Hello I am new. I am trying 'everything', but nothing workin

ship69
ship69 Member Posts: 22
edited 25. Jul 2017, 06:06 in Say Hello Archive
Hello

I am new here. I have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my left ankle, following an X-ray of it a couple of months ago. I am not overweight, of medium, semi-athletic build, and am in my 50s. I eat a fairly 'healthy' diet (more below)

MY SYMPTOMS
My ankle doesn't hurt at rest. There are often mild, stabbing pains during use, particularly before the joint has warmed up. Often there is little or no pain during use but it then hurts the next day. I love running. Generally I can run/jog for between 1 minute and 10 minutes but then pain eventually starts with every foot strike to the ground and I am forced to stop. Bar the occasional ache and pain I have little or no symptoms elsewhere.

X-RAY RESULTS
I have "Osteophytic changes" I am told means "bone spurs". These are "moderate in extent" say the hospital.

SUPPLEMENTS
I have been trying the following pills:
a) Glucosamine sulphate (750mg x3/day)
b) Green lipped mussels (500mg x1/day)
c) JointAction Turmeric Formula x1/day
(contains: 600mg turmeric, black pepper 10mg, ginger 500mg, boswellia 50mg, cinnamon 200mg, manganese 2mg, copper 1mg) etc)
d) Boswellia Serrata 5:1 Extract (700mg x1/day)
e) Stabilised Allicin (Allimed) (450mg x3/day)
Plus:
f) L-Glutamine powder (2 teaspoons x2/day)
h) Homeopathy against arthritis (5 drops x2/day)
"FM*Colchicum Complex"
i) Saffron stamens (c.15 strands x1/day)

I am drinking:
e) cider vinegar + honey (Honegar) 1-2 tablespoons x3/day
f) I have recently started drinking a ginger root tea (c.0.25 inches steeped in hot water x3/day)
g) I am drinking quite a lot of water too. (1 pint x3/day)
h) I am also drinking


Yes, I have been taking ALL of the above at once for about 1 month.

DIET
I eat a fairly 'healthy' diet. Lots of vegetables, quiet a lot of fruit. I have IBS and I broadly follow a FODMAPS diet (includes e.g. no dairy, no wheat), which helps IBS massively. I have recently cut down on eating meat & fish but do still eat it.

EXERCISE
I can no longer play tennis. I find event slow-ish walking too far starts to hurt. I bicycle every other day for 30-45 minutes. In the short term that seems to help.

RESULTS
No, the above does NOT seem to be working so far.

So I have had to resort to ibuprofen (I am taking 200 - 400mg x4/day) which DOES help massively, and does so within about 30 minutes.


MY QUESTIONS:

A. Ibuprofen + exercise
Is it a good idea to take Ibuprofen in order to take exercise?!
I keep reading how it is good to take exercise, despite the fact that wear & tear is part of the OA problem.

B. Collagen pills
Have any of you people tried taking "Undenatured type II collagen" (UC-II) pills, and did it work for you?
(Eric Berg's video "Can Chicken Soup Cure Arthritis? MUST WATCH if you have thinning joints!" looks promising )

C. CBD cannabis oil
Have any of you tried CBD cannabis oil for Osteoarthritis? Did it work? Evidently it was only legalised here in the UK in January.

D. Vegan "alkaline forming" diet
It seems that there is some evidence that eating a "alkaline forming diet, that is "anti-inflammatory", and probably also free of animal products, may well help. Personally I like eating at least some meat/fish as it seems to agree with me. But have any of you tried an extreme plant-based diet?

E. Is it a mistake to be taking so many supplements at once? i.e. Will they fight with each other (No, I don't intend to continue with them all for reasons of cost, not unless I absolutely have to!)

E. What worked for you?
What else have you tried? How long did it take get results? What dose are you using?

I am looking for long-term solutions.

With thanks

John

Comments

  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi John
    firstly welcome to the forum it is lovely to have you here. It seems that presently you are experiencing pain in your ankle especially after exercise and that you do have X-ray evidence that supports your diagnosis of osteoarthritis.
    You seem to be taking a large amount of supplements and I would say that taking this variety may make it difficult for you to pinpoint which ones are helping you at all. I can understand that you want to find answers immediately but sadly things don't work like that. I would certainly recommend that you speak to your GP about how to best manage your pain so that you can to live life as fully as possible. There is another thread on here presently where a group of our members are talking about running and how to get a manageable exercise regime set up. Here is the link https://arthritiscareforum.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=47638
    Can I also suggest that you take a look at our information on ankle osteoarthritis here https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/publications/1179-osteoarthritis-of-the-ankle
    Pain management will be important as well as physiotherapy and maybe looking at shoes that support you heel and ankle.
    I cannot give you any research papers about supplements and changes to diet but I can suggest that you look at our section of the website about living with arthritis as a starting point. https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/living-with-arthritis
    I am sure many of our community members will come along and share their experience with you. If you have any further questions and want to join in the forum generally the best place to post is in the "living with arthritis" forum.
    Best Wishes
    Sharon
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi John,

    You've clearly been giving it your all but I tend to agree with Sharon that (a)if something did help you wouldn't know what and (b)these things can counteract each other and are sometimes countermanded for those taking prescribed meds.

    Here is a very comprehensive study of complementary and alternative therapies by ARUK, a reliable site http://tinyurl.com/yb75yuy8 . I can't tell you I've used any myself as I gave up on such things years ago but some get the thumbs up for being helpful. None will take it all away, though.

    As we're all different, have you seen a physiotherapist? They can give you an exercise regime tailored to your own circumstances and requirements. It used to be that any hard exercise which meant bringing ones weight down on a joint was banned but I believe now it's considered OK, up to a point, for some people.

    One thing I can say (well, two actually) is that it is usually regarded as OK to take pain relief / anti-inflammatories in order to exercise but I guess that might depend on how hard the exercise is hammering your joints. The other part of that is that, if you are taking ibuprofen regularly every day you should also be prescribed a stomach-protecting med as all NSAIDS are tough on the stomach (as are some dietary supplements).

    I wish you luck but I am a tad concerned about what your definition of 'working' (as in the title) might be. Nothing will make either the pain or the arthritis go away completely. It's a matter of slowing down the progress and keeping things at a manageable level. Exercise, of the right kind, is essential for that but do find out what's right for you. And good luck with it all.
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran
  • ship69
    ship69 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi

    Thanks for your links. They make depressing reading though.

    I am confused. My GP seems to think that OA is "just wear and tear" and that "everyone gets it" and that there is no cure.

    But if it is "just wear and tear" why would exercise actually help?

    Also how come my 83 year old uncle could get to run marathons and go on huge hiking trips up mountains without any sign of OA?

    Surely OA is actually a malfunction / disease of some sort. Yes, even if the majority of us get the condition.

    J
  • ship69
    ship69 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    PS Does taking a medication (e.g. Ibuprofen) that take the inflammation down (and reduces/removes pain) actually help mechanically in any way?

    i.e. Does exercising on a join that is inflamed cause damage to that joint?
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi ship69
    your GP is right to a large extent in that osteoarthritis is wear and tear although we do not know the causes, but it is more common among women. Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, although it occurs more frequently in older people. Injury to a joint can also trigger osteoarthritis, even many years later.

    Yes it does have an inflammatory element. Of course the older joints get then there is more likely hood of joint changes that will lead to osteoarthritis have a look here https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/a-z-of-types/62-osteoarthritis

    Exercise helps because you want to retain your mobility, we are not talking about marathons here or high impact exercise we are talking about range of movement and keeping good muscle tone to protect the joint. Have a look at our exercise booklet for ideas https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/publications/1313-exercise-and-arthritis

    Removing the inflammation will reduce the swelling and make movement easier, yes that is correct, also keeping on top of the pain means you will generally have a better quality of life as long term pain is very difficult to live.

    I hope this answers the questions for you. You can also phone our helpline if you would like a more in depth confidential chat on 0808 800 4050
    Best Wishes
    Sharon
  • ship69
    ship69 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    moderator wrote:
    Hi ship69
    your GP is right to a large extent in that osteoarthritis is wear and tear although we do not know the causes, but it is more common among women. Osteoarthritis can develop at any age, although it occurs more frequently in older people. Injury to a joint can also trigger osteoarthritis, even many years later.

    Yes it does have an inflammatory element. Of course the older joints get then there is more likely hood of joint changes that will lead to osteoarthritis have a look here https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/a-z-of-types/62-osteoarthritis

    Exercise helps because you want to retain your mobility, we are not talking about marathons here or high impact exercise we are talking about range of movement and keeping good muscle tone to protect the joint. Have a look at our exercise booklet for ideas https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/do-i-have-arthritis/publications/1313-exercise-and-arthritis

    Removing the inflammation will reduce the swelling and make movement easier, yes that is correct, also keeping on top of the pain means you will generally have a better quality of life as long term pain is very difficult to live.

    I hope this answers the questions for you. You can also phone our helpline if you would like a more in depth confidential chat on 0808 800 4050
    Best Wishes
    Sharon

    Thanks Sharon. Yes, I am aware that the received medical wisdom is that it is wear and tear AND that the causes aren't know. But because the cause aren't known doesn't mean to say that they are just wear and tear!

    Either way if it IS just wear and tear, how then can you explain how certain individual (e.g. my uncle) fail to get osteoarthritis despite MASSIVE amounts of high impact 'wear' on their joints?

    In fact I am told that although many world-class athletes do get OA, many of them do NOT get arthritis despite their extreme amounts of exercise during their youth. Evidently in some individuals cartilage is perfectly good at repairing itself despite massive amounts of 'wearing' activity.

    What seems much more likely is that as per this video
    Link deleted. This is advertising a product and is preying on the mind of people with arthritis. Moderator Yvonne
    arthritis is in fact an autoimmune disease that weakens the cartilage and that in that weakened condition using the joint then start to wear the joint out and thereby brings the problem to light.

    If true, the question then becomes about how to manage an autoimmune condition as well as what factors might encourage the cartilage to repair itself, albeit only slowly.

    J

    P.S. Does taking anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) actually help reduce damage to the joints or does it help diminish the pain?

    P.P.S. X-rays of my ankle prove that I do have OA. However they aren't at all tender, nor are they very swollen. Also all the various anti-inflammatory herbs & natural remedies don't seem to make the slightest difference to my condition which is in any case only fairly mild and only painful after exercise. How do I find out whether I have *damage* done to the joint as well as OA?
  • ship69
    ship69 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Nobody is answering my question. If is just "wear" i.e. erosion through friction caused by usage, how come SOME people get to use their joints excessively but still have no joint problems?

    It seems likely to me that the changes to the cartilage i.e. "becoming pitted, rough and brittle" is indicative of something completely different from just "wear" through use.

    And why would seemingly minor injuries, that seem to repair themselves cause extra "wear" many decades later?

    i.e. It seems clear to me that if a significant percentage of the population avoid OA, and particularly if some of those people also put a lot of hard exercise and "wear" into their joints it seems pretty clear to me that OA is an actual disease.

    It it is flexibility that one seeks surely one should simply do stretch exercises. And if it is strength one seeks, surely one should to weight training (or possibly isometric exercises which might be less stressful on the joint surfaces).

    Part of my question is do joints "LIKE" being used? Does either compression of the joints help the system get nutrients to the cartilage? Does gentle friction at the surfaces encourage the synovial fluid to be secreted or possibly to encourage the cartilage cells themselves secret cartilage?

    And/or does the fact that the body is taking exercise help in some as yet unmentioned manner such as secreting anti-inflammatory chemical messengers into the blood?

