Tips for coping with stiff, swollen knees and wrists please

RebekahMacd Member Posts: 7
Hi everyone

Total newbie, this is my first post here.

I'm 27 years old, and I started getting swelling and tingling in my right arm about 3 months ago, and it's quickly ... spread, I suppose, to both of my knees. My knees have been constantly swollen for two months, while the arm symptoms come and go. At times, both of my calf muscles swell up and tingle. It's really very unpleasant.

I've not been diagnosed yet. All blood tests so far have come back clear, and I'm on a waiting list to see a Rheumatologist. My GP has been very helpful and, it would seem from reading other people's stories, very quick to get me seen by a specialist. I'm on anti-inflammatories and strong painkillers.

My job is completely computer based. I am right handed, so when my right hand, wrist and elbow are at their worst, using a mouse is difficult. I have got an ergonomic mouse at work, which helps. And when my leg swelling gets bad, it's difficult to be in the office.

My employer has been incredibly helpful and understanding. My manager has agreed with the Occ Health team that I can work from home two days a week to put my legs up, which eases the swelling.

I was just wondering whether anyone had tips for how to deal with this on a day-to-day basis. I can't put up my feet at work - unless there's a spare chair - because my feet have to be at least level with my hips to get the swelling to go down. I have little heat pads to use when the pain persists, and that lovely cold gel stuff which is wonderful.

Sorry this is so long!


  • jennylynn
    jennylynn Member Posts: 101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Rebekah,

    I'm so sorry your knees are poorly :-(

    I'm also 27, but i have Psoriatic arthritis that affects my knees. I get the hot swellings, but not the tinglings. I also get problems with my left wrist, and get pins and needles and pains similar to those you described.
    The main ways i manage my pain without getting into medications and different types of arthritis are;
    for my knees i take hot baths before and after i go to work, i'm a dental therapist so not only is my posture important but i am using my hands all day, like you i cant elevate my feet at work as patients might think i was mad! I also use a tens machine and that really seems to help. I also found having an electric blanket helpful for my knees, seem to wake up in less pain with them (but then the blanket does make my back stiff! so cant win really!)
    My wrist problem is relatively new, and i am waiting for a resting splint to sleep in, for now my rheumy nurse has told me to wear a glove made of heavy material to try and keep my wrist straight without restricting blood flow. People on here suggested using arnica gel which does provide instant if not shortlived relief from wrist pain. My rhuematology nurse also suggested witch hazel cream which is also very good. I carry both around with me just in case my wrist starts to feel sore and they do work.

    I hope you manage to get some relief and some form of diagnosis soon. Its all about mind over matter sometimes.

    Fingers crossed for you,

  • RebekahMacd
    RebekahMacd Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Jenny

    Thanks so much for your suggestions. I'll try 'em all! (I'm willinh to give anything a go at this point.)

  • jennylynn
    jennylynn Member Posts: 101
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    No problem :-)
    Let me know how you get on. If you re-post this in the 'living with arthritis' forum you might get a few more replies, some people who will have some good tips don't tend to look in this forum.

    I hope some of my tips help :-)
    Have you been referred for physio? Just picked up my day splint and having some resting splints made for my wrists, it was really helpful.


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