Hello

Tullah
Tullah Member Posts: 3
edited 20. Apr 2015, 15:40 in Say Hello Archive
I would really appreciate some help please. It almost seems as if in the last few months my 'general aches and pains' have become 'wear and tear'. When I asked the Doc what 'wear and tear' meant he said arthritis.
I am 57 and overweight so I am working on losing weight (lost 1 stone so far) but I ache so much, especially in my knees, even at night when I am just lying in bed. Does this sound like arthritis?

I have a month before I go abroad on a week long visit that will involve walking, I have been told to take pain killers and have decided that I need to increase my walking (gently) to build up muscle.

I have to be honest I do feel a bit devastated and a bit cast adrift by my Doc. I am usually a positive person!!

Do you have any tips or advice for me please to help me make the best of my trip?

Many thanks

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,085
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tullah

    Welcome to the forums where I'm sure you will get a lot of help and good advice from all the lovely people on here.

    It is a little quiet being the weekend, but I'm sure that someone will be along shortly to help.

    We are here if you need any support to do with using the forums. Many of the mods have some of the many varieties of arthritis and we all know about the feelings that go along with having it.

    Do read and post across the different topics that you will find here.
    All best wishes

    Mod B
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,558
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, it's nice to meet you but I am sorry you have had to find us. This sounds like osteoarthritis to me, that is usually defined as the 'wear and tear' kind as opposed to the auto-immune kinds such as rheumatoid. I have a creaky foot in both camps with my OA being diagnosed in 2011.

    OA is dealt with by GPs and yes, one can feel abandoned because there is little they can do apart from prescribing pain relief and possibly an anti-inflammatory medication. We can play our part by partaking of gentle, non-weight bearing exercise and losing weight. If it's in the right sort of joints then replacement surgery may become an option but that won't be offered until a certain point of joint degeneration has been reached, which can take years. My OA is in both ankles, both knees and both hips, I have slept with a pillow, set lengthwise, between my legs for years now (it was my knees that were first affected by my other arthritis) and that can make a difference. The pillow helps to cushion both my ankles and knees whilst keeping the upper hip raised (I am a side-sleeper).

    Living with pain is both demoralising and tiring, it can drain us a great deal. I am now 56 and am just starting my nineteenth year of living with this nonsense. You mention that you hope to be doing some walking when you're away - please invest in good fitting and supportive shoes to help ease the impact on your knees and maybe a walking pole could be a useful aid: this should be held in the opposite hand to the worst joint. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,679
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tullah

    Welcome from me too :)

    With OA there are lots of thinsg worth trying:

    Heat - does a warm bath/hot water bottle help? if so you can buy heat patches especially for the knees.

    Ice - do they feel better when they are cooled? (ice packs through fabric? If they do you can try the gel packs you put in the freezer

    Does it help if they are supported (for walking?) try some tubigrip and see.

    Some also find insoles help you can ask your pharmacist for advice. If you are going to walking they might be a great idea and some walkers use walking poles so that some of the work is done by the hands/arms.

    Tens machines can also help some people. Ideally borrow one to try out first - they aren't cheap

    and medications. An anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen can really help (they give me serious belly ache:() and even paracetamol taken regularly when you are struggling can be far more effective than people believe. If you have tried these and they don't help at all maybe your GP will prescribe something stronger?

    Anyway lovely to meet you and I hope to see you posting on the forums. Have a look round and join in wherever you will be welcomed :)

    Love

    Toni x

    I hope that's helped a little.
    In bed try pillows under your knees to take the pressure off :)
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • Tullah
    Tullah Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your support and suggestions. OMG, I hoped this would get better and go away...Well I with follow your conversations with interest. Thanks again.
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tullah
    Welcome from me as well.
    I'm afraid it wont go away......wear and tear is medic talk for osteo arthritis {as opposed to rheumatoid arthritis}

    I agree with you about the gentle walking to build up muscles.
    We do have to try and help ourselves. As others have said the GP can only hand out pain killers and antinflammatories to try to dull the pain.

    A month isnt a lot tohelp build up those muscles before going on a holiday which involves walking......will it involve a lot of walking or can you take it at your own pace?

    Have you been referred to a hospital or is this just from your GP....if not you should get a referral. I found that once I got an actual diagnosis I was able to cope better. I was also sent for physiotherapy at first. Exercise does help but it has to be the right kind.
    You sound as if you are doing well with losing weight. That is a big thing because the heavier you are the more weight you put on your hips and knees.
    I've got OA in both hips, lower spine, ankle, and neck.
    Scoliois, 2 hip replacements. {among other things :wink: }
    You have got to be as positive as possible.
    Keep posting and asking......read back on some of the answers and try out the things suggested
    Love
    Hileena
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Tullah
    get better and go away..
    Well we all wish that but sadly that's not how it works.....however that doesn't mean it's all doom and gloom. With the OA you have it's very much up to you to find out what works in terms of pain management - heat/cold,which pain relief drugs etc, and as you have already realised weight control. Ahead of your holiday I would suggest experimenting with the suggestions already made to find out what helps, and also perhaps noting if there are activities/times of day/weather conditions that seem to affect your aches and pains. Your state of mind can be a factor as well - if you're feeling low or stressed that can make any discomfort seem worse, and that's where distraction can be helpful. Things like reading,listening to music, having a coffee with a friend, can push the pain into the background and by lifting your mood make you better able to cope.
    I see Hileena and I have been thinking along the same lines!