 1991 by a military doctor in Europe and when I came back to the United States I found out that not many doctors even believed in this condition or knew about it, let alone treat for it. So I was without treatment and had to do my own research and teach a willing to learn doctor about it 10 years after being diagnosed. Ever since then I have kept researching PCOS (PCOD) to keep up to date on the many, many symptoms and correlated conditions, one of which I have discovered but not yet confirmed scientifically my latest condition DISH. Allow me to explain. I did some research on DISH and found out that statistics show that males over the age of 50 are the norm to get DISH and less than 5% of females over the age of 60 get this condition. As my research of PCOS, the statistics showed that kidney stones are also the norm of males over the age of 50 but I got them in my late 20's. I figured that it has to do with the Endocrine system of my body that is irregular due to my PCOS which the reason why I have so many symptoms and correlated conditions of an older male and female. (Diabetes, kidney stones, hirustism, early menapause, and so on.)

In 2006 I had a auto accident and in my radiology report it was noted that I had Diffuse Idiopathic Skeltal Hypertoisis in my neck all the way down to L-5. I had a lot of pain in my lower back and my neck was very sore and stiff. I went to Physical Therapy until the PIP Insurance ran out and it helped a little but got worse after stopping the therapy (no health insurance to continue). My medical treatment is by a volunteer clinic which is wonderful to have but limited in what they can do.

In 2008 I had another auto accident and the radiology report says; Extensive ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament and to a lesser extent, the posterior longitudinal ligament as well as the posterior ligamentous complex of the atlantoaxial joint. There is straightening of the cervical curvature. There may be disc degeneration in the lower cervical spine not seen due to body habitus.

Mineralization/ossification of the anterior longitudinal ligament is seen in the lower thoracic and mid to lower lumbar spine. Facet osteoarthritis is seen at L5 - S1, moderate in degree. Symmetric degenerative changes of the SI joints are noted.

So this time since the Physical therapy didn't really help a whole lot, I thought I would try a Chiropractor. I felt worse when I left the chiropractor then when I went in so I quit going.

My question is what is the best/current treatment for this condition? I am currently getting anti-imflamatory meds for the pain and a muscle relaxer for the stiffness. But these are not helping me get better. My mobility is limited and getting worse as the months pass. I am unable to stand for any length of time past 15 minutes let alone walking (which I know would be good to help with mobility), my upper back and neck seem frozen when trying to reach up, down, sideways or even around my own body. So I am asking what can I do? Should I see a specialist and if so what kind?

 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Tue May 05, 2009 11:28 am

User avatar Hello,
I am not familiar with DISH. The ossification of the longitudinal ligaments may limit mobility somewhat otherwise there is no encroachment of neural tissue.

I would try to maintain range of motion in the spine with gentle regular exercise. The pool would be a good place to do a spine exercise program.

Heat modalities should also help.

Massage may also help with any muscular tension or spasm secondary to the spine pain.

In sum, gentle, easy and consistent exercise is the way to go. I would not recommend chiropractor work.

Take care.

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