New to forum and arthritus

chrissieb
chrissieb Member Posts: 4
edited 30. Jul 2013, 09:16 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi everyone, went to the docs with severe pain in my knee beginning of last year ( put up with milder pain for quite a while)was sent for a xray and diagnosed early stages of arthritis! I am allergic to diclafenic so can't take anything asprin based or anti inflamatories :( just paracetamol which I don't unless I really have too. I have only had a couple of really bad flare ups in my knee but I've now started to suffer with my hands. My grip is pants and the strength is going and have that burning stiffness in my fingers. I haven't been back to the docs as he'll prob just tell me to take paracetamol every 4 hrs!!I have lost a lot of weight in the last 4 years and now go to the gym ( hoping the exercise will help) been told not to try running which is a result lol but to walk up a hill, which I can do on the treadmill but I find the holding on with my hands is too painful and leads to pain creeping up my arms, any tips please? Is it better to exercise or not and which ones?

Comments

  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,276
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello chrissieb and welcome to the froum
    You need a proper diagnosis...there are many of us on here that were fob off with pain meds and no idea what we were fighting, so dont think you are on your own..
    Go to your GP and ask for xrays at the very least just to show what is going on...exercise is always good ..has it stops the joints from seizing up, I have OA and some of it in my hands, twice a year I have injections in then done under xray and they work a treat...just waiting for my next lot.
    The one thing I have learned from this forum is to make yourself heard when you see your GP ...and consultants
    I do wish you well and hope you get some help very soon....dont forget we are always here if you have any more questions :D x
  • bubbadog
    bubbadog Member Posts: 5,544
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Chrissieb, welcome to the forum, Hope you get to have a chat with a G.P soon and get some x-rays done and go from there. We're all here if you have a question or just want to get something off your chest! :)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,106
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello chrissieb. Welcome from me too :)

    You have a diagnosis of OA so I'm afraid this is a 'friend' for life :roll: What that means is you really need to develop a good relationship with your GP so that you can discuss options and treatments together. If you don't get on well with your current one I'd suggest switching to another in the practice.

    I'm guessing that, when you write ' I am allergic to diclafenic so can't take anything asprin based or anti inflamatories' you mean it the other way round ie you're allergic to aspirin so can't take any anti-inflamms such as diclofenac? I'm not sure that you would necessarily be allergic to all anti-inflamms as there are several different ones about. This might be worth talking to your GP about. Also, although anti-inflamms are the usual meds for OA, there are stronger painkillers than paracetamol which are not aspirin based. (Mind you, I'm all for taking as few as possible.)

    It is quite possible that you also have OA in your hands but it might be worth asking for a blood test to ensure it is indeed OA and not one of the auto-immune versions of arthritis. These need treatment by a rheumatologist. The GP can't prescribe the meds. (I have a foot in both camps :roll: )

    Exercise is good. It keeps muscles strong and strong muscles protect the joints from further harm. However, some exercise is better than others. Weight bearing ones such as running put pressure on the knee. Swimming and cycling are very good though your hands might have problems with the latter. Arthritis Care have a booklet on Healthy Living which might help as it includes a section on exercise. http://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/PublicationsandResources/Selfmanagement/Healthylifestyle . You could also ask to be referred to a physio who might be able to make more suggestion tailored to your own needs and difficulties.

    I can't explain the weight loss though, when my own RA has been very bad, I have sometimes lost weight but not to an alarming degree.

    If you'd like to talk things through with someone our Helplines people are available. The number's at the top of the page. Good luck!
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I can't add anything to what the others have said but I would urge you to go back to your GP because he is the best-placed to advise you. He will know all the treatment options that are available and will be able to talk them through with you. I have OA in both ankles, both knees, my right hip and now my neck but mine has resulted due to my other auto-immune arthritis. It's tough, isn't it? I wish you well. DD
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello & welcome,

    I can't add more than the others I'm afraid but I can agree all of the advice is sound. You don't have to put up with pain tho, there are options open to you but you'll need to speak to ure GP.

    Best of luck & keep us posted please. x
  • chrissieb
    chrissieb Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks for all your replies, sorry I don't think I explained very well.
    I have been trying to lose weight for the last few years doing slimming world so all good healthy eating, nearly 7 and half stone and a couple left to go. So now I've joined the gym to help shift the last bit. I'm 47 and really want to get fitter. Since loosing the weight I was diagnosed with OA in my knee after a xray and was told no exercise when I was in a flare up. So I know my weight has probably caused the OA as its not in the family.
    I was prescribed diclafenic a few years ago( had taken it before with no problems)after a car accident and as I didn't feel too bad I only took the tablets if I felt I needed them ( was delivering parcels at the time)I started having a reaction to them, started feeling weird, back of the throat started feeling itchy, and itchy all over ( wanted to rip my skin off) drove to a chemist and he gave me a antihistermine. This episode really knocked me about and wasn't up to working the rest of the day.( at this point had no idea what caused it.The next time I took a diclafenic, I ended up in casualty same symptoms but nearly passing out and it was starting to affect my breathing. By the time I waited to see someone the symptoms were subsiding but they put me on a drip and kept me in for a couple of hours till I was ok to leave. So after this happened the doctor told me not to take anything aspirin based and its on my records I'm allergic to diclafenic ! So paracetamol is my option really, i'm not keen on co codamol as these make me a bit spaced out and as a childminder I need to be on my toes so to speak.
    When I get a flare up in my knee, I just deal with it as best I can, take paracetamol if I have to( don't really like taking anything) wear a support and rest it when I can, I also have a tens machine that I tried.
    I just want to carry on and find exercises that will help rather than damage. The day I went in to the docs about the pain in my knee I came out with depression tablets, told him I was depressed cause I was in so much pain! After this I discovered the gym ( obviously after the flare up had gone)this made me feel great, really enjoyed it, felt much better in myself, then told the doc that I wanted to come off the depression tablets ( this was after 8 months in total)took them every other day for a month then stopped.
    I don't take any medication at the moment, just finding things a bit awkward with my hands, I can walk up the full gradient of 15 on the treadmill but finding it hard holding on for any length of time. I also do some weights at the gym hoping that building the muscle will help too.

    Hope that explains things a bit better, thanks for all your replies, much appreciated and nice to know you are all out there :)
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again,

    Well done on the brilliant weight loss :) I think the release of endorphins from exercising will be making you feel much better within ureself. Great chemicals :)

    I'd suggest you start taking paracetamol regularly to help ure hands & knees!! I'd be surprised if you haven't been advised this already? They are a good analgesic especially as it's ure first line of defence. I know ud rather not take tablets on a regular daily basis but I think this may be the way to help ure hands!! Obviously ul need to discuss all of this with ure GP tho.
    Regarding meds that space you out ... Ask for a slow release type. I take tramadol SR & dont have any side effects with them. They're a synthetic medication too so tend to be a bit kinder.

    That must have been scary with the diclofenac!! My OH is the same with beta blockers :?

    The very best of luck with controlling ure pain, losing the remaining weight & continuing at the gym :) x
  • chrissieb
    chrissieb Member Posts: 4
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Debbie, yeah the doc has suggested I take paracetamol every 4hrs, but i'm rubbish at remembering, and I don't feel any different after taking them, I know i'm impatient , but I will try again.
    It was very scary with the diclofenic and I get a bit wary taking things now especially as i'd taken them before and I was fine, especially when it was getting harder to breathe, I've never driven so fast to A&E before.
    I'll make myself a chart to help remembering to take the paracetamol
    Think its working with kids that does it :) xx
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    There are around ten million arthritics in the UK and the majority have OA. It can result after the trauma of an injury to a joint, as a result of joint damage or it will start just for the helluva it - some people don't start until they're in their 70s, others are in their early 20s. It's an equal-opportunites disease. :wink:

    Your weight loss will mean less strain on your joints but the pain won't necessarily lessen. I think the advice about the paracetamol is on the right track but I would urge you to hold off on the 'big guns' of pain relief, simply because you may need somewhere to turn when things get nasty. The stronger the pain relief the more you are taken away from the pain, not vice versa. I prefer to keep a clear head so keep my intake of the dullers to the minimum.

    Paracetamol can be a danger to the liver so one should be careful about how much is taken, but you may find more benefit if you take the tablets regularly, say two in the morning and two at night. That would also leave the option of a lunch-time top-up if required. 'Getting ahead of the pain' is a useful strategy - and there are other anti-inflammatory meds out there, it is worth talking them over with your GP. I can understand your wariness but this is a whole new ball game.

    Regarding exercise, what about swimming? That works the whole body and the support of the water eases the strain on the joints. Cycling is another option too. Walking is good but make sure you are wearing good, supportive footwear to help reduce the impact on your ankles, knees and hips. DD
  • DebbieT
    DebbieT Member Posts: 1,033
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    All great points DD :) I have to say tho tramadol sr doesn't make my head spaced or anything. I also stay at a dose that I can take normal tramadol as a top up so it's rare I'll get to a place I literally can't cope with, thankfully. I'm on these meds more for Fibromyalgia pain than arthritic tho :)

    Hydro is amazing :) x

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