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Does osteoarthritis ever get better?

As5567As5567 Posts: 665
edited 5. Aug 2014, 08:52 in Living with Arthritis archive
I have osteoarthritis in my left hip and have done so now for a while according to my old doctor. I knew it would happen at some point, I was just hopeful it would be later on in life rather than now, but oh well that's just the way things turned out.

My question is does the pain ever fluctuate i.e can/does it go away for periods of time or is the pain constantly there? The pain is mainly worse at night or upon standing. I know the gp usually deals with Osteoarthritis but my new doctor says I don't have it at all so now my gp isn't at all interested.

I do plan to start weekly physiotherapy soon and I'm going to ask if he/she can help me out with this also, from what I understand exercising the joint(s) that have osteoarthritis can sometimes ease the pain because the muscles around the joint support it better.

Comments

  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have OA in a number of useful joints and they hurt all the time. Currently they're not too bad thanks to the hot and humid weather but they are still twanging away. I don't think that any form of arthritis 'gets better' as such but the pain levels can ebb and flow. You either have OA or you don't - have you had the hip Xrayed? DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • barbara12barbara12 Posts: 20,945 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have OA in my hips hands neck and back and one knee..but I must say there are good days ..not a clue what effects it apart form the hot weather..I do keep a food diary and have noticed dairy can make matters worse...its worth doing to see if there is anything you eat can make matters worse...distraction and positive thinking ..not always easy I know ..but it can help
    Love
    Barbara
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 26,000 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It's true that exercise is good for arthritic joints but I'm not sure your physio will be prepared to deal with a hip if you've been referred for a different joint. However, if you look at Arthritis Care's 'Publications & Resources' they have stuff on self-management, including hip exercises. (Standard quads, if you've done them previously.)

    As for whether or not you have OA in your hip - have you had an x-ray at any time? That ought to show whether or not you have but sometimes minimal damage can cause a lot of pain.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • As5567As5567 Posts: 665
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My old doctor diagnosed it in my hip but my new doctor dismisses this without even sending me for x rays. I have a feeling my old doctor is right based on the fact that this pain is different from the pain in joints i get from AS. My old doctor told me last August that I indeed had damage in the hip joint and that it would likely get worse as time goes on. Soon after this I was in the process of being transferred to another hospital so nothing really got done.

    The problem with my current doctor is she has this mindset that everyone who had childhood arthritis gets better or doesn't progress quickly. She also tells me I'm too young to have osteoarthritis yet and not to worry. The pain in my hip is there constantly, its more of a dull nag pain and sometimes a burning nagging pain which is totally different to the pain i get in my back/shoulders/neck/knees/other hip so I'm confident that my old doctors diagnosis is correct.

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of those on-line resources stickywicket, very helpful. I'm due to see a new physio for an introductory appointment to see what they can help me with, hopefully this new physio will be a bit more supportive than the last one I saw. I'm not sure if they deal with OA and will probably tell me to go to my gp. We shall see
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You have described an OA pain very well indeed, it's always there and can feel as though it's burning. Your rheumatologist is wrong about your being too young for OA, of course she doesn't specialise in that area so please educate her. :wink: DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 26,000 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I was diagnosed at 15. I still have it at 68 :roll: I tried to reduce my meth last year and had to go back up. However, mine did progress slowly at first despite a lack of DMARDS. I don't know when the osteo kicked in – it was all just pain to me – but the first time my knees were x-rayed I was told I needed new ones and given them. That was 20 years after my initial diagnosis,

    I don't think physios specialise in certain forms of arthritis only in musculo-skeletal, neurological stuff etc.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • hileena111hileena111 Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    That is rubbish that every child who has had childhood arthritis gets better. Also there is no such thing as being too young....Arthritis is no respecter of age :?
    It sounds like OA but I'm no doc. I have OA which comes and goes....well it never goes {sorry} eases a bit or I have days when it is worse.
    Lets hope your physio can help you......Go back to your GP if he cant. Apart from that what about changing doctors? Either another one in the same practice or a completely different practice?
    A lot of us {me included } have had to do that
    Love
    Hileena
  • sbolamsbolam Posts: 374
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This first consultant I saw at hospital was very rude, when I asked him if he thought it was osteoarthritis, he barked back, "no its not, your too young" funny all the results came back that I do..hmm I sometimes wonder if they know what they are doing. and we put our trust in um
    04_pain.jpg
  • As5567As5567 Posts: 665
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Sorry for the late reply, been very busy with University resits and countless hospital appointments.

    I saw my GP Yesterday for something else but mentioned the OA seems it was the nice locum doctor who listens and takes his time. He is going to write to my old doctor and request a copy of X rays and get back to me. Due to the amount of recent x rays and CT scans he doesn't want to send me for more X rays for things that are already on file. He says there isn't much he can do if the X rays show its OA because I'm already on all the correct medication for my AS but what he can do is refer me to physio from the GP which would mean I can have access to physio twice per week if I wanted.

    He said he feels that by just looking and moving around my hip, along with the symptoms I get OA is highly likely and is very commonly found in the hip and spine area of people with AS, so now its time to continue playing the waiting game to see where things go from here.
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 26,000 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    A good appointment I think :) As for OA, it can set in with any of us auto-immuners which is why early diagnosis and treatment is so important. I hope the physio helps.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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