    Either way nobody has answered the question of does taking anti-inflammatories (like ibuprofen) actually HELP in any mechanical way? Or does it JUST relieve pain? Is it bad or good to take exercise using the likes of iboprofen.

    Sorry but there are just so many unanswered questions here!
  • moderator
    moderator Moderator Posts: 4,086
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi again,

    I'm sorry you aren't getting the answers you are looking for, I don't think we are able to do that. We are a group of people living with one or more types of arthritis living well, caring for and helping others perhaps less far along the journey than we are.

    We aren't medical professionals, we cannot diagnose or suggest treatment, which is what you need. It sounds like your GP is unable to help either. Perhaps a referral to a specialist would be useful to you.

    I understand your frustration and the drive to 'fix' your ankle and I hope you are successful

    Take care
    Yvonne x
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,713
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I can understand your frustration at not getting answers to your questions, since I share some of the doubt around the 'wear and tear' explanation - my OA does not fit into that slot either.
    Something to bear in mind is that not only is medicine not an exact science, thanks in large part to the fact that as humans we are all different, but that also it can take a long time for accepted medical doctrine to change course. Ideas/hypotheses/explanations get bedded in and gain their own momentum and can unfortunately as a result make it difficult for differing views to be explored. Drug development follows the norm as much as it puts forward the new. I have osteoporosis and in that field there is a real 'block' around the perceived and accepted medical view that it is a disease of old women(and can thus be sidelined, which doesn't help improve things as you can imagine!)
    There is increasingly a view that inflammation may/can be a direct cause of OA, and that treating it appropriately would be beneficial. There was an item on a Radio 4 science/health slot some time ago about it and I believe that some medics have used some of the common RA drugs for OA cases.
    As for your question about why do some people get OA and not others, isn't that like the lung cancer/heart disease/ you name it question? We are all familiar with the situation of those whose lifestyle 'should' result in a given disease, but doesn't.
    There may be answers for you out there somewhere(delving through scientific and pharma research for instance), but it will be down to you to find them - your GP can only tell you what s/he knows or can offer as per current guidelines.
    Our health issues do not always(or indeed often for many of us!) lend themselves to simple analysis or cut and dried solutions. There is not always a straightforward 'have problem A, take drug B/do procedure C, problem sorted' option, and I think this is especially the case with chronic degenerative conditions such as arthritis(of whichever flavour). This is not to say that the only option is to roll over and succumb, but rather that it may be more useful to rethink which battles to expend energy on, and have different expectations of 'results'. Questions may not always have answers.
  • EmilyBlunt
    EmilyBlunt Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Taking a solution (e.g. Ibuprofen) that bring the irritation down (and diminishes/expels torment) really help mechanically in any capacity?
  • ship69
    ship69 Member Posts: 22
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    EmilyBlunt wrote:
    Taking a solution (e.g. Ibuprofen) that bring the irritation down (and diminishes/expels torment) really help mechanically in any capacity?

    Yes in the sort term Ibuprofen seems to totally solve all issues. I worry about doing damage to the surface of the join by the painkiller aspect causing me to not feel the pain that my pain-receptors *should* be sending my brain.

    i.e. I don't want to do long term damage.

    However from what I can see, nobody here seems to be able to answer that question.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,271
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think the trouble is that we all 'know' that pain = something wrong. It's a danger signal so we would normally go to the doc and get that something fixed. With arthritis it can't be fixed. We have a choice between using the joint and feeling the pain or not using the joint and having other things go wrong as a result.

    The joint will deteriorate whatever we do or don't do. It will deteriorate less painfully if we use it sensibly (not in a way that overstresses it) and keep our muscles strong because they will support it better. I think the accepted view is that, if NSAIDS such as ibuprofen do that, it's better to take them. But, if you can handle the pain right now without them, why not?
    "The deeper sorrow carves into your being the more joy you can contain." Kahlil Gibran