Riddled with OA

clarecharliecat Member Posts: 2
edited 21. Dec 2017, 15:07 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi, I am 47 and seem to be developing osteo-arthritis in all my joints bit by bit. So far my lower back, both feet and my fingers have been officially diagnosed with OA. My knees have been causing problems for a while but last week my right knee gave way on the stairs. It is now very painful (cannot see any swelling) and keeps locking or giving way. I am trying to get a Dr appointment but am 99% sure it is OA.
I have already had to change career once due to OA in my lower back. Now struggling with knees.
Feeling thoroughly fed up with it all!!
How common is it to have wide spread OA at this age?


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Clarecharliecat, welcome to Arthritis Care Forums.

    As mods we are here to help with any problems you may have using the forums.

    Please click on the following link to see our factsheet on Osteoarthritis https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/what-is-arthritis/types-of-arthritis/62-o-osteoarthritis.

    I hope the factsheet helps but, if you need more specific information, you can always contact our Helpline at: https://www.arthritiscare.org.uk/help-and-support/helpline

    In addition to the above, there are many lovely people who use the forums with a wide range of experiences. Have a good look through the different forums and pick the ones you feel are best for the information you seek.

    Best wishes,

  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I am sorry you are having such trouble with your OA, it is increasingly common for younger people to be affected but many who don't understand the disease still think it affects only older folk.

    My OA was diagnosed in 2011 and has come about as a result of my other arthritis. It affects both ankles, both knees, both hips, one shoulder (which I broke in 2014 so that's no surprise) and I think it's creeping into my neck - again no surprise. My theory about it is that when one joint is affected it affects the ways we move, a natural response to reduce pain. This has a knock-on effect on other joints which are being thrown out of kilter and so it appears to 'spread' but I am not a doc. I have to make conscious efforts to relax my body, I am physically tense as pain runs from top-to-toe so naturally tighten.

    Arthritis has no respect for age or gender, an auto-immune kind can affect very young children. I began in 1997 when I was 37 so have a good few years under my belt. The GP deals with my OA, I have pain relief and access to anti-inflammatories but I don't often need those thanks to the meds for my auto-immune one (which is a different beast altogether). What has your doctor prescribed for you? DD
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,088
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Of course you are feeling fed up with it all. Pain just grinds away at us relentlessly.

    Unfortunately, it's not as rare as you might think to have OA in several joints at a relatively young age. But that doesn't make it any easier to deal with. What DD says is true - sometimes using one joint badly because of the pain does have a knock-on effect.
    I think it's a good plan to see your GP and maybe remind him / her how widespread it's becoming as they can't possibly remember every patient, even with notes.

    Have you had x-rays? Or physio? It might be worth asking for both.
  • emsjane
    emsjane Member Posts: 351
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Clare,

    I'm 48. I started getting OA at 29. I've progressively got worse over the years. I've now got it in my neck, my elbows, thinning disk in lower back, my hips, my hands, my knees and my feet and toes.

    I've had a couple of ops. Resurfacing on left hip and resurfacing on my big toe. I'm trying to get a referral for a hip replacement at the moment.

    My best advice for you is if you're overweight at all then losing weight really really helps, especially with any joints affected below the waist. Also, swimming may help to strengthen muscles around your joints which helps. I take anti inflammatories when bad, but be careful with them as they can upset your tummy.

    I was told I had an inflammatory OA and I tried varies DMARDS but nothing seems to make any difference. You might want to try steroids, they work for some people.

    Hope this helps. Learn to do little and often, that is the key to living with OA

  • woodbine
    woodbine Member Posts: 140
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Clare,

    Don't know if this will be helpful for you or not, but reading your post was very like reading about myself. It was good to know that I'n not alone and I thought it might help you to know that you're not either!

    I'm 48 and have been in pain in an increasing number of joints over the past few years. Over the past month or so it's been confirmed that I have OA in both feet, my lumbar spine and both thumbs, and it's possibly in my neck too.

    I'm rarely in agony - except occasionally when my back goes in to spasm and I can barely move for a few days or so, or if I try to write more than a sentence or two at once) but the almost constant moderate pain in so many different places is very hard to take at times. I also find it hard that many people don't seem to believe I can really have OA at my age, especially as I apparently look a little younger than I am. Is this disbelief a problem for you too?

    Best wishes,
  • mellman01
    mellman01 Member Posts: 5,303
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Give Boron a go it worked well for me, just remember it takes several weeks to kick in if it's going to.

